Event Horizon (1997)
October 4, 2022 8:46 PM - Subscribe

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared and has now returned.

Starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson.

Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and written by Philip Eisner.

31% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.

JustWatch listing.
posted by Stuka (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of the all-time great horror movie moments is when they listen to the recording of what happened to the crew and it's screams and wails and somebody chanting in Latin and the recording ends and they're all standing there in shock, looking at each other like what the fuck was that and Laurence Fishburne simply says, "We're leaving." No investigation, no (deliberately) sticking around to risk getting killed, just fuck this place, we're out. Stellar.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:14 PM on October 4, 2022 [18 favorites]


I watched Event Horizon tonight for the first in time in twenty-five years. I've read it's been reevaluated over the years, as a lot of movies are. I was hunting for a movie tonight, came across it, and checked it out. I'm glad I watched it, because I've wanted a rewatch for a long time.

A few thoughts. The acting is terrific. There are no weak links in the cast. The writing is hit and miss. As Pope Guilty mentions, Captain Miller was no nonsense. But Doctor Weir was as badly written as I remember. He's evasive even before they get to the ship, which is dumb. And then the production is... weird. The Event Horizon spaceship is more house of horrors than functional spaceship, the kind of excess of set design that they made fun of in Galaxy Quest. The effects looked okay, though the movie needed a stronger science advisor. And I have to wonder, just how much influence did Event Horizon's aesthetic have on The Matrix and other movies.
posted by Stuka at 9:41 PM on October 4, 2022


This remains probably the scariest single theatergoing experience of my life. I guess I was 12?? I was on a camping trip and we essentially chose a movie at random. I reckon it soured me on horror movies for good.
posted by potrzebie at 10:33 PM on October 4, 2022 [5 favorites]


I'm grading on a curve here because I'm not generally one for horror films, but Event Horizon is easily one of the best.

My roommate had a VHS copy back in 1999 or so that he played at least a few times a week for months. I didn't like it much then, but I never really sat down and watched it at the time, I was pretty much always playing a game or chatting on IRC or whatever else while it played. A few years later I decided to watch it again and I found it was pretty good. Then a few years ago I read something that inspired me to revisit it again and I actually really enjoyed it, perhaps because I had a better frame of reference for what was actually happening.
posted by wierdo at 11:42 PM on October 4, 2022


"D.J. (micro-pause) Trauma" - I mean... as an introduction to Jason Isaacs, that delivery and crew reaction is up there with Aliens.

I had enjoyed the nihilism of Shopping (1994) as a tearaway teen myself, so Event Horizon was an excellent third oeuvre. I also am fond of Soldier (1998) previously
posted by Molesome at 2:06 AM on October 5, 2022


The effects looked okay, though the movie needed a stronger science advisor.

This is the sort of movie a science advisor is just going to ruin.

I've seen it described as "What if Solaris, but evil?" but also as a prologue to Warhammer which I can't evaluate.

The Event Horizon spaceship is more house of horrors than functional spaceship, the kind of excess of set design that they made fun of in Galaxy Quest.

That's okay by the end -- the hell dimension or Warp or whatever had always been psychically calling to Reid and influenced the design.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:22 AM on October 5, 2022 [5 favorites]


Die hard warhams here - many in the community view this as an unofficial prequel to the warhammer lore. The line "we won't need eyes to see where we're going" gets used often enough that it's probably an indicator of... something. I appreciate a movie that's willing to just go for it. As they say, excellence is a prison and this movie is free.
posted by LegallyBread at 7:05 AM on October 5, 2022 [7 favorites]


And I have to wonder, just how much influence did Event Horizon's aesthetic have on The Matrix and other movies.

When I first saw The Matrix in theaters, I remember thinking the Nebuchadnezzar looked a lot like the Event Horizon, and oh look, there Captain Lawrence Fishburne! In fact, and I never went back to check on this, I think there a top down shot in The Matrix of Fishburne rushing down a ladder that is exactly the same as one in Event Horizon. So, yeah, I think the Wachowskis are fans.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:13 AM on October 5, 2022


After sleeping on it, I will say this. I think my opinion of Event Horizon isn't the best because I didn't want anyone to die. As I said, the acting was spot on. And I thought the movie did a great job of introducing all of the characters and making me care about them. And like Justin said about the Event Horizon itself, the movie is a meat grinder. And of course, at the very end, it's still not over.
posted by Stuka at 7:32 AM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I saw this in the theater! And I can confirm that the theater exploded into laughter when Laurence Fishburne suggested they get the fuck out of there.

I'm hugely in favor of 90-minute movies, especially when we're talking about thrillers (and oh my God even more especially when we're talking about comedy), but I've always had the sense there was a lot of this movie left on the cutting room floor. I wouldn't mind seeing a longer version of it.

This director has made a lot of garbage, but Event Horizon is a terrific movie. It's derivative of Alien, which is fine by me; Alien has produced so many knockoffs that at this point I feel like they're a legit subgenre, much as there were so many George Romero ripoffs that eventually ripping off George Romero just became a Style. And on the subject of Romero, Anderson's Resident Evil is actually better than this, so much so that it's hard to believe he had anything to do with the rest of the series, which is pure trash (in case anyone wonders if we lost out on anything when no sequels to Event Horizon ever happened).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:55 AM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I still laugh about "Here I come motherfuckers!", perhaps my favorite line in any movie ever.* Really the whole sequence is great -- "Why does this shit always happen to me?" Surprisingly realistic (and humorous) reactions to absolutely bonkers shit happening, just like Cap'n Fishburne's "nope!"

I also think it is pretty hilarious that Cooper manages to find the ship after being launched into high orbit around a gigantic planet with no idea where he is and no means of tracking its location.

*My favorite line in any TV series ever is from Sgt. Doakes in Dexter season 2: "Surprise motherfucker!" I guess I just like it when someone yells motherfucker.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:03 AM on October 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


This is the sort of movie a science advisor is just going to ruin.

I read an interview with the writer where he explained he liked to get high and read theoretical physics papers because then he could pretend he understood them.

Also, looking at it today through a diversity casting lens, this seems to do well, albeit everyone is a Limey or Yank. I think it might also pass the Bechdel test with Starck and Peters working on decoding the logs?
posted by Molesome at 8:04 AM on October 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I saw this in theaters, much to my regret. I'm a sci-fi nerd, but NOT a horror fan, and the trailer didn't really do a good job of pointing out that, yes, THIS IS A FUCKING HORROR MOVIE. So I did not particularly enjoy the experience of watching it.
posted by hanov3r at 8:57 AM on October 5, 2022 [4 favorites]


ooh I need to rewatch this! its been a long time but I remember this movie delivered on the horror.
posted by supermedusa at 9:28 AM on October 5, 2022


Way back in the mid-90s, when I was in high school, a friend and I walked to a local video store hoping to rent Starship Troopers. (My friend had, I believe, seen it in theaters and wanted to watch it again.) Starship Troopers wasn't available, but we still wanted a fun sci-fi movie, so we picked up Event Horizon instead on the strength of the box art/copy.

The box at the video store absolutely did not prepare us for what we were about to watch. I'm a big horror movie buff now but my exposure to horror in high school was mostly books, not film. At the time, I'm pretty sure it was the most fucked up thing I'd ever seen.

I've never gone back to it, but this post has now reminded me of its existence, so I'm going to put it on my Spooky Season watchlist this October.
posted by darchildre at 9:40 AM on October 5, 2022


The production design on this movie is just gorgeous. But I found myself able to repeatedly count down 3-2-1-BOO to jump-scare moments, which sort of offset that.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:09 AM on October 5, 2022


I get slightly over-grumpy when a movie tries to say that actually this perfectly mundane (if extreme/rare/distant) physical phenomenon is REALLY HELL/THE DEVIL/ZOMBIE MUTATIONS, so this one kind of missed the mark for me (along with Prince of Darkness and the dialogue snippets that got sampled on Darkspace albums).
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 11:24 AM on October 5, 2022


The scene where Jack Noteworthy’s demon leaves him alone in an airlock prepping to vent him into the vacuum sticks with me.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:52 AM on October 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


When the producers of Star Trek: Voyager wanted to show someone's most disturbing innermost thoughts in the episode "Random Thoughts", they included some of the less-disturbing snippets from that TikTok From Hell scene.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:04 PM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


> The Event Horizon spaceship is more house of horrors

The ship's gothic design originated from a cathedral floor plan.

A++ for this film. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2022


Event Horizon, Sunshine, Sphere … What else belongs in this movie marathon?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2022


Life is another horror tale in space.
posted by SPrintF at 4:00 PM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I saw this in theaters, much to my regret. I'm a sci-fi nerd, but NOT a horror fan, and the trailer yt didn't really do a good job of pointing out that, yes, THIS IS A FUCKING HORROR MOVIE. So I did not particularly enjoy the experience of watching it.

Somewhat similar here… went in with friends expecting a sci-fi movie , got served an horror flick. I differ in that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and since until the end I was still in sci-fi movie watching mode I kept jumping half out of my seat . My friend remarked afterwards that absolutely no occasion for a jump scare was left unused.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2022


This one of my absolute favorite horror movies and I will absolutely get sucked into it any time I stumble across it. I consider this a Lovecraft-homage movie, where the ship crosses into elder god territory and opens up a portal.

If you want to add another to your watch list - In the Mouth of Madness works well, although sadly, the special effects for certain things in that one don't hold up quite as well.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2022


albeit everyone is a Limey or Yank

Sam Neill wears a modified Australian flag that includes a pan-aboriginal element where the union jack goes for us
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:52 PM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


Oops, that is totally on me for not paying attention. I default assume Sam is playing American.

qxntpqbbbqxl, you could add Supernova (2000) and Pandorum (2009) to that list.
posted by Molesome at 11:27 PM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I'm amused to see how many of the people on this thread (myself very much included, see above) were suckered into seeing this movie because we thought it wasn't a horror movie due to the posters and ads really not making that clear. Such a different time, when you'd just show up at the theater and be like "it appears that one has a space ship in it, right on, two for the 5:45 please" and just see where it went.
posted by potrzebie at 11:42 PM on October 5, 2022 [4 favorites]


Add me to the list of people who don’t like horror movies and saw this in the theater because it looked like just a creepy sci-fi flick. BUT, other than the especially gory bits, I mostly enjoyed it, from what I can remember. I’ve never seen it again, but I also recall the crew being interesting and fun, such that I was bummed when they all started dying. Anyway, it certainly is a memorable movie; if I ever run a new Spelljammer campaign you can bet the PCs will end up in a ship like this one! Whoo!
posted by dellsolace at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2022


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