It’s October, the month of Halloween and what would be more clichéd than doing a countdown of top horror films, so fully admitting to being a walking cliché, I will be doing a series of blogs running down the films in my own personal top 20. Here’s the previous blogs for numbers 20, Audition, 19, Night of the Demon, 18, Zombie Flesh Eaters, 17, Last House on the Left, 16, The Beyond, 15, An American Werewolf in London, 14, [REC], and 13, Don’t Look Now.
At 12 it’s the seriously undervalued SF/Horror film Event Horizon.
It’s a fairly simple story as the synopsis from IMDB can testify to..
A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board.
It’s a haunted house/possession story but this time it’s done on a spaceship, in fact the Event Horizon of the title. As a film it casually borrows from dozens of films from all genres, so while you’re watching the film you can spot a bit of Alien here, some Hellraiser there, a spoonful of Amityville Horror there and a nice sprinkling of The Shining on top. It never tries to hide it’s influences but rather flaunts them in the way Roger Corman often would in his exploitation films, but like Corman, the director Paul W.S. Anderson does something wonderfully entertaining with them. He’s helped by a fine cast including Sam Neil, Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson and Sean Pertwee who started a career in appearing in mainly British genre films and dying in a variety of horrible ways after this film.
Ok, the script has some clunky dialogue, some of the ‘cutting edge’ CGI looks like crap Playstation One cut scenes, and some of the direction is often so bloody obvious that it becomes annoying. In spite of this Event Horizon never stops being a fun, enjoyable and at times, very, very scary bit of film.
Also the design of the ship is fantastic.
It’s also worth pointing out the music which shows that Orbital should score more films, and that if by any chance you get to see this in a cinema, do so. It’s a seriously fantastic cinematic experience.
Which brings me to the gore. This is what the film seems to have picked up a reputation for, but sadly a lot of it was cut or is so obscured that you can’t see the stunning work that went into making the audience a little bit sick.
Thankfully the director has found the original cut on a VHS tape, so there remains a hope the full uncut version might see the light of day sometime.
Lastly, I have to talk about Anderson as a director. For this film he’s showing a talent that never again reappears because frankly he just cranks out utter pish like the Resident Evil films or the appalling Alien Vs Predator. Maybe it was just a perfect storm for Anderson on this film but his career afterwards isn’t worth spending any more time talking about so I’ll wrap up by telling you to watch this film!
Next time, I hope you’re hungry…