Liberate Te Ex Inferis: Event Horizon Review and Trailer

I made the mistake of walking into our living room as my father was just about to watch Paul W.S Anderson’s Event Horizon. It had the guy from Jurassic Park (Sam Neil), so I was sure this would be your typical search and rescue movie, with Neil as the protagonist. I should have immediately turned around and went back to my room to dream of grassy meadows and fluffy clouds. Instead, I had nightmares for a solid week. Recently in my young adult life, I decided to revisit this movie in an effort to mock my naive reactions.

Event Horizon takes place in the year 2047 when a team is sent to the orbit of Neptune. The ship has just been rediscovered after a seven-year absence from reality. The Event Horizon was designed for faster-than-light travel. Doctor William Weir, played by Sam Niel explains it for the crew by taking a sheet of paper and showing how far it is from one edge to the other, then folding that paper until the edges meet. The ship never has to travel faster than light, it just rips a hole in space and slips through to the other side in mere seconds.  Unfortunately for the original crew of the ship, they returned as bloody, smeared wallpaper.

The ship itself is gigantic. It has a close resemblance to a dragonfly. The gravity drive room has a very worn silver look to it, along with medieval patterns which makes it look very ominous. The gravity drive itself looks just like the device Jodie Foster used in Contact.

Laurence Fishburne plays Captain Miller, the leader of the mission and is accompanied by Doctor William Weir (Sam Niel), the designer of the ships gravity drive. They both clearly do not care for each other, and it seems their intentions are of conflicting interest. Though both actors seems to interact well with each other, the rest of the cast is made up of stale clichés and do not really elicit the same emotions I felt from the two main characters.

The Crews first contact with The Event Horizon goes awry. One of the members approaches the gravity drive as it is in a different state than normal, a liquid state. He slips through the black gelatinous mirror and returns paralyzed, not literally but in a possessed sort of state. He later tries to kill himself because of what he saw from his short “dip” into the gravity drive. Soon enough, the majority of the crew starts to experience hallucinations. Scary, gory, nightmarish hallucinations that are linked to their utmost personal memories. It appears that the ship itself is inflicting these reactions on the crew and it is theorized by one of the members that the ship brought something back with it. Weir seems to know what is happening but does not want to tell the crew. Perhaps for their own safety? Most likely not, as his actions grow more and more suspicious and irrational.

Unplayable footage found during their initial search of the ship comes to fruition. The Footage from the previous crew is rendered and played back showing the deceased engage in a blood orgy. The previous captain is shown with his arms outstretched, palms facing up with an eyeball in each hand. He “looks” at the camera with a demented smile and states “liberate te ex inferis”; save yourself from hell. Nothing about this short montage was spectacular visually, but overall the special effects and make-up were quite convincing throughout the whole movie. Some movies of the horror genre do too much with gore, causing the initial reaction of fear to be absent and replaced with humor, whereas this film seemed to make an effort to leave gore reserved for only when it was necessary.

Unlike most other isolation horror movies, Event Horizon has other elements that make it slightly more disturbing; dealing with an unknown realm. By breaking the law of physics, Man has entered a universe not for them. Not to mention the absurd detachment from any form of human life, Neptune is now the farthest planet in our solar system. The combination of those two elements make it a very unique horror film. Perhaps if the film focused a bit more on the ambient life in space and/or the environment outside of the ship, it could have taken away from the very cluttered, clumsy atmosphere within the ship. It is by far Paul W.S Anderson’s best work as a director, and although the sound, acting, and special effects are all quintessentially “Hollywood”, I found the outlandish ideas and timely montages to be more than entertaining.


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