Paul W. S. Anderson has divided audiences since his sophomore feature, Mortal Kombat became a commercial success. Since then, he has been commonly associated with his Resident Evil obsession having produced six instalments and directed four.
It is however his third feature film that has arguably gained wider cult status and now celebrates 25 years since its release. It is also the movie that made me sit up and expect great things from him as a director.
It heralds a lot of things for a science fiction horror to warrant the following it currently receives. It has a cracking concept centred in the year 2047, around a rescue mission to the titular spaceship which happens to be carrying an experimental engine that creates a rift in the space-time continuum. The question is not only where did it go? But also, what did it bring back with it when it mysteriously appears again in the orbit of Neptune?
It is further emboldened by a strong cast with Laurence Fishburne as the stoic Capt. Miller, headstrong and in juxtaposition to the unhinged designer of the Event Horizon, Dr. Weir played the always brilliant Sam Neill.
Accompanying the duo is a worthy crew in Kathleen Quinlan’s medical technician, Peters; Joely Richardson’s communications officer, Lieutenant Starck; Richard T. Jones as rescue technician, Cooper; Jack Noseworthy as chief engineer, Justin; Jason Isaacs (a little underused in my humble opinion, but there are a few characters up for the chopping block here) as medical doctor D.J.; and Sean Pertwee as pilot, Smitty. All of who carry around their own personal demons that claw their way to the surface to haunt them, as hell breaks loose.
Initially a box office failure, Event Horizon would find its audience in the home entertainment scene, who would forgive its flaws, predominantly in the final third of the movie, and embrace the special effects on show combined with the psychological breakdown of the human mind… in space!
I, for one, find myself drifting back to this movie time and time again, and consider it one of my guilty pleasures. I still remember the cinematic experience, clearly one of the few who enjoyed it at the time. I also remember a friend of mine from university being deeply moved by the experience, stating it one of the most shocking movies he’d ever seen.
Whatever your experience of it, the cult following keeps on growing and I’m curious to see if Amazon and Paramount will greenlight the TV series that was discussed in 2019, with You’re Next director Adam Wingard potentially overseeing things.
Until then we must continue to claw our way back into the feature film and soak up the crazed ambience, and crackfire performances on show.
- Saul Muerte