A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board. (IMDB synopsis)
This was originally going to be 28 Days Later before enough people tried to tell me that it was a zombie flick. I was, however, persuaded to watch THIS film instead when a friend described it as Hellraiser In Space. (It always has to be something in space, doesn’t it?) Still, I like Hellraiser, so I ought to like this.
Boy, that was a struggle to watch, both figuratively AND literally. All the movie streaming sites I watched it on were jittery as heck.
Right. So according to some handy text at the beginning, the first permanent colony is established on the moon in the year 2015 (and with the year already half-over, we’d better get cracking!). At some point after that, a ship called the Event Horizon disappears without a trace beyond ‘the eighth planet, Neptune’. Yes, thank you, we know it’s the eighth planet from the sun; we went to primary school.
In the present year of 2047, the crew of the Lewis and Clark wake up from their time in ‘STASS-is’ and change back into their clothes. There’s eight members of the crew overall, so good luck remembering their names. The most important characters are probably Dr. Weir, a physicist, and Captain Miller, played by Lawrence Fishburne, who seems to have a liking for sci-fi movies. Weir explains to everyone that Event Horizon was intended to basically go as close to faster-than-light travel as possible by temporarily bending space, joining Point A up to Point B for instantaneous transportation. (If he’d just said ‘duality jump’, I would have understood it.)
Anyway, they discover that something ‘orrible has happened to the Event Horizon’s previous crew, so they go up there to take a look and have some odd findings – i.e., the whole ship appears to be alive and the old crew members have been shredded. After the Lewis and Clark gets battered about a bit by a shockwave, they all pile onto the Event Horizon, and things go downhill from there.
I feel I’ve been misled. Did I say this was supposed to be Hellraiser In Space? Nah, this is more like The Happening In Space. The movie doesn’t go for any alien intervention – at least, not in the traditional sense. You see, Weir designed the EH’s core, which is contained within three magnetic fields and can generate black holes “harmlessly”. Unfortunately, it’s opened up the EH to a far-off dimension implied to be Hell, and so now the ship is alive and it’s making the crew hallucinate things and mutilate themselves. That sounds a lot cooler than it really is. The point I want to make about this admittedly unusual premise is that all the people who die in this film would not have done so if they’d stayed the hell away from their own hallucinations. All right, the teenager Justin is pulled into the dimension and driven mad by the things he sees, but the only reason he manages to bolt himself into the airlock is because nobody was keeping an eye on him. I guess Captain Miller was having a moment and overlooked that.
But anyway. There are other characters who see loved ones in horrific pain, people from their pasts who died in the most terrible manner. But listen here, Weir. You know perfectly well that your dear departed wife couldn’t possibly be on this ship, and you know something funny is going on, so don’t go and hang out with your hallucination! And now your eyes are being poked out. I hope you’re happy.
Funnily enough, Weir isn’t the protagonist – it’s Miller. And I don’t know how I feel about his character. He’s one of those tough, no-nonsense, “Tell me what‘s going on here”, ever-interjecting, over-commanding, “Don’t give me that bullshit”, I-know-best, “Mistakes and nobody goes home”… types. Sure, they imply that he’s seen some things in his time as Captain and he does have the sense to tell his hallucination where to go, but the way Fishburne plays the character, it feels like there’s no talking to him.
As for the rest of the film, it looks very pretty indeed, but the science is a bit off and there’s such a lot of shock imagery, jumpscares and nudity for no reason that after a while, it just seemed to wash over me. I just wanted to movie to get to the point.
Not my kind of film. I expect certain kinds of horror to do certain things. Natural Horror has to play up to our fears of poisonous creatures, unknown predators and natural events beyond our control. Body Horror has to literally get under our skin. And Sci-Fi Horror, when it doesn’t involve aliens, is supposed to make us think of the boundaries of scientific discovery which should not be crossed. But the film’s extra-dimensional evil that possesses the ship and its crew is more like a fantasy, and the fact that it can be simply blown up just… I don’t get it!
5 jam sandwiches.