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Fright Fest 2019: Event Horizon (1997)

EHThis is not the first time I have reviewed this movie. In fact, it isn’t the first time I have reviewed this movie for this site. But it happened to come up as relevant to the theme for this month and all I could think was, “I couldn’t just recycle the old review, could I? That wouldn’t be right.”

There are certain plot formulas that will win me over, just for coming into the room and saying, “hello”. And one such formula is that of the ghost ship, especially if you add in a kind of cautionary angle. The ship had gone off on some kind of exploratory mission, was never heard from again and then, decades later just shows up, abandoned. I love the inherent darkness and peril that hovers just outside the borders of those stories and the first time you read or watch something like that, you spend most of your time clenching, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Now if you were to make that concept into a sci-fi movie, there’s going to be little chance I won’t like it. You’d have to try pretty hard to turn me away.

Enter into the conversation, Event Horizon.

So maybe you shouldn’t give this review any weight because the person writing it isn’t coming from an impartial point of view. Maybe I should adopt a more discerning eye for the more important flaws of a movie and be willing to put my feelings aside in the essential dissection of the mechanics of a film in review.

Maybe there’s some value to that point but I’m not doing it. Sorry.

I mean, not really but you know what I mean.

The premise of the movie is (as ideal for horror) simple and effective. Sam Neil plays Dr. William Weir, a man who is in mourning for the death of his wife and in the midst of this is called to duty in the investigation of an exploratory vessel he helped design, years ago. The Event Horizon, created for deep space exploration, has suddenly reappeared after vanishing without a trace and with no explanation.

A salvage crew led by Captain Miller (played by the outstanding Laurence Fishburne) has been scrambled to go to the ship and Weir has been tasked to accompany them, as an expert on its technology.Film and Television

What happened to the Event Horizon? Where has it been all this time? Why has it come back? What happened to the crew? All questions that will need to be answered in the course of their mission. And after a quick introduction to our cast of characters, the story is moving full speed. What I think the film uses most effectively is that of isolation and foreboding. As soon as the ship catches up to the Event Horizon and boards her, you have a sense of something dark about the ship and that Weir knows something that he isn’t sharing with the rest of the crew. All of this unfolds nicely as most everyone starts to come unhinged and eventually they are trapped on the Event Horizon.

As the ship’s creator, Weir seems to be especially affected by the ship as his recent emotional traumas are exploited to bring him around to a rapidly descending path into madness.

For me, Event Horizon is all about the claustrophobia you manage to feel within the immense vastness of space. Every scene is oozing tension with the mystery of what might be lurking around the corner and what entity may have returned as a part of this cursed ship. You spend most of the film bracing yourself for coming upon the brutal end that you know most of these characters are destined for.

There is a certain mythology around this film on the subject of the infamous director’s cut. Evidently there was quite a bit of footage in the film that was removed as it was thought too disturbing and considering what did end EH2up in the final product, I can only imagine what that would entail. However, while footage like this would normally be reserved for an eventual re-release as a blu-ray collector’s edition, that footage has sadly been lost forever as it was evidently exposed as a result of being improperly archived. For some reason, for me this gives the film a little extra bit of aura, somewhat along the lines of all the mysterious problems that existed on the set of The Exorcist. After being simply missing for years, the lost footage from Event Horizon was found in a Transylvanian salt mine. That in and of itself is begging to have a book written about it.

Event Horizon is a beautifully shot film with fantastic atmosphere and tension. I love all the scenes on the ship with thunder rumbling outside even though it makes no fracking sense that they would be able to hear thunder while in orbit. After all, in space no one can hear…well you get the point. Still, I love it. Maybe I’m being suckered into the fly trap of the film’s superficiality but I don’t care. It’s a movie I love to watch and I would place it on a level as being a later generation’s version of Hellraiser, another favorite of mine.

Sometimes things that we think are lost come back. And sometimes they bring friends. Check this film out and you can see a pretty good example of this.

 

D3mini

Chad A. Clark is an author of dark-leaning fiction, born and raised in the middle of the United States. His road began in Illinois, along the banks of the Mississippi and from there he moved to Iowa, where he has lived ever since. From an early age, he was brined in the glory that is science fiction and horror, from the fantastical of George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry and Steven Spielberg to the dark and gritty tales of Stephen King and George Romero. The way from there to here has been littered with no shortage of books and movies, all of which have and continue to inform his narrative style to this day. Chad has written horror, science fiction and non-fiction. He has been published by Crystal Lake Publishing, Dark Minds Press, Shadow Work Publishing, Sirens Call Publications and EyeCue Productions and his books have received critical praise from the Ginger Nuts of Horror, Ink Heist, Confessions of a Reviewer, Horror DNA and This is Horror. For more information on his literary universe, check out his official website or take a peek at his Amazon author page

Fright Fest 2019: DOOM (2005)

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Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak

Writers: Dave Callaham, Wesley Strick, et. al.

Starring: Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, et al.

Released: October 2005

Review by:  Jonny Numb (aka Jon Weidler)

“Didn’t you just greenlight another movie based on a VIDEOGAME?!” – Cecil B. Demented

The bane of PC/videogame adaptations – outside of the creative stigma that puts most critics on the offensive from the start – can be attributed to one simple fact: you’re taking an active medium and stripping away a level of engagement that adds to the visceral experience of playing. And when you think about it that way, it really makes the adaptation feel like an exercise in futility, no matter how high the budget or how skilled the crew. Why bother? Continue Reading

Fright Fest 2019: Prince of Darkness (1987)

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Directed by: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Alice Cooper (as Street Schizo), et. al.

Released: Oct. 1987

Article: “Pre Biotic Fluid Mutants: John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness” by JG Clay.

Its almost that ‘most wonderful time of the year’’, folks. No, no the commercially driven saccharine drenched credit indebted mutant known as Christmas. I am referring to a day which is special to me on one count and also to horror fans on two counts. I’m talking about Halloween of course, the day when 46 years ago, I made my debut appearance in this cosmic play we call ‘life’, a day celebrated by people of a darker nature and, last but by no means least, the night that John Carpenter brought Michael Myers home. Continue Reading

Fright Fest 2019: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke

Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, et. al.

Released: May 1968

Article “Analysis of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ written by: Mawr Gorshin. Originally published on MawrGorshin.com.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction movie produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by him and Arthur C. Clarke. The film is often said to be based on Clarke’s short story, “The Sentinel,” but this is a gross oversimplification, as only a small moment in the film parallels the story, and even that part is radically rewritten. The actual literary equivalent of the film is the novel credited only to Clarke, but cowritten by Kubrick. Continue Reading

Fright Fest 2019: Hellraiser (1987) & Hellbound (1988)

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Hellraiser: 1987

Written and Directed by: Clive Barker

Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, and Doug Bradley, et. al.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II: 1988

Directed by: Tony Randel

Written by: Peter Atkins/Story by Clive Barker

Starring: Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Doug Bradley, Barbie Wilde, Nicholas Vince, et. al.

Review by: D. S. Ullery

You’ll notice I’ve opted to combine my analysis of the first two films in the long running Hellraiser series into one long piece, as opposed to separating them into two articles. No, I’m not being lazy (well, maybe a little). This is actually a conscientious decision, arising from my opinion that the first two chapters of the saga inspired by Clive Barker’s novella The Hellbound Heart are so inexorably intertwined they essentially function as two halves of the same, epic film. I’ve opted to approach my review accordingly.  Continue Reading…if you dare!

Fright Fest 2019: Phantoms (1998)

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Directed By: Joanna Going (Kingdom, Keys to Tulsa), Rose McGowan (Scream, Planet Terror), Ben Affleck (The Accountant, Gone Girl), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Nicky Katt (Suburbia, Dazed and Confused), and Peter O’Toole (Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter)

Starring: Joe Chappelle (Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula)

Written By: Dean R. Koontz (Odd Thomas, Watchers)

Release Year: 1998

Review By: Andy Taylor

I’ve never been good at letting certain inaccuracies go when it comes to cinema. I say certain because it seems to be entirely arbitrary whether an inaccuracy is going to bother me or if I’ll be able to let it go. I couldn’t care less how comic book accurate the costumes were in any superhero movie despite being into comic books since I was a child, but when the elephants don’t end up trampling the town at the end of the Disney movie The Jungle Book, a movie made for children, I’m bothered. The thousand and one scientific inaccuracies of any Star Trek show don’t pose any problem for me, but when the Klingons say “Qapla”, which easily translates to victory, and the universal translator doesn’t do the job it does for nearly every other Klingon word, I’m bothered. I’ve watched Braveheart multiple times with no problems whatsoever despite it being as historically accurate as Marvel 1602, but when American Horror Story started with the whole Roanoke thing, I seethed inside. Continue Reading…if you dare!

Fright Fest 2019: Hellboy (2004)

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Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Adapted for the Screen by Guillermo del Toro and Peter Briggs with consultation from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola 

Starring: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans and John Hurt

A Review-ish by Feind Gottes

The Gist: At the end of WWII Professor “Broom” leads a platoon to thwart Nazi attempts to open a portal to another dimension unleashing ancient evil. Instead Hellboy enters our world raised by Broom to fight evil. When Rasputin returns from the dead Hellboy must choose between mankind and his destiny as the harbinger of hell.  Continue Reading…if you dare!

Fright Fest 2019: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

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Director: Julius Onah

Writers: Oren Uziel

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, et. al.

Released: Feb 2018 (Netflix)

Review by: Duncan Bradshaw

There’s one thing you can say with certainty about the (current) trilogy of Cloverfield films; they aren’t trying to copy each other. So far, we’ve had found footage and monsters in Cloverfield, with human ‘monsters’ and the claustrophobia of 10 Cloverfield Lane. I’m not going into my thoughts in those films, because people have beaten me to them already! Read the last couple of days reviews right here and here if you missed them. I will say this though, I enjoyed both of them. Continue Reading…if you dare!

Fright Fest 2019: The Endless (2017)

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Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Writers: Justin Benson

Starring: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, et. al.

Released: April 2017 (Tribeca Film Festival)

Review By: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Synopsis: “As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began” -IMDb.

“The Endless” (2017) has been a movie I’ve heard great things about since its availability, so it had been on my list for a while now to check out. It’s fast become a classic watch with many people recommending it on social media. I love horror and sci-fi and fantasy meshed together, and I think you get a taste of all three here, primarily because you can’t tangibly see the entity that creates the tension in the film. However, it’s categorized as an American science fiction film. Another reason the idea of this movie appealed to me is of course the cult aspect. And I am all for a good cult. Continue Reading…if you dare!

Fright Fest 2019: UZUMAKI (2000)

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Director: Higuchinsky

Writers: Junji Ito, Kengo Kaji

Starring: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, et. al.

Release date: February 2000

Review by:  Kim McDonald

Synopsis: “The inhabitants of a small Japanese town become increasingly obsessed with and tormented by spirals” -IMDb.

I find the idea of being driven by compulsive thoughts particularly disturbing. Horror Manga writer, Junji Ito has based a great deal of his work around compulsion. Higuchinsky’s film, UZUMAKI, is based on Ito’s manga of the same name.  It tells the story of Kirie (Eriko Hitsume) and her boyfriend Suichi (Fhi Fan) as they try to figure out the weird obsession with spirals tormenting everyone in their small town.  Continue Reading

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