Film Corner: Event Horizon

Event Horizon

Oooh, EVENT HORIZON is on Amazon Prime. Will I finally be able to watch it without covering my eyes the entire time? "In 2047, a team of astronauts embark on a mission to retrieve a missing spaceship. However, their simple retrieval job leads to something far more terrifying than any of them would suspect." I wonder what it was like to have confidence that in 40 years time we'd have manned space mining and shit. Sorry, sorry, I'll focus on this lovely movie about hell in space.

Ooh, text scroll. "2015. First permanent colony established on the moon." Wow, so we only have -4 years to get on that, y'all OH MY GOD how is it 2019? "2032. Commercial mining begins on Mars." That doesn't have anything to do with anything, so I'm not sure why they bring it up. "2040. Deep-space research vessel Event Horizon launched to explore boundaries of solar system." I hope potatoes are involved.

Anyway, the ship disappears without a trace just past Neptune and is the worst space disaster on record. That seems really grand, actually, compared to how dangerous I assumed Mars mining would be. I had to pause and came back to a cat lying on the remote. Why do I have so many naughty cats. I ordered good cats.

We cut to the ship (there it is, we found it) and I'm delighted and amused by the wristwatch floating around the ship. Ah, we had no idea phones would kill those. Then a floating corpse screams and it was all a dream, wake up. They named the search and rescue ship THE LEWIS AND CLARK?? Oh honey, no.

"Ana, how are you surviving in Texas?" you ask, by the way. "Isn't it currently colder than the depiction of deep space in this movie?" Yes. Yes, it is. I put my blankets in the dryer so I can be warm, but I'm still shiver. The dizzying twirls through space are indeed dizzying. Well done. Everyone gets in lovely anti-G force tubes for sleeping and Sam has a jump scare dream sequence about his Dead Wife and I swear to god the Eye Trauma in this movie is *shudders*

Sam ("Doc") wakes up from his nightmare in deep stasis and we get to meet the group of poor souls who will be dying for our entertainment. This sequence feels a little Alien/Aliens-y, but in a good way. There's the Captain, the hot Second-in-Command, the Medic who wishes she was home with her kids (it's fine, they're with her ex), the Brash Sexy, Gruff Engineer, and Mr. Smarts.

They don't know why they're out here and Doc has to brief them. This again feels very Alien and it doesn't make a lot of sense here; they're a rescue-and-retrieval team and literally only one ship ever managed to get itself lost on the edge of the solar system. Like, in Alien it made sense for the crew to be confused because they were, like, deep space miners and the alien stuff was weird and unexpected. Here it's like, "You're a search and rescue team and there's only ever been one thing in need of search and rescue out here. GUESS."

Doc Sam tells them that he's about to tell them Classified Shit, and that a transmission was intercepted from around Neptune. The source of the transmission was identified to be the Event Horizon--the lost ship. The crew thinks this is bullshit because the public were told the Event Horizon blew up. Okay, that makes more sense--I thought they knew what we were told in the opening screens.

Doc says the EH was trying to test out faster than light travel and everyone again objects that FTL isn't possible. Doc says the ship isn't technically going FTL, but is instead using dimensional doors. There's a lot about the "gravity drive" and how it folds space and here's a demonstration with a surprisingly tame pin-up poster from a future space magazine. Et cetera. I can't decide how I feel about the crew not being able to understand the gravity drive maths until the pin-up girl was involved. Obviously they were going for a "space! Now so easy you don't need a maths degree!" feel, but (again) these aren't just random miners.

It really feels like they wanted the Alien look-and-feel of random nobodies out in deep space, so why send out a specialist vessel which ought to be staffed with the best of the best? And why wait until they were out here to brief them? I'm fully aware that movies would be BORING if there were extensive briefings before take-off, but on the other hand that was something I actually liked about the LOST IN SPACE movie (the one with Joey from Friends, yes, that one).

Anyway, back to the movie. They listen to the transmission for the first time and it's basically just screaming. It's also a different... type of scream than you'd expect from a deep space accident. Like, there's a subtle difference in scream between "ahh the bulkhead blew up and it hurts and we're going to die" verses "ahh there's a ghost what the fuck" or "ahh my intestines are being pulled out through my nostrils."

On the first listen, Mr. Smarts identifies Latin under all the screams, and that's kinda impressive considering the boys in Houston thought the entire tape was meaningless gibberish. "What does Liberate Me mean" asks the crew members and I know this is supposed to be a Latin Is Hard moment but what the fuck do you think it means my friends, take a wild stab at whether there's a similar word in English?

They locate the Event Horizon ship, attach themselves to it (which doesn't seem like the wisest of ideas), and start running scans. No one's picking up the phone, there's no gravity, and there's no heat. Only way the crew could be alive is if they went into stasis. The computer scan picks up "trace life forms all over the ship" but in a way that doesn't make sense and can't be accounted for. Everyone suits up to board the ship except Doc--who protests at being left on the bridge.

The Medic finds a spot of blood on a bridge console so lightning can light the walls behind her and we can see a terrifying bloodbath happened back there where she can't see. It's a nice effect. Very scary. They find the Captain's Log on a CD drive (THE FUTURE) and the Medic runs into an eyeless corpse which has seen better days. "Explosive decompression doesn't do THAT," says Mr. Smarts.

There's a room with a spinning ball thingy that spins and it looks like danger and spiky hell metal. That's the gravity drive, supposedly. Junior Spaceman's camera back to the crew cuts out just as the spinning ball lights up and he cries out in pain. This is a Mystery and also reminds me a little of Sphere (1998). Event Horizon was 1997, so apparently there was a zeitgeist of spinning space balls.

Things start blowing up for unknown reasons. Well, BEFORE the blowing-up-of-things, Junior Spaceman stuck his hand in the black goo of the dimensional door and something yanked him through. No points for smarts there. THEN things started blowing up. Brash Sexy pulls Junior Spaceman from the dimension door, and he is now apparently paralyzed and in a coma. Everyone else scrambles to deal with the fact that the Lewis & Clark ship is blowing up as hard as it can.

The ship is rapidly jettisoning all its oxygen and the executive decision is made to move into the Event Horizon. Medic turns on the gravity so we get the nice effect of everything falling violently down--the floating coolant goes sploosh, the icy corpse goes shatter. Lieutenant Gorgeous is worried because the Event Horizon only has maybe 20 hours of breathable air, after which they had better be safely in stasis and on their way home. (I guess they don't need air in stasis? I don't know, I just work here.)

Brash Sexy tells how he pulled Junior Spaceman out of a black goo and Doc says that's impossible because the gravity drive would've had to be activated and (he claims) it wasn't. A mystery! In the medical bay, something scratches from the inside of a fabric morgue bag. The Medic approaches it with care only to be freaked out by a vision of her son, covered in lesions. This is fine because literally everyone else starts hallucinating as well: fire, dead wives without eyes, and so forth. Grumpy Engineer theorizes that breaking the laws of physics will cause these sorts of things. Mr. Smarts calms him down with a knife to the throat.

Everyone has a few more hallucinations for good measure, then Junior Spaceman wakes up from his coma and locks himself in an airlock. He commits airlock suicide saying that he's "seen things" and they shouldn't try to stop him. Through an act of incredible bravery and quick acting, the crew manages to save him and stick him in stasis. I'm...not sure we ever see him again, which is why I thought I remembered him dying. MY BAD.

The Captain has a hallucination about a memory that he's never told anyone about. He believes this is proof that something supernatural is happening because how else could the ship know about this secret memory. I'm...not following that logic fully. Mr. Smarts says he misheard the earlier Latin message, and then plays us a NEW MESSAGE that isn't the same as before. Instead of "save me", the message now says "save yourself from Hell". They theorize that the dimension door opens into hell or a reasonable facsimile.

They clean up the Captain's Log DVD and watch as naked and bloody crewmates from the EH... do things to each other? It's really unclear what they're doing, but they aren't enjoying themselves and that's all that matters. Captain wants to leave; Doc says they can't. Maybe if you think the ship can hear you, it might not be a great idea to announce your intention to leave and blow it up. Grumpy Engineer fixes the Lewis & Clark so they can leave. Medic gathers oxygen filters so they can breathe on the way home, but hallucinations cause her to fall to her death.

Doc announces that he plans to stay on the ship, and we get more of his hallucinations of his wife--he's with her now, forever, et cetera, more eyeball violence. Ick. Oh my god, this movie is so LONG. I really thought I would be able to finish it tonight. Doc blows up the Lewis and Clark. Grumpy Engineer dies and Brash Sexy gets zoomed off into space. He'll be fine. On the EH, a mutilated Doc ("where we're going, we won't need eyes to see") kills Mr. Smarts and confronts Captain and Lieutenant Gorgeous.

Doc says the ship visited a dimension of pure evil, came back alive, and killed her crew. Standard stuff. Doc terrorizes everyone for a time while Captain tries to stop him and Lieutenant Gorgeous and Brash Sexy try to get the ship functional so they can escape back to earth. (Take the intelligent demon ship back to earth, y/n? Good idea??)

Gorgeous and Sexy wake up to a rescue team--

Nope! it's actually Evil Doc--

Nope!!! It's a real rescue team after all. Probably. THE END. That was less scary than I remembered and instead just really gory? Eee. Thanks for coming along with me!


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