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Event Horizon

(This review originally appeared in the August 21-27, 1997 Long Island Voice.)

Reviewed by Beth Hannan Rimmels

Considering the similarities between the genres and the fact that they share many fans, it’s surprising that science fiction and horror don’t mix more often. If Event Horizon is successful, they just might.

In a nutshell, Event Horizon is a haunted house in space, but the devil is in the details and EH pulls it off. In 2040, the experimental ship Event Horizon disappeared when it tested a way of getting around the faster-than-light travel prohibition by using a dimensional gate. In 2047, it has now reappeared near Neptune. A rescue team headed by Captain (Laurance Fishburne) Miller is dispatched to help ship designer William Weir (Sam Neill) to find out what happened and bring it back.

A haunted house in space adds layers to the usual conventions of horror. No need for a convoluted excuse as to why they’re isolated. Escaping is difficult when there’s no air, atmosphere or pressure outside. Claustrophobia can kick in for anyone. Plus, in zero gravity, anything can float around and bump into you from behind, not to mention the eerieness of drops of liquid free floating, be they water, oil or blood.

The cast, which includes Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan and Sean Pertwee, is excellent. The story holds together well though surprisingly a definitive answer is never given. One solution becomes increasing apparent, and finally the crew accepts this solution, but that never totally discounts the idea that it could be in their minds. Strangely enough that hint of doubt makes the movie stronger and the end, even creepier.

(A Paramount release. Directed by Paul Anderson.)

Review 1998 Long Island Voice.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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