Filmed in the USA in 1997, directed by Paul Anderson. A cult and at one time underestimated work is today the reference sci-pop horror.
The picture describes the events of the near future, the 40s of the XXI century. A starship called “Event Horizon”, which went missing about 10 years ago, suddenly appears in the orbit of the planet Neptune. A group of astronauts is sent to rescue a spaceship. The mission’s commander-in-chief is the designer of the missing starship. Upon arrival, the group finds numerous bloody footprints and one crew member’s stiffened corpse. Upon further investigation, it turns out that a secret testing laboratory was deployed in it, which was engaged in the development of the device. Through the mechanism, a hole was created in space, through which the shuttle was transported to an unknown galaxy. Upon his return, the ship began to be controlled by an evil previously unknown to mankind.
The meaning of the film
The filmmakers showed the space of space not as empty blackness filled with galaxies, but as a gloomy force that can penetrate anywhere. The power that causes madness, raises hidden fear, guilt, everything vile and sinful to the surface, giving it a physical form. Perhaps Hell is not on Earth, but here, in this terrible piercing darkness, in space. What if we are its creators?
The cathedral ship looks like an airtight tomb filled with horrors and permeated with the smell of death. The mechanism, built on the spaceship, is a miracle of technology, this perfect high-class apparatus, it is able to break the boundaries of space and time. It symbolizes progress, the pinnacle of human genius, leading to death. This is a retribution for pride and the inexorable desire of a person to rule the World.
Characteristics of heroes
Sam Neill played Dr. William Weir, a mad scientist who designed a doom shuttle. The actor embodied a character unusual for himself, but still, he did quite well. At the beginning, colleagues laugh at the eccentric and secretive doctor, but as the plot develops, more and more terrifying details are brought to light, and the character is not revealed from the best side. Weir’s wife, who had suffered from cancer for a long time, committed suicide. Her image visits the scientist, calling to “join”. From the first minutes on the shuttle, William begins to behave differently, the maddening atmosphere does not depress him, but, on the contrary, interests him. In the end, he really joins the evil reigning there, having completely lost his mind, and harasses the rest of the crew. The character has much in common with the historical personality. Johan Weyer, who lived in the 16th century in Holland. A physician, occultist and student of Agrippa of Nettesheim, he wrote The Hierarchy of Demons, where he described sixty-nine demons in detail.
Captain Miller played by Laurence Fishburne. The commander is a strong colorful character, with charisma. Throughout the film, he tried to keep his composure and common sense until the very end. This is a rescuer, a fighter and a true captain who thinks first of all about the well-being of his colleagues. But he also had his fears and sins. The ghost of a friend who died in the group of astronauts he manages comes to him. Miller fights evil to the last, but in the end, he sacrifices himself to save the rest of the crew.
Lieutenant Stark, portrayed by actress Joely Richardson. To her, at the beginning of the tape, Lieutenant Cooper shows sympathy, as to the most attractive woman from the team. This quick-witted heroine at the very beginning understands that a certain entity that has settled on the ship inspires horror in people. After the explosion, Stark manages to survive and, along with two other crew members, plunge into hypersleep. She is the first to wake up when the rescuers arrive and, seeing the Weyr’s disfigured face again, goes into a fit of hysterics.
Lieutenant Commander Dee Jay was played by Jason Isaacs. His hero, a wise astronaut with a broad outlook, is the first assistant to Captain Miller. He deciphers a message in Latin from a distressed spaceship. DJ, helping the victims in the medical unit, dies a terrible death from a possessed Weyr.
Lieutenant Peters was played by actress Kathleen Quinlan. A strong woman, mother bear. On board, she is haunted by the image of her son with boils on his feet, which eventually leads her into a deadly trap.
The role of the youngest member of the crew – midshipman “Bear cub” Justin went to Jack Noseworthy. This “green” youth enters the core of the engine and awakens dark matter. He escapes, falls into a coma, but when he wakes up, he wants to take his own life because of the darkness that has settled inside. Justin is put into suspended animation so he can’t hurt himself.
There are many reminiscences in the film, here are some of them:
- The design of the ship, filled with dark forces, was created based on the structure of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. Also, multiple medieval forms in the form of a cross were used in the interior decoration.
- The Lewis and Clark spacecraft was named after real-life adventurers.
- Horror is reflected in the stories of ghost ships.
- In the film, you can see similar images, makeup and ideas of Hellraiser. Many mutilated bodies, elements of sadism and masochism, as well as the prospect of endless pain.
- The script is a mix of Alien, The Shining and Fantastic Journey. Space, tension, danger, madness and a closed space from which there is nowhere to escape.
- Also, the influence of such eminent directors as Hitchcock, Scott, Kubrick and Cameron is noticeable.
- There is much that was characteristic of Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Atmosphere, the story of the doctor and his dead wife.
- Warhammer fans claim that the universe in which the story unfolds belongs to their game. But this version has not been confirmed by the developers of the picture.
- Star Wars, according to fans, also contributed to the structure of the ship, one antenna is similar in shape to an X-wing fighter starship.
The movie, despite the efforts of the director, his team and actors, failed at the box office, collecting two-thirds of the invested funds. Anderson claims that this was due to the tight deadlines and the cutting out of a large number of really bright fragments. It is not known whether the deleted frames would have increased the rating of the film, or, conversely, had a negative effect. Some of the removed pieces of the tape can be seen in the extras for the non-fiction horror disc. According to the directors, the full version cannot be created due to the fact that the cut episodes were lost. However, part of the unvoiced and unfinished footage can be seen on VHR media.
The timing for editing and the duration of the picture were reduced due to Cameron’s “Titanic”, which was preparing to enter the big screens in parallel with the “Event Horizon”.
Despite the failure at the box office, the movie reached the top in terms of sales on media. In this connection, Paramount took up, together with the author, the release of versions with deleted materials.
Today, one can observe many references to the plot in many other popular works.