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Event Horizon
Picture of spacecraft with the text "Infinite size, Infinite Terror"
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson
Produced by Jeremy Bolt
Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Written by Philip Eisner
Uncredited:
Andrew Kevin Walker
Starring Laurence Fishburne
Sam Neill
Kathleen Quinlan
Joely Richardson
Richard T. Jones
Jack Noseworthy
Jason Issacs
Sean Pertwee
Music by Michael Kamen
Orbital
Cinematography Adrian Biddle
Editing by Martin Hunter
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) August 15, 1997 (USA)
August 22, 1997 (UK)
Running time 97 minutes
Original Film:
About 127 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget US$60-70 million[1][2]
Gross revenue US$47 million[2]

Event Horizon is a 1997 British science fiction horror film. The screenplay was written by Philip Eisner (with an uncredited rewrite by Andrew Kevin Walker) and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill. It was #1 at the box office in the U.K. A two disc special edition DVD was released in 2006; a Blu-ray Disc edition followed in 2008.

Contents

Plot

In the year 2047, a signal from the starship Event Horizon is received on Earth. The ship disappeared beyond Neptune in 2040; her loss was considered the worst recorded space disaster. The ship has reappeared in a decaying orbit around Neptune, and the rescue ship Lewis and Clark is dispatched. The ship is commanded by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) and carries the Event Horizon's designer, Doctor William Weir (Sam Neill).

When the Lewis and Clark arrives, Dr. Weir briefs the crew that the Event Horizon was built to test an experimental gravity drive. In layman's terms, the drive would create an artificial black hole, and would use that power to bridge two points in spacetime to reduce journey time. The ship was on its initial test flight, intended to reach Proxima Centauri; it subsequently vanished. Weir plays the only signal received since the ship's reappearance, spoken by Captain Kilpack: a series of confusing screams and shouts embedded in which is thought to be the Latin phrase liberate me ("save me").

Approaching the drifting vessel, no definitive trace of human life is found; inconclusive sensor readings lead the Lewis and Clark's crew to enter the Event Horizon to search for survivors. The crew split up and Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) discovers a frozen human corpse floating on the bridge, with both eyes gouged out. Engineer Justin (Jack Noseworthy) enters the ship's engineering section which hosts the gravity drive's core and sees a black, liquid-like mirror within its drive. It sucks him inside and emits a shockwave, damaging the Lewis and Clark. Rescue Tech Cooper (Richard T. Jones) pulls Justin from the core by his tether, but he is catatonic.

With the Lewis and Clark damaged, the crew transfer to the Event Horizon, which contains twenty hours of oxygen. Justin emerges from his catatonia and attempts suicide by ejecting himself from an airlock, to escape the memory of what he saw inside the ship's core. During the last few seconds before the airlock hatch actually opens, Justin seems to have regained consciousness. Although rescued by Miller, he is seriously injured and placed in stasis.

The rescuers begin to experience hallucinations of their fears and regrets. Miller sees a subordinate he was forced to abandon in a fire; Peters sees images of her son Denny (Barclay Wright), with his legs covered in bloody lesions; and widower Dr. Weir sees his wife Claire (Holley Chant), missing her eyes and urging him to join her.

Miller and D.J. deduced that although the ship's drive successfully opened a gateway in space-time, it leapt outside the known universe and into another dimension, described as "pure chaos, pure evil". The Event Horizon's log shows the original crew activating the gravity drive and, moments later, engaging in a frenzy of torture, self-mutilation, cannibalism, murder and rape. The ship's captain, who has torn out his own eyes, leaves the now deciphered Latin message which actually says liberate tutemet ex inferis ("save yourself from Hell").

It appears the Event Horizon has returned with a supernatural presence which is using its occupants' personal torments against them, with the aim of compelling them to return to the "chaos" dimension. With the Lewis and Clark now repaired, Miller decides to destroy the Event Horizon despite Weir's objections. While preparing to evacuate, Peters is led to her death by a manifestation of her son. Weir, having abandoned the crew and arrived at the core, discovers her body. He sees a vision of his wife's suicide, and is compelled by her reanimated form to tear out his eyes.

Weir, who is now possessed by the same presence that is controlling the Event Horizon, uses bombs fitted to the Event Horizon to destroy the Lewis and Clark, killing its pilot Smith (Sean Pertwee) and causing Cooper, on the ship's hull, to be thrown into space. Weir then kills D.J. (Jason Isaacs) by vivisection.

Weir threatens Miller and Executive Officer Starck (Joely Richardson) with a nail gun, saying the ship is "alive" and will not allow anyone to leave. He activates the ship's gravity drive, beginning a ten minute countdown, after which the Event Horizon will return to the chaos dimension, or "Hell". Cooper, having used his space suit's oxygen to propel him back to the ship, tries to contact those inside, resulting in Weir shooting out the bridge window. He is blown out into the ensuing vacuum.

Miller attempts to detonate the explosives installed on the Event Horizon to split the ship in two; after arming the explosives and recovering the detonator, he is trapped by a burning manifestation of his former comrade and forced to escape to the ship's core. Miller again sees the vision of his comrade, which then changes into a scarred Dr. Weir (eyes restored) who shows Miller scenes of the Lewis and Clark's remaining crew being tortured and mutilated. The two fight, but Miller reaches the detonator, triggering it and turning the Event Horizon's bridge into a lifeboat.

The ship splits in two. The gravity drive then activates, pulling the rear of the ship into a wormhole. Starck and Cooper place themselves in stasis with Justin. Starck has a nightmare of the scarred Dr. Weir rescuing her and is awakened in a distraught state by a rescue team. Cooper restrains Starck, as one of the rescuers calls for a sedative, then the doors to the stasis room seem to close by themselves.

The original ending, which was not filmed, would have the shown the gravity drive section of the ship falling into the titular "Event Horizon" of a black hole, leaving the fate of the ship more certain, as well as opening a gateway for a potential sequel.

Production

The first draft of Philip Eisner’s screenplay was written in 1992. The film takes elements from other films in the science fiction and horror genres, such as Stanisław Lem’s Solaris, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Aliens, The Haunting, Disney's The Black Hole, Don't Look Now, The Shining, Flatliners, Sphere, and Hellraiser. For instance, the interior of Lewis and Clark was inspired by the starship Nostromo from Alien. The film is thematically similar to The Haunting and The Shining, complete with the added homage of a tidal wave of blood.

In keeping with the naturalistic science fiction setting of the film, costumes are based upon present day flight suits complete with shoulder patches and modified United States Coast Guard officer rank insignia. The sailing ship in the center of the Lewis and Clark’s mission patch is a United States Coast Guard Cutter in reference to the ship’s search and rescue role. The future is never really developed, nor defined, leaving the audience to garner what clues they can from set dressing and costume designs.

Crewmembers have modified flags on their uniforms to suggest political change prior to 2047. Characters played by American actors wear a modified flag of the United States with fifty five stars, while characters played by British actors wear the European flag with an extra circle of stars within the original one. Weir (played by New Zealander Sam Neill) wears a modified version of the Australian flag, in which the Aboriginal Flag replaces the Union Jack.

After releasing the highly successful Mortal Kombat in 1995 Anderson was offered the movie. The release date had already been set and Anderson agreed to do the film, despite that the deadline meant that the post production period was severely reduced. On the commentary Anderson cited this as the main cause for the many troubles faced during production and especially when Anderson was to make decisions on the final cut.

On the commentary Anderson mentioned his wish to direct an R rated picture after the PG-13 rated Mortal Kombat and mentioned he turned down the opportunity to direct X-Men in order to make Event Horizon.

Anderson claims that his initial cut of the film, before the visual effects had been completed, ran to about 130 minutes in length. The film was even more graphic in this incarnation, and both test audiences and the studio were unnerved by the gore. Paramount ordered Anderson to cut the film by thirty minutes and delete some of the violence, a decision that he regrets. Some of the lost scenes were offered as special features on the 2006 DVD but were taken from poor quality video tape, the only format in which the scenes now exist; the studio had little interest in keeping unused footage and the film has since been lost.[3]

Cast

In media

In the episode "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)" from Family Guy, Chris discusses the movie with his manager.[4]

Trey Parker and Matt Stone cite this movie as an inspiration for their Satan worshipping woodland critters who engage in gory acts and orgies in the South Park episode "Woodland Critter Christmas".[5]

The video game Dead Space is said to borrow elements from Event Horizon, as well as other films such as Aliens.[6]

The band .357 Lover wrote a song in honor of the film, using the same name as the film for the song title.[7]

The Adventure Game Studio game, 7 Days a Skeptic, the second in the Chzo Mythos series, borrows many elements from the film, as an ancient horror is brought aboard a modern spaceship, gradually decimating the crew, one of whom, a doctor, turns evil and uses his medical tools to slice open members to the crew. He then loses his eyes in a manner similar to the movie. [8]

In the game F.E.A.R., a newspaper on a wall says: "Event Horizon found" and shows a picture of the ship.

References

  1. ^ Event Horizon - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information. The Numbers. Retrieved on 19 August 2008.
  2. ^ a b Event Horizon - box office/business. Internet Movie Database. Last update on 10 May 1998.
  3. ^ Special Edition DVD Commentary
  4. ^ DVD Family Guy Season 6 Episode 2 Production no.:5ACX14
  5. ^ South Park Season 8 DVD Commentary, episode 814
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]

External links








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