Poor Paul (WS – as he is now known) Anderson has had something of a rough ride on the science-fiction slipstream (admittedly most of his own doing with Resident Evil, Death Race and Alien Vs Predator – which I rather liked in a Big Daddy Vs Giant Haystacks kind of way – with all drawing buckets of scorn).
For me though his finest hour (or hour and thirty five minutes) has always been the 1997 movie, Event Horizon, and seeing as it has part-inspired the uber-atmospheric recent PS3 smash, Dead Space, I’m not the only one.
Featuring a stellar (or should that be inter-stellar) cast comprising of Sam Neil (quite literally exorcising some demons he had left over from In The Mouth of Madness) and Lawrence Fishburne (pre-fat head CSI days), Joely Richardson, a pre-Harry Potter Jason Isaacs and the always dependable Sean Pertwee.
Sure so essentially the movie is Hellraiser meets The Shining in space…but then the Jaws in space tag never did Alien any harm. And for me that is what makes the movie so fun, that it is essentially a haunted house movie in space, which is certainly more fun and original than The House on Haunted Hill remake or GhostShip (essentially the same tale as Event but…gasp…set at sea) and certainly better than Jason X which was also set among the stars.
With intrigue, jumps and gore aplenty Event Horizon raises itself above the usual fair due to some great visual imagery – including the mother of all zoom outs from a space station, zero gravity have never been so eerie with all manner of objects floating around the titular ship…which is a star of the show in its self, with its great design inside and out.
Being essentially a science-fiction/horror movie the music is something else, a fantastic fusion of the work of the late Michael Kamen (who worked with Queen on Highlander) and the techno sound of Orbital, creating something that is raw and visceral and perfect for the mood of the movie.
For me this lean and mean film more than deserves its place with such Sci-Fi horror classics as Alien and The Thing and certainly packs a mightier punch than both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, the latter released the same year.