Drawing from Andrei Tarkovsky's heady science fiction meditation Solaris
by way of Alien
, this visually splendid but pulpy piece of science fiction schlock concerns a mission in the year 2047 to investigate the experimental American spaceship Event Horizon
, which disappeared seven years previously and suddenly, out of nowhere, reappeared in the orbit of Neptune. Laurence Fishburne stars as mission commander Captain Miller and Sam Neill is Dr Weir, the scientist who designed the mystery ship. Miller's T-shirt-and army-green-clad crew of smart-talking pros finds a ship dead and deserted, but further investigations turn up blood, corpses, dismembered body parts, and a decidedly unearthly presence. It turns out that the ship is really a space-age haunted house where spooky (and obviously impossible) visions lure each of the crew members into situations they should know better than to enter. The ship is gorgeously designed, borrowing from the dark, organic look of Alien
and adding the menacing touch of teeth sprouting from bulwark doors and clawlike spikes inexplicably shooting out of the engine room floor. Unfortunately the film is not nearly as inventive as the production design--it turns into a woefully inconsistent psychic monster movie that sacrifices mood for tepid shocks--but the special effects are topnotch, and ultimately the movie has a trashy B movie charm about it. --Sean Axmaker
In this eerie science-fiction ghost story, an astrophysicist (Sam Neill), haunted by the memory of his wife's suicide, joins a rescue mission to salvage his life's work: the Event Horizon, a prototype spacecraft capable of faster-than-light travel that has been missing for seven years. Their arrival triggers contact with something beyond human experience--and more dangerous than ever imaginable. Similar in plot to Andrei Tarkovsky's eponymous screen adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's science-fiction novel Solaris, Event Horizon
provides some truly potent moments in its often potent combination of horror and sci-fi.