Event Horizon (1997): B-
The guy who directed Mortal Kombat, some Resident Evil movies, and that terrible Three Musketeers movie directs this one which is, in my opinion, his best work.
One of my close friends, who used to work at a video store with me, claims this is the scariest movie he has ever seen. For fun, coworkers and I used to cue up gruesome scenes from the movie and play them on the TV’s in the store just to mess with him. He would get really upset. There’s a great scene where all this gore dumps out of this guy’s eyes; it would make yelps (and maybe a little poop) dump out of my friend.
In the future, Sam Neil (who has some impressive horror credentials, by the way) and Morpheus take a crew of people to investigate this missing spaceship called the Event Horizon. The ship uses some fancy black hole creating technology that makes it move really fast. Sam Neil explains it to the crew using an extremely condescending diagram on paper. He folds the paper in half to demonstrate how space-time bends in the artificial black hole, allowing the ship to basically teleport. “Now the opposite sides of the paper are touching! Yay! I understand physics!” you say to yourself. Yeah. Just like you understood Chaos Theory when Jeff Goldblum dribbled water onto Sam Neil’s hand in Jurassic Park. You have seen some version of this scene in probably a dozen movies and it is all you get to legitimize the sci-fi technology and batshit intergalactic demonomania of Event Horizon.
It is discovered that the ship traveled to a foreign dimension where it was contaminated by evil spirits and gained a malevolent and homicidal sentience. Now it is back in our universe and it gets its jollies by torturing/possessing people on board. I liked this idea. It is a haunted house / exorcism movie about a spaceship and it doesn’t totally suck like some “In Space” movies. It’s a cross between Solaris and The Shining but directed by the guy who did Mortal Kombat.
The “rules” are sort of blurry. Is the ship possessed by a single consciousness or are there spirits automating functions of the ship? Is the ship a demon now? Does the ship have feelings? Why does it hate this crew of people? How are crew members getting possessed? Which things on board are hallucinations and which are real? What exactly happened to the original crew?
Some token “In Space” elements stick around. People are blasted into space, airlocks are manipulated, and black holes are a threat. Instead of a self-destruct sequence, we get the black-hole drive activated by the possessed ship which threatens to teleport everyone to the shitty dimension where the evil shitty spirits come from.
Not much in the “answers” department but the scares/visuals are creative and it was refreshing to see a space/horror movie that didn’t totally blow.