Monday, October 7, 2013

Event Horizon (1997)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils movies The Black Hole (1979) and Event Horizon (1997).

Event Horizon is only movie I hate. There are much worse movies, but I don't care about them to hate them. Event Horizon has much that I like. First hour is mostly very good. It is like serious science fiction. All strange things could have serious science fiction explanation. But the explanation is anything but serious science fiction. In many ways this is like The Black Hole. This is the movie that took the worst thing of The Black Hole and made it main plot point.

Event Horizon is experimental space ship build for faster than light travel. It uses some kind of worm hole technology with artificial black holes. It goes through another dimension from one point in our universe to another point in our universe. Event Horizon disappeared on maiden voyage and reappeared seven years later. Movie starts when search and rescue ship Lewis and Clark go to search for Event Horizon. Like in serious science fiction travelling in our solar system takes long time. Like in serious science fiction there are no guns aboard and everything is like in real world, where they don't fight aliens. Crew has only rescue workers, not solders. Sets and models look good and realistic. Story telling is competent and everything makes sense. During first hour there are few hints that this could end up being terrible. But most problems they have are realistic, like breaking hulls and broken filters. Those hints could be explained realistically.

But they are not explained realistically. In ending of The Black Hole everyone goes through black hole. This sequence is strange dream like. Heroes managed to get though black hole safely. But villain is trapped inside robot and lands to hell. This sequence is short and strange. It doesn't change the movie too much. In this movie the hell is rubbed in our faces. The another dimension is literally the hell with torture, demons and fire. Hell is not science fiction concept and not realistic in anyway. Hell and demons work in fantasy, not in science fiction, where things should be realistic. For first hour this movie does everything to be serious science fiction movie. Even after another dimension is revealed to be hell, crew of Lewis and Clark acts like in serious science fiction movie.

It is not enough that another dimension was hell, that turned crew of Event Horizon instantly self-mutilating cannibals. Passenger of Lewis and Clark, doctor Weir is turned into demon. Weir is the one who designed Event Horizon. He is there to figure out what went wrong. He had visions of his dead wife and then he plugs his eyes out and become some sort of demon. He can see without his eyes and is stronger than normal human. There is no build up for becoming demon. He just suddenly loses his mind while having visions and then he is demon, that doesn't need eyes to see. Other members of crew have visions too, but they can still act normally. After Weir took his eyes out, he is sucked into space. We assume that he died. But he returns with more demonic powers and now he has his eyes back. He can shapeshift and do all kind of supernatural things. This was a movie that started like serious science fiction movie. Everyone except Weir still want to be in serious science fiction movie, but Weir and ship, with blood running in its pipes, make that impossible.

I hate this movie, because it is serious science fiction movie, that is turned into supernatural horror, that makes no sense. Star Trek episode The Naked Time showed, how you can do story where crew loses their minds in science fiction. Star Trek The Next Generation made it again in episode The Naked Now. You don't have to add hell and supernatural powers to make this kind of story interesting. I hade liked this better, if explanation was chemicals or microscopic life forms, that made crew crazy. But it was hell and demonic power.

I don't know, if ending was genius or stupid. More you get screen time in this movie, more likely you are to die before the end. Movie does this so far, that I had forgotten people, that survive at one point. They are so much off the screen, that you forget them. It is horror and action movie cliché, that once you tell something about yourself, you are going to die. This movie takes it further by killing all main characters. Only minor characters, that are mostly off-screen, survive. I like the idea, but execution didn't work that well. Survivors had too little screen time, that you care about them. For the guy who went insane first, it made sense he wasn't on screen after that, because he was in such bad shape. Other too survivors were sent to do something off-screen. Movie told what they were doing, but it was shown while something more interesting was going on.

I could rant about couple other things in this movie, but this is already quite long. This movie really makes me angry. It could have been great serious science fiction movie. Parts of it still are. But why add hell with torture and demons when it doesn't make any sense in science fiction story? Almost everything in this movie could have been explained with science fiction concepts. Weir's demonic powers were just stupid. Dropping them and hell, this could have been better movie.

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