WARNING: This Article May Contain Spoilers
OK, so I’ve stolen a tagline from a film to create my title for this article. Thankfully, I am actually covering that film so I guess it’s not so bad. Space has become a big thing lately in the news, what with Jeff Bezos and William Shatner “boldly going where no man has gone before” (which isn’t true, depending on where they ended up but I felt the need to make a Star Trek joke). It has also been a theme for both horror films and disaster films across the decades because it represents two key things – the fear of the unknown and isolation.
I’m not going to pretend that this film couldn’t be better because it definitely could. I genuinely expected better from Jason Momoa as a villain but ended up being disappointed. He plays ‘psycho’ pretty well but I expected more aggression and him to be a little more terrifying. I will say this much, they did not go for the usual idea of ‘the crew are expendable’ which I was expecting, especially once we knew our main characters were all criminals, instead, they based it around an AI that has decided to take punishment into its own hands – which is a great idea, but definitely wasn’t produced as well as it could have been. Some of the deaths are pretty cool though and they play on the ‘jump scares’ reasonably well.
Truthfully, this film’s plot line isn’t completely original as it all gets a little bit 28 Days Later but in space and a lot more violent. For a while, you’re not exactly sure what’s causing them to deteriorate and attack each other but that isn’t the most intriguing part of the whole film. I’m not going to say why I think the ending is genius because I may be wrong about the way I have understood it but if I’m right, I really want you to figure it out on your own, I don’t want to spoil it in any way.
In case you hadn’t worked out the film the title of this article is referencing, you now have reached your answer. I think this may have been one of the first horror films I saw growing up and I still love it to this day. I’m sure many people would describe this as a slow burner but I think that’s the beauty of it – it gives the scarier parts much more power. Also, those people need to remember that it was made in the 70s before the instant gratification society that we live in now. The amazing thing is that I think the Xenomorph looked more realistic then than it does with the CGI in Alien vs Predator.
The saying goes ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and, really, everything that goes wrong in this film is because they are trying to do good. They wouldn’t be up there in the first place if they weren’t trying to save the Sun, to save the Earth – good intentions. At the centre of this film, is the theme of survival – from that of the human race as a whole to each individual aboard the Icarus 2 – and sacrifice. This is the only non-horror film in this whole article but I don’t think I could have written it without it as I think it is such an underrated disaster film. Now that’s not saying that this is without it’s horror elements because no one can pretend that Mark Strong’s character isn’t downright creepy!
The only problem with writing about this film is that I don’t want to give too much away. I put this film up there with Alien as one of the best sci-fi horror films I have ever seen. There is the age old conversation of what is the definition of horror, and there is one theory that it must have an element of the occult somewhere contained within the storyline. Well, you can’t get more occult than a gateway to hell. What’s great about this film is its use of subtlety. For example, when Peters is walking through the med-bay when he first arrives on the Event Horizon – the intermittent light reveals something you would not have noticed straight away. The one thing I wonder is, has Weir always known what would happen to them aboard the Event Horizon? I know towards the end of the film he talks like he has always known, but part of me doesn’t think he is completely himself by this point.
I was originally supposed to be discussing this film as part of my ‘video nasties’ section of the blog but that kind of fell by the wayside. I’m sure people expected something pretty cheesy as this film is from the 80s but, honestly, I think it has stood the test of time like The Thing. Even after the first 10 or 20 minutes, this film was 10x better than Debug and there’s 33 years difference. As a warning, there is a scene that will make you reasonably uncomfortable – maybe not to the extent of the rape scene in Evil Dead but I definitely think it may have played its part in getting this film banned (Along with the amount of blood spilt I’m sure). Without giving too much away, I like the way they decided that they would make the victim the perpetrator.