Friday, November 04, 2016

event horizon [1997]

aw, man!  can't we have a sci-fi movie about how the universe -- nature -- is so awesomely complex, weird and beautiful that if we are able to grasp just a sliver of it by our comprehension our collective minds are blown?  instead, we get turds like this movie directed by paul w.s. anderson, who helms the goofy, but enjoyable evil dead franchise.  anderson is a good director, don't let the silliness of his films fool you.  yet, even orson welles couldn't tame this beast of a goofball movie.

i ask myself, why did i watch it.  because it stars kathleen quinlan, laurence fishburne, and sam neill?  yes;  i also i read somewhere that this is an atmospheric gothic horror on par with ridley scott's masterpiece alien [1979].  nope, this flick works as a sequence of jump scares which are plentiful but ineffective.

the macguffin is this, in the year 2040 a deep space ship, the event horizon, disappeared near neptune.  in 2047 its beacon sends a roughened crew of -- soldiers? -- led by fishburne to investigate.  on board is the person who designed the event horizon played by sam neill who explains that the event horizon is driven by a mechanism that can fold spacetime.  its mission was to travel to alpha centauri, our nearest neighboring star system.  using conventional means of propulsion it would take a space faring craft, like the space shuttle, about 165,000 years.  but the event horizon by folding spacetime could travel to alpha centauri about a day.

now, if that ain't good enough to blow your mind get this, an event horizon is the edge of a black hole.  go past it and you are trapped inside the black hole.  your travels in the black hole lead to the singularity, the place where the laws of physics are stretched.  there is a theory that black holes can be wormholes in the universe, a place where spacetime folds upon itself.  that's the idea behind the eponymous ship's propulsion systems.  it creates a worm hole via a black hole so it can traverse really big distances of space. 

instead of exploring the mysteries of black holes and worm holes we are treated to a horror of hell.  because the good ship event horizon didn't travel to alpha centauri.  the ship journeyed to hell.  we glimpse those images brought back from hell.  what do we see?  the usual tripe we get from images of hell, people being tortured, lots of blood and ripped flesh.

that's it.  even the gifted laurence fishburne can't save this film from banality.  i was hoping for at least a scary movie.  i got standard issue jump scares and a bogeyman in the form of sam neill.  the ideas of interstellar travel are wasted on this flick, even if the propulsion got the ship to another dimension called hell.  as a great sage said, hell is other people.  it's my fault, really.  i blame myself.  there is no bad art.  there is only the attention we bring to the products of creation.  i couldn't get past my derision of this film.  scientists, deep space explorers wouldn't behave in a way that would forecast their fall in fear.  really, these men and women are orbiting neptune!  such a feat alone would be marvelous.  the fx are pretty damn good in this movie.  just once i wanted at least one character to look out the window and say, damn!  my mind is blown! 


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