‘Event Horizon’ – a haunted space ship on Prime Video, Paramount+ and MGM+

A team of astronauts investigates an experimental American space ship that, after disappearing year before, suddenly reappears in the orbit of Neptune in Event Horizon (1997).

Laurence Fishburne stars as mission commander Captain Miller and Sam Neill is Dr. Weir, the scientist who designed the mystery ship. Dressed in T-shirts and army green fatigues, Miller’s crew of smart talking pros finds a ship dead and deserted… at least at first. Further investigations turn up blood, corpses, dismembered body parts, and a decidedly unearthly presence. It turns out that the ship is 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.

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Event Horizon is a visually splendid but pulpy piece of science fiction shock and schlock that draws inspiration from such far flung sources as Andrei Tarkovsky’s heady science fiction meditation Solaris, Ridley Scott’s Alien, and the otherworldly horrors of Hellraiser, 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 claw-like spikes inexplicably shooting out of the engine room floor.



Unfortunately the screenplay is not nearly as inventive as the production design and it turns into a woefully inconsistent psychic monster movie that sacrifices mood for tepid shocks. The special effects, however, are top notch and ultimately the movie has a trashy drive-in movie charm about it.

Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, and Sean Pertwee fill out the team. Director Anderson went on to write and direct Resident Evil, launching a juggernaut of a sci-fi action franchise (including directing three of the sequels), and Alien vs. Predator.

Also on Blu-ray and DVD and on SVOD through Amazon Video and/or other services. Availability may vary by service.
Event Horizon: Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Event Horizon [4K UHD + Blu-ray]
Event Horizon: Steelbook Edition [4K UHD + Blu-ray]
Event Horizon [DVD]

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The Blu-ray and special edition DVD releases include filmmaker commentary, multiple featurettes, and behind-the-scenes footage with optional director commentary.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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