DVD Review: Event Horizon [Blu-ray]
Release Date: December 30, 2008
· Paul W.S. Anderson
· Sam Neill
· Laurence Fishburne
· Kathleen Quinlan
· Joely Richardson
· Jason Isaacs
· Richard T. Jones
· IMDb: Event Horizon
by Robert Bell
Published: December 31, 2008
With the suggestion that purgatory exists mainly within the conscience of humankind themselves, manifesting in regret, guilt and developmental destruction, “Event Horizon” covers familiar territory thematically but does so with a fascinating hybrid of horror and Sci-Fi that is simultaneously cheesy, fun and gruesome. It has become a cult film in its own right, appealing to genre fans with its relativist sensibilities, consciously subversive (at least partially) outcome and grotesque, morality based killings.
The implication that true evil stems from the self aggrandizing nature of humanity, once on the trajectory of power has been established, is again, not particularly original, but suits the material quite well, giving some depth to what is essentially a referential paradigm of genre filmmaking.
Following the re-emergence of missing spacecraft Event Horizon, a rescue team headed by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), seeks to salvage the craft and determine if there are any survivors. Once there, however, members of the team, aside from the military contingency (Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones), begin to experience lifelike hallucinations of people from their past.
Exacerbating this issue is the increasingly erratic behaviour of the Event Horizon architect Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), whose physics-defying wormhole invention may have inadvertently opened a door to hell.
Included with the Blu-ray are the many special features that were included with the 2-disc DVD edition a couple of years back. The features are impressive and thorough, but rather than offering up the extended version of the film that there were rumblings of, there is only an explanation of how this extended edition will never come to be.
First off is the feature length “making of” featurette, which features absolutely everything about the film from conception, to studio involvement, to director’s cuts, to a rushed production, to modifications made, to the complete vision of hell, to actor interviews to set design, and so on. Very few questions about the film will remain after viewing this feature, which explains the amount of repetition on the feature commentary track with director Paul W.S. Anderson.
A separate feature is included that explores the “fireball” visual effect in greater depth, along with the complexities of wirework and shooting some group scenes, in addition to “The Unseen Event Horizon”, which is a storyboard of an establishing scene that never made it into the movie.
What may be of interest to fans is some video footage with director commentary of an extended climax with Fishburne and Neill with Anderson explaining the different endings used during test screenings, along with an extended “medical bay” scene, which essentially features some gore that was cut from the film.
Minor upgrades exist with the transfer to Blu-ray but nothing exceptional or particularly revealing, which will likely leave this release relegated to hardcore fans, collectors and folks who never got around to picking up the 2-disc DVD version.