*/**** Image B+ Sound A- Extras B
starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson
screenplay by Philip Eisner
directed by Paul Anderson
by Walter Chaw Event Horizon approaches the science-fiction idea of a mysterium tremens, hints that it will be about the inscrutability of an alien intelligence--like Lem's and Tarkovsky's (and Soderbergh's) variations on the theme of Solaris, for instance, or that monolith in 2001. But with lowbrow hack Paul W.S. Anderson (then simply Paul Anderson) at the helm, Event Horizon washes out as just another assembly-line jump-scare factory. A particular shame, as with this project Anderson attracted an unusually competent cast, only to ask the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs, and Kathleen Quinlan to respond to cats-by-any-other-name jumping through allegorical windows. It goes beyond wearisome to actually being insulting. The first hour is spent establishing the brave crew of the Lewis & Clark, setting off to somewhere near Neptune on the rescue and salvage of experimental ship Event Horizon, which disappeared a few months prior. Outfitted with a new "gravity drive" suspiciously like the fold-space/grasshopper spice drive from Dune, the Event Horizon has not only managed to travel beyond our Universe--it has also succeeded in theologically blowing our minds! Weird visions ensue (bad dreams and worse), and then there's the captain's log that our heroes spend the bulk of the film "filtering" before finally discovering that the warnings contained therein are in Latin for a reason. Doesn't anyone in the future watch The Exorcist? Good thing medico D.J. (Isaacs) speaks Latin, or they'd never know what it wouldn't help them to know.