When it was released in 1997, Paul WS Anderson’s creepy Gothic horror sci-fi yarn looked like a poor cousin to Ridley Scott’s superior Alien.
How times have changed. Seen in 2015, when the opening titles suggest that the first lunar that base is established, Event Horizon stands up as a far better film than Ridley Scott’s own Alien prequel, Prometheus.
The story of a missing spaceship (that suddenly reappears near Neptune), and the obligatory investigative team that goes to check out the mystery within, is nothing new, but the visuals are unnervingly splendid.
With a solid cast including Lawrence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee and Kathleen Quinlan, the film continues at a fair old pace as the crew and the viewer discover what went on inside the eponymous spaceship.
Yes, we have seen this all before in films such as The Black Hole and 2010, but what makes EH stand out from the crowd is that growing sense of dread as the mystery is revealed.
Okay, some of the computer generated visual effects have dated badly, and many, such as a ticking watch floating past the camera, were pointless at the time*, but it still holds together.
(*Why generate a watch on a computer when you can pass a real watch past the camera and just take out the stick holding it up instead?)
Kathleen Quinlan holds a tablet in Event Horizon, around 13 years before the IPad was released
In 2014, Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Interstellar seemed to draw inspiration from Sam Neill’s “punch a hole in a piece of paper and put a writing device through it” example of space travel explanation.
It may not be a perfect film by any means, but Event Horizon is well worth another look, or a first viewing if you are still feeling let down by Prometheus.