Event Horizon (1997)

I have a joke with my friends that I’ve seen enough movies that I can predict dialogue and plot points. Not completely out of the blue, mind you, I’m not that good; but if everything is leading to a stereotypical line or an obvious plot trope, I’ve gotten good at noticing that the movie is heading in that direction. All this is just so I can say that I was thinking about the Hellraiser franchise long before this movie looked directly at the audience and said, “Have you seen Hellraiser? Because we definitely have.”

Event Horizon is about a search and rescue ship in the not-too-distant future searching for an experimental ship, the titular Event Horizon. The cast is filled with noticeable actors, from a Mr. Laurence Fishburne just before The Matrix, to Sam Neill just after Jurassic Park, to Jason Isaacs, who I’m sure most readers would know as Lucius Malfoy. Anyway, Fisbhurne is the captain and Neill is the doctor who built Event Horizon. The missing ship had an experimental warp drive that was supposed to bend space and allow it to teleport, but it went missing after its first mission. Turns out it went to Hell! Literal Hell, you ask? Well… maybe not actual Hell, but a dimension of enough pain, blood, and chaos that it drove the crew mad, infected the ship, and is now driving the rescue team mad. Neill gouges out his eyes and tries to activate the warp again, but Fishburne sacrifices himself and destroys all. All that’s left of the rescue team is three people, and the ending plays coy with whether they’re truly safe or not.

At the beginning of the movie, Sam Neill has a dream that includes a vision of a corpse with lines gouged into its face. “Huh,” I thought to myself, “that kind of looks like Pinhead.” The movie continued on as a sci-fi thriller, descending slowly into horror, and then a vision of Neill’s eyeless, dead wife says to him, “I have such wonderful, wonderful things to show you.” Turns out the filmmakers absolutely had Hellraiser in mind while making this (the iconic quote from that movie being, “We have such sights to show you.”), with Clive Barker reportedly a consultant on the movie. And this is great for me, because I love the Hellraiser franchise! Wait, I just remembered the 8th movie, Hellraiser: Hellworld, which revolves around a killer massively multiplayer online video game. I really like–no, I just remembered Hellraiser: Revelations, the found footage one so bad Pinhead actor Doug Bradley said no thanks. I guess I enjoy–wait, there’s also the disappointing Hellraiser: Judgment. It’s a franchise that certainly exists with a couple good movies, so references to the good parts are always appreciated by me.

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