Event Horizon (Blu-ray) (1997)
R Dir: Paul W.S. Anderson | Paramount | 95 min.

Review By: Matt Brighton | January 28th, 2012

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s hard to believe that “Event Horizon” is nearing ten years old, I can vividly remember the trailers for it touting it as “…one of the scariest movies…ever”. After watching it for the first time in years (I think the last time I saw it was on Laserdisc), I can hardly concur that it’s one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, but I will say that it’s vastly underrated. It has hints of brilliance, but falls short in other areas thereby leaving it as a somewhat mediocre horror/Sci-Fi movie. If you want something of the same genre that will really scare the hell out of you, pick up “Alien” or “Aliens”. That said, I was anxious to see the new DVD release of the movie and I’m still trying to figure out why Paramount made this a two-disc special edition. The previous version had only a trailer and a non-anamorphic transfer, so a new DVD was warranted but this might be a little over the top, no?

“Event Horizon” is set in the year 2047 after we have discovered to travel to the outer reaches of our solar system. The ship Event Horizon was designed by Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) but vanished seven years ago. The crew of the Lewis & Clark has been sent to find it along the orbit of Neptune. Dr. Weir does his best to explain exactly what the Event Horizon was and as it turns out, it’s was a way for a ship to travel a great amount of distance in just a few seconds. As they reach the ship, they find no sign of life, yet something is certainly amiss. There’s a life force that causes delusions among the members of the crew and one by one, they start to experience the not-so normal life aboard the Event Horizon. Every movie needs a kick ass commander and Laurence Fishburne’s Captain Miller fits the bill nicely. He wears a bomber jacket, has a tough but fair attitude and doesn’t want to take any grief from anybody. As the members of the crew start to have some rather strange encounters, we learn that there might be a lot more to Dr. Weir than meets the eye (or lack thereof).

“Event Horizon”, like I mentioned above, isn’t a bad movie. The production design alone is impressive enough just to see it on your big screen TV, but we lose the motivation of the characters. Personally, it feels as if the filmmakers got so caught up in making the movie look cool (and trust me, it does look awesome) that there are some things that just don’t make a lot of sense. Ultimately the movie turns into a clichd mess and though some things are just so predictable, there are a few genuine thrills and chills that keep us interested. The movie is gaining somewhat of a cult status and I’m thinking that another reason this might be getting the special edition treatment is that Laurence Fishburne is starring in Mission: Impossible III this summer. Oh please, tell me Tom Cruise doesn’t have that much influence at Paramount!

Video: How does it look?

I can recall watching the standard DVD special edition a few years ago and being very impressed with the transfer. I can say that this Blu-ray edition looks just as stellar and even managed to improve upon that transfer by a bit. First off, the movie takes place primarily in space so we can expect a lot of blacks and shadows. The 2.35:1 AVC HD transfer has bumped the detail to razor sharp levels and contrast is amazing. As mentioned, the blacks are so dark and deep with no grain or artifacting in the least. Flesh tones look a bit distorted, but then again they weren’t exactly shot in “natural light” so it was expected. Paramount will keep rehashing “Event Horizon” I’m sure, but for the time being this Blu-ray is the best the film has ever looked, for sure.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack from the standard DVD has been replaced by a Dolby TrueHD track that sounds nothing short of amazing. Like the previous 5.1 track, there are plenty of explosions to take note of, and everything is space makes some sort of noise. I remember the coolant that was floating in zero gravity that made a “drop” sound when touched and it was a contrast to the bombs that go off at the end of the movie. Dialogue is clear and clean and at the very least, your subwoofer will get a workout. I compared some of the scenes from the standard DVD to the TrueHD track on this disc (no Dolby Digital 5.1 track is included on this disc, well in English anyway) and there is a definite difference to be heard. “Event Horizon” once delivers on the audio front.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplements are the same here as the previous two disc standard DVD, with the only difference being the trailer is shown in HD. The commentary track with Director Paul W.S. Anderson and Producer Jeremy Bolt who do their best to give us the ins and outs of the shoot, the production design and the casting process. It’s a good and “new” track that reflects on the movie in hindsight. The first section is the aptly-titled “The Making of Event Horizon” which has five featurettes: “Into the Jaws of Darkness”, “The Body of the Beast”, “Liberate Tutume Ex Infernis” (“Save yourself from Hell” translated from Latin), “The Scale to Hell” and “The Womb of Fear”. Each of these covers bits and pieces of the movie, the production design and even some clips of deleted scenes. “The Unseen Event Horizon” features a deleted “Rescue” scene and some drawings of concept art. Finally we have “The Point of No Return” which is a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie, narrated by Paul W.S. Anderson. As mentioned, the trailer is shown in HD as is a video trailer.

Disc Features
  • (2.35:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Video Codec: AVC
  • Audio: Dolby TrueHD
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • 1 Disc Set
Event Horizon (Blu-ray)

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