Event Horizon is one of the most awesome bits of sci-fi horror to hit theaters since the Alien franchise. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson after the massive success of his adaptation of Mortal Kombat, he decided to direct something more mature and grotesque.
The story focuses on the crew of the mining ship Lewis and Clark, who are called away from their leave to investigate the reappearance of the experimental starship Event Horizon, which disappeared without a trace during its maiden voyage.
It soon becomes obvious that something sinister took place on the Event Horizon, and the events that follow, along with the 8 reasons listed below, are why it's one of our favorite horror movies to this day.
1) Sam Neill as Dr. William Weir
After starring in John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness three years prior, Neill returned to the world of horror to play a man tormented by the memory of his wife, who was aboard the Event Horizon when it disappeared. Starting as a smart but tormented hero, he quickly succumbs to the power of the ship and becomes the main antagonist. His transformation is terrifying.
2) Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller
Two years before he'd ask us to choose the red pill or the blue pill, Laurence Fishburne delivered one of his signature stone cold, tough as nails performances as Miller, captain of the Lewis and Clark. He was cool as cool as ever, and got even moreso when he became the movie's protagonist.
However, there's even more reasons the movie is awesome than just the cast. Things like...
3) The sets
Event Horizon creates a lot of its atmosphere through its cold, dark environments - you'll get chills once the crew enters the titular ship. The results are a movie where pretty much every scene looks like it could be a screenshot of your darkest nightmares.
Fun fact: the interior of the Event Horizon is modeled on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, hence all of its cruciform shapes, columns and vaults.
4) Its special effects
At the time, Event Horizon had some of the most impressive special effects ever seen in a modern science fiction movie. While not all of it holds up well today, some of it, like the ship's core and the shots that take place in space, are still fantastic.
5) The "Hell" sequence
The video playback of what happened to the crew of the Event Horizon after it moved through another dimension is absolutely horrific, full of grotesque images that flash by so quickly that they practically hit you on a subconscious level.
What's crazy is, this scene was initially even more graphic! Anderson had to remove nearly 30 minutes of the film from the final product, since the studio wanted it to have a PG-13 rating and was worried that the original footage was so grotesque that it could have gotten the film an NC-17.
6) The sound
Whether it's the hum of the Event Horizon's engine or the whispers of the people claimed by the Hell dimension, nearly every sound that comes out of your speakers while watching this movie is absolutely bone-chilling.
7) The details
Event Horizon is full of little details that lots of other movies wouldn't bother with. One of the coolest is that, given the Lewis and Clark is a mining vessel, all the "weapons" the crew end up using are basically re-purposed mining tools, giving the movie kind of a gritty, realistic take.
There are even neat details on the characters' space suits, showing changing political landscapes for the future. For example; characters portrayed by American actors wear a flag of the United States with 55 stars, while characters portrayed by British actors wear a European Union flag with 22 stars, replacing the Union Jack.
8) Its legacy
While ultimately not a success in theaters, Event Horizon has found a dedicated audience thanks to being released on home video, and it's ultimately gone on to inspire lots of interesting sci-fi horror.
The massively successful Dead Space video game franchise was heavily inspired by the movie, down to the fact that its hero, Isaac Clarke, fights monsters using not weapons, but re-purposed mining tools.