space the spooky frontierNever thought I’d ever have a movie from the bad Paul Anderson on a recommended movie list but here we are.

In the year 2047 the crew of the Lewis and Clark has been dispatched to find the Event Horizon, a ship that went missing seven years before. It’s seems it’s returned and has sent out a distress signal. The crew lead by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) board the ship finding that the crew was massacred and everyone on board is dead.

event-horizonDr. Weir (Sam Neill) helped design the ship and the Event Horizon was fitted with an experimental gravity drive that creates black holes so the ship can travel through dimensions to make space travel faster.

The problem is that the Event Horizon went some place…..unpleasant. It drove the crew mad, forcing them to murder each other and themselves and now the ship has gained a presence from it’s trip to the other dimension. The crew of the Lewis and Clark start experiencing horrifying hallucinations and to make things worse the drive has started up and the Lewis and Clark is damaged. The crew start dying and it becomes a fight for survival against the ship and the hellish other dimension.

This is a flawed if valiant effort at a horrifying Mary Celeste space tale. Paul W.S. Anderson had just had a hit with Mortal Kombat and turned down directing the Mortal Kombat sequel and X-Men for a chance to work on an R-rated horror film. Paramount gave Anderson very little production time and when he finished he had a very short time to edit the movie. Anderson’s original rough cut was 130 minutes long and extremely gory. NC-17 gory. Paramount made him cut it down to the current 96 minutes with most of the gore cut out. Years later when Anderson and Paramount decided to do a proper director’s cut they found that most of cut footage is missing making it impossible for Anderson to ever to do a proper cut of the film.

The movie isn’t bad – there’s moments of brilliance but the overall result feels lacking, like there could be a great movie here instead of just good horror. With the missing footage seemingly lost forever it will always be one of those maybe movies. Still it has it’s fans and it’s pretty good – certainly better than most of Anderson’s work over the last decade or so.