Posted on Leave a comment

Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Event Horizon’ (1997)

Not given enough respect by its director

I’ve always wondered to myself why Event Horizon isn’t higher on my list of top 10 horror movies. It’s not that I don’t firmly stand by my current position for it at #7. It’s just that I never considered why it wasn’t better as I haven’t bothered to go back since I started reviewing movies. So, by this day, November the 14th, year of our lord 2019, eight years after having started my career as a movie critic, I returned to one of my all time favorite movies to give it a closer look.

It’s here I figured out what’s wrong with this movie. The directer phoned it the fuck in. He had something special, but it was delivered by trash studio Dimension Films who lost their cred and simply didn’t take production seriously. There is so much about this movie that was flat out lazy. Paul Anderson must have been siting on his fucking thumbs, blowing bubbles the whole time. Or maybe he was just always a hack. Look at his track record. AvPMortal CombatResident Evil. This man is the king of shameless cash grab, trash films. I feel like the only time he got anything right, it was by accident. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that everything he’s had a hand in almost has a signature sense of over processed laziness.

And it’s a damn shame too because this movie was fucking amazing regardless of how carelessly it was handled. The cast was epic. I mean, Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson? There were fewer names I didn’t know than names I did know. The acting was just fucking marvelous. Not quite award winning but damn good all the same. The set and FX were amazing, the atmosphere stunning, and again, I really don’t believe the director was even trying. Thank fucking god his set crew was. The design and attention to detail was every bit as impressive as Alien (1979). I wish they’d used more modeling as apposed to CGI, but it was still really fucking good. The ship Event Horizon, was constructed with agonizing care that you can seriously feel. And the story is just fucking griping.

I have a feeling writer Philip Eisner is a Warhammer 40k fan. What’s presented by the design and function of the gravity drive for the ship is in many respects similar to the gravity drives in the 40k universe. It’s not a new concept, one that was even used by the TV series Babylon 5, but one that isn’t used often and certainly never to this degree. More on that in the spoilers.

This movie was something truly special. Everything came together perfectly like the stars were fucking aligning or something. Sadly, it was largely overlooked by audiences when it came out. But again, it was Dimension Film. Hellraiser: Bloodlines had come out the year before and largely destroyed their reputation. Bloodlines was a highly anticipated film in a beloved franchise that turned out to be an obvious thoughtless cash grab which deeply disrespected the fans. For that reason, fans largely spurned Dimension Films, and rightly so. I almost didn’t see Event Horizon in the theaters because I took one look at it and wrote it off as the ‘new Hellraiser in space.’ I was dragged by a friend and good damn thing too. I did not regret it the way I expected to.

Like I said, the fact that it was a hit seemed like almost an accident. When I watched it this time, it was like every scene I found myself saying “That’s the take you went with?” Not that it was bad but the cutting just didn’t have the same level of care as the acting, the FX, the design, the set, or the writing. It just felt like the director didn’t give a shit. Like some of the forced comic relief from two of the characters. Like the director confused the concept of good horror, and ‘So Bad Its Good’ horror. Like Richard T. Jones who played the role of Cooper. He seemed like he was supposed to be a stand in for Ice Cube from the movie Anaconda. He did an amazing job, which is significant, because his role was nigh embarrassing, completely irrelevant to the plot, and mostly existed for comedic filler. But he’s one of my favorite characters from the movie because he owned that role and made it work.

But I digress, even with the director seemingly making no effort in this movie, it’s #7 on my all time top 10. That’s a feat in of itself. Had there been proper care put into this movie, it could have been #2 or #3. Everything about it was right. So much so that it didn’t matter it wasn’t perfect.

This movie is a must watch AND required viewing for Horror Heads. It delivered on something Dimension Films clearly had no intention on delivering ever again and haven’t sincen.

SPOILERS!!!

It was such a fascinating concept which easily spans both horror and Sci-Fi. The idea that, if there is a point in space beyond space, what is it and what’s in it? As I mentioned before, the concept was touched on in the Warhammer 40k back in the 80s. A concept that was simply called ‘The Warp.’ The bridge between points in folded space was another dimension altogether, and in every respects, what we call hell. Only the Event Horizon doesn’t have the special field to protect it from the demons in the warp like the ships of Warhammer 40k. The ship becomes possessed, seemingly alive, with its own persona and motivations. It appears to have killed its former crew and is back for another one.

Anyone it can kill on the ship basically becomes a part of its retinue. It uses their guilt to control and manipulate them while they’re alive. It can mess with their minds in deep and meaningful ways. The crew of the Lewis and Clark aren’t killed by the Event Horizon, so much as they systematically get themselves killed due to their frantic missteps and hallucination. The only crew member that the ship directly attacks is Justin, when it sucks him into the gravity drive’s gateway. Even still, Justin goes mad from his encounter with ‘hell’ and tries to kill himself. You could argue that the ship possessed him to do it, but ultimately, Justin blows himself out an airlock.

It finally gets hold of Neill’s character Weir, and has him go on a killing rampage. As a mater of fact, only one character dies before Weir starts killing the rest. The rest of the blood and gore is mostly cut scenes and video scrambles; setup for the rest of the movie.

I really do recommend this film. Its special almost because it was nearly destroyed and still managed to be amazing. Imagine that I’m this harshly critical of this movie and yet it’s still #7 on my all time top ten. Absolutely watch this.

Hey horror fans! If you like my reviews and want to support me, share them on Facebook and Twitter. Or, like and leave comments here on MHP. OR, buy a book in the shop by me, author Reed Alexander. You can also donate to my reviews by leaving a ‘Tip.’ Simply follow the link below!
https://vocal.media/authors/reed-alexander

Posted on Leave a comment

Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Lovely Molly’ (2011)

A creative look at America’s cult of victim blaming.

Ehh, erm… uhhhh… yeah I can give it a pass. I have to admit, it took me a couple of attempts to get all the way through this movie. However, something kept pulling me back to give it another shot. And while it may have taken four overall sittings, I have to admit, it was at least interesting.

Continue reading Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Lovely Molly’ (2011)
Posted on Leave a comment

Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘The Possession of David O’Reilly’ (2010)

‘What’s Eating David O’Reilly’

A pretty solid indi horror that got largely looked over.

Everyone who’s a fan of my reviews, knows I’m not a fan of ‘Shaky Camera.’  There are exceptions to this, as with all things, but I feel it’s a band wagon most studios need to start falling off.

Continue reading Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘The Possession of David O’Reilly’ (2010)
Posted on Leave a comment

Shark Exorcist: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Cross

There aren’t many movies that I can’t do in one sitting. I mean, I watched five Sharknado movies in one day. This one…I took about 15 smoke breaks and hard-boiled some eggs just to have a short reprieve from this steaming turd of a film. Director: Donald Farmer

It is a damn shame because it starts off pretty awesome with a great premise. A nun is on the lam for torturing and killing a bunch of kids. We see her walking slowly through a cemetery to the water’s edge. She is confronted about her crimes by an angry woman. The nun stabs her and lays her in the water. She offers her victim as a sacrifice to Lord Satan to bring her an avenger! Then we see the shark, eyes a-glow, animated by a first year film student who maybe took three classes of CGI 101. Hey, that’s okay. I understood this was low budget going in. I can forgive that when we are talking about a Satanic psychotic nun invoking a Satanic psychotic shark! Yay!

After the credits, my dreams for a so-bad-it’s-good movie experience were drowned dead in hot holy water. First of all, the water we are talking about is a lake. A lake? Where did the great white come from? I guess it is not a normal shark, it’s satanic. Gotta keep the salinity level low. 

Enter the bikini-clad bimbos. Most of the movie, and I am not exaggerating, consists of long lingering shots of women’s bodies with no reason. There is no attempt to cast actors. Just who looks best in a bikini. Every scene goes on and on with not much happening at all. This movie could have been done in about 20 minutes if they just got to the point. And if you simply adore Casio keyboard music, this one’s for you. 

The shark attacks are a hoot. Everyone seems to be getting attacked before the shark gets anywhere near them. Never do you actually see the shark inflicting any bodily damage. That would be way too advanced for these filmmakers. The first victim, Ally, is attacked and I swear I cut myself shaving worse this morning. She becomes the land lubbing minion of the devil shark. She seduces hapless victims into the water, disappears under the surface and they get eaten. Does she become the shark? Does she just summon it? We never find out and trust me, you won’t care. 

One of her sacrificial lambs happens to be the brother of a priest. Now, for a movie about a shark exorcist, his screen time is about 5 full minutes total. God forbid we cut out any of the bikini time. We see him mostly looking at pics of the devil on his cell phone and crossing himself a lot. 

Where this movie really shines is the writhing. I have never in my life seen so many women writhing on the ground. The writhing seems to be contagious, sometimes sexual, but always pointless. Like every other shot of a woman, the scene lingers for a good ten freaking minutes. I guess it is appropriate that I kept whispering “Dear Lord” to myself often during my viewing. If anything was going to make me pray to end my suffering, it is Shark Exorcist. 

I wish I could explain the evolution of the plot to you guys. I can’t. The plot is as flavorful as a can of lime La Croix. Ally lures people to their deaths. There is a rivalry between a show called Ghost Whackers and one called Ghost Fakers. It wasn’t even important to the movie but at least I remembered something. The priest ends up trying to exorcise Ally but all I could gather from the shitty audio and horrible editing was that it didn’t work. The shark makes an appearance in the sky a couple times. 

Are y’all confused? Good. That is all you can expect from this piece of sharksploitation trash. I usually defend bad shark movies. There are usually some fun moments and campy gore. This offered me nothing. NOTHING! (on knees, shaking fist in air)

Oh wait, there’s more. We get treated to not one but two after credit scenes indicating some plans to make a Shark Exorcist sequel. Someone needs to find that sequel and kill it with hellfire in its crib. 

Okay I am taking a deep breath and cleansing my damaged mind from any memory of this movie. Time to make some deviled eggs. 

See ya next time!