If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.
It’s a term that Hollywood seems to have ignored for many years now with remake after remake being churned out. It appears that Hollywood has run out of original ideas.
This is why I almost choked on my tea when I heard that the greatest sci-fi horror film is getting resurrected. No, not Alien, but Event Horizon. It’s been confirmed that Amazon and Paramount have agreed to an Event Horizon remake or project, although details are scarce at the moment.
Released in 1997, it has become iconic. The line-up was stellar – Sam Neill; Lawrence Fishburne and Jason Issacs being the pick of the bunch. One of the standout features was the intense, creepy atmosphere that it delivered. But more on that later. At the time, though, it was a financial failure. It only took $26.7 million against a production budget of $60 million. Critics also took potshots at it; lamenting the script and some of the horror cliches. It’s a shame as director Paul W.S. Anderson has gone on to be a revered director in the sci-fi genre; particularly with his work on the Resident Evil franchise. It’s only more recently that the film has achieved cult status. And there’s a good reason why it has.
To Hell, and Back
The premise of the story is based around a crew of astronauts who are on a rescue mission to reach a missing spaceship, the Event Horizon. Set in 2047, the ship suddenly appears in Neptune’s orbit. The rescue crew quickly discover that the ship was a test bed for an experimental engine that managed to open a rift in the time-space continuum. It soon becomes clear that the ship left our universe, only to return with a malevolent entity that has possessed the ship. This has caused the previous crew to go insane and murder each other. It has been described by critics as The Shining in space, and that’s not actually a bad description. I would add that there are elements of gore-horror a-la Hellraiser, and good old-fashioned sci-fi action. But there is also a disturbing under-belly that meanders throughout the whole film.
Let’s start with the opening credits. The fanfare of the Paramount logo and intro fools you into a false sense of security. It quickly fades into black, followed by swirls of space atmosphere. The brooding music sets the theme nicely as the credits roll. As I mentioned earlier, the actors are a huge part of what makes this film so good.
Lawrence Fishburne is fantastic as the cool and controlled Captain Miller, who is the commander of the rescue vessel the Lewis and Clark. Sam Neill also does a sterling job of playing the designer of the Event Horizon ship, Dr William ‘Billy’ Weir. Praise should also go to Jason Issacs who plays the medical doctor D.J, and Sean Pertwee who adds some rough charm as Smith, pilot of the Lewis and Clark. In fact, there are only seven other actors in the entire movie. This, I feel, just adds to the dark atmosphere of helplessness that marauds through the whole film.
As the story unfolds, various crew members have flashbacks of tragedies that have happened in their lives. Every member relives their personal horrors through apparitions, but it soon becomes very real. There are so many great scenes throughout the film that are genuinely unsettling.
The footage that is found on the Event Horizon’s computer shows scenes of the previous crew engaging in murder; rape and disembowelment. This apparently, is what hell looks like. The scene is very brief, but according to Paul Anderson, the original scene was meant to be much longer. Unfortunately, the studio instructed them to cut it down; along with the whole film. I feel this is a travesty, as you don’t really get to find out enough about what happened to the crew when they passed through into another universe. Although it makes true horror fans feel short-changed, it does leave a lot more to the imagination, which adds to the mystery of the film.
So why not give it a remake, then?
To be honest, I don’t actually know how they would make it any better. Event Horizon doesn’t need a remake. Yes, the special effects have moved on in the twenty-odd years since the film was made, but they are still damn good. Especially awesome is the end fight scene between Dr Weir – who is now possessed and brought back from the dead- and Captain Miller. It takes place near the gateway of the ship and its shot perfectly. The suspense is built through the use of the set; lighting and music.
Sam Neill plays the evil Dr Weir with satisfying terror, although the prosthetics certainly help. All the actors deserve credit for their performances. They all played their roles with passion and without a hint of overacting (are you listening, Bill Shatner?). The use of fire across the walkway doesn’t look dated in the slightest either, as does the gateway of the ship, which also looks modern. You could say, if you squinted your eyes hard enough, that the Event Horizon looks like an elongated Klingon Bird of Prey. Perhaps that is a nod of the cap towards the Trek universe.
All in all, the set pieces; costumes and prosthetics are all done brilliantly. In my opinion, it doesn’t look dated in the slightest. It’s interesting to note that there was quite a bit of character backstory that was cut from the film. I would say that is the only criticism of the film, as you find yourself wanting to know more; particularly about Dr Weir and Captain Miller.
A modern-day Event Horizon remake would add some twenty-first-century CGI, but as I’ve mentioned, this film still cuts it today. The atmosphere that permeates throughout is genuinely unsettling and creepy. More credit is due to composer Michael Kamen, who handled the musical score. The acting is stellar across the board, and Paul W.S Anderson’s directing is both unnerving and snappy. Phillips Eisner is a genius for writing the script in the first place, so Hollywood, please, please don’t ruin a classic.
And that’s why Event Horizon doesn’t need a remake. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
More of our sci-fi movie articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about Event Horizon HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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