Overlooked Event

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Anytime I mention this film to someone, I’m always met first with confusion, then vague recollection. “Event Horizon? No, I don’t think I know that movie”…” Oh yeah, that one, totally forgot about that…”. Admittedly, 1997 was not the greatest year for major studio Horror Films, with such releases as An American Werewolf in Paris, Leprechaun 4: In Space, and Alien Resurrection. This was the same year we got Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer firmly establishing the new wave of Teen Horror films. Say what you will, but for better or worse, they made money! We also got some great under the radar films such as Lost Highway, Cube, and Event Horizon. These last 3 films defy conventional classification and often are forgotten by fans…but never by Dr. Havok!!!

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Event Horizon is essentially a Ghost story told aboard a derelict Space Ship, and makes use of the common tropes you would expect. We’ve got jump scares, ominous noises, bad CGI (although for the time it looked great!), and derivative script elements. How derivative you ask? Let’s just say I would bet good money that the last 3 films watched by the director prior to filming were 2001: a space odyssey, Hellraiser, and Alien. This isn’t a criticism, just an observation…the influences are worn proudly on sleeve throughout the feature, but if you are going to draw heavy influence from other films, that’s a damn fine list to select!

Everyone knows that the Event Horizon blew up on her maiden voyage seven years ago, it was the biggest Space Disaster in recorded history. So you can imagine the surprise when a distress signal is received from the Horizon in a decaying orbit around Neptune. During the journey, the designer of the Horizon briefs the crew that the EH was built to test an experimental Gravity Drive capable of faster than Light travel. Dr. Weir explains that the gravity drive opens dimensional portals between two points in space allowing the Event Horizon to pass through instantaneously. The Gravity drive functions by creating black holes which are used to rip holes in our dimension and…y’know what? I don’t need to pseudoscience to be totally sound, and nor should you.

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Once aboard the Horizon, the rescue crew finds ominous logs left by the EH crew, mutilated corpses, and a ship that may in fact be sentient. Seems that when the ship jumps through these portals, it travels through a dimension of pure chaos and evil, not unlike hell. That should be spoilers enough for you, but the rest should be seen firsthand. The effects are well done, the score and tone are perfect, and the talented cast is full of enough “holy shit its that guy” moments to keep you entertained.  Also, there is a blood orgy. Why don’t more films have blood orgies? I’m frequently asked “What are some good Horror Movies I should watch?”, and this is one of the films I often recommend. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

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#31DaysOfHorror: Oct 18

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And so, we come to the third and final film in the Gates of Hell Trilogy, and as is becoming a trend with the films I review, I fucking hate the small child in this film! I can’t decide if I hate his face, his horribly dubbed voice, or his horrible portrayal/dialogue the most. Don’t get me wrong…I normally like kids. But stupid children in Horror films just really seem to piss me off lately. Every time this little shit said or did anything, I found myself yelling at the screen. “Shut the fuck up Bob! With your stupid little haircut and your dumb face!” , or “Fuck you Bob! Making those stupid truck driving noises with your mouth! You’re not cool, you little asshole!” Seriously. Fuck that little blonde haired git.

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Now then, I suppose I should talk about the film a little bit, huh? Lucio Fulci is in fine form once again, crafting a film that is more accessible than The Beyond, but still rife with chilling atmosphere. And of course, the gore we’ve come to expect is still there as well, however this outing felt a bit more restrained and effectively used…Except for the bat-killing thing. That took way too long and used so damn much blood that it became hilarious.

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The plot concerns the Boyle family, Paul and Lucy with young son Bob (FUCK YOU BOB!!!!!!), who move to Massachusetts so Paul can complete the work of a deceased professor who met a somewhat shady end. The move into Oak Mansion, the last home of the late professor, though the locals know it as “the Freudstein place”. Strange occurrences and ominous presences about as it becomes more clear that something sinister took place within these walls…and may still lurk within. That’s it! No spoilers! This is another must-see film directed by a Master of Horror!

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As with the two previous films in the trilogy, the atmosphere is creepy as hell and has a surreal, dreamlike quality. There are a few plot-holes, but nothing so large as to derail the film. One of the best scenes of the film should reinforce a fear of basements for any child who dares to watch the film…but it also depicts Bob in mortal danger and scared out of his mind. Naturally, its my favorite part. No Halloween Horror marathon should do without the Gates Of Hell Trilogy!