Thursday, April 05, 2007

I wonder if it's a misdomeanor or felony when you break the laws of physics...

Oh, Event Horizon! I really wanted to like you. I wanted to like you a LOT. I mean, you were a movie about space and black holes and space time distortion and other fun theoretical physics. And I do love theoretical physics.

General relativity aside, there were other things that seemed interesting about the movie. The whole interdimensional travel to hell and back. The mystery of what happened. The horrific consequences of defying the laws of physics. Things like that. It had a kind of claustrophobic, Alien style vibe at times. Though, really, what modern horror movie in space doesn't have some sort of Alien vibe?

The Event Horizon is a ship that went missing seven years ago. Now, the crew of the Lewis & Clark, joined by scientist Dr. Weir, are sent to investigate a signal that has been identified as coming from the Event Horizon, now in orbit around Neptune. Prior to leaving, Dr Weir appears to be plagued by dreams of his formerly suicidal girlfriend. I say formerly because I think it hard to call someone suicidal once they've succeeded. At that point, really, they're just dead.

When they get to the ship, no one is alive. They only find one body. However, the crew of the Lewis & Clark start to have visions. And one of the crew members is sucked into the gravity well that the Event Horizon uses as an engine. See, the engine creates a portal to another dimension and no one knows what's on the other side. Except the dude who got sucked in. And he wants to kill himself over what he saw!

The ship seems to bring everyone's worst fears to life and drive them crazy. Yeah, it's like that. Whatever came back from the other dimension with the ship wants to go back, and it wants to take everyone with it.

This was a movie that, had it had a competent director, could have been great. Well, it could have at least been really good. And, nothing against Paul WS Anderson (who's work I have really enjoyed on other occasions), but the flaws in this movie were predominantly from a directing stand point. Yes, I understand that the studio made him cut 30 minutes from the film. And I understand that that alone can wreck a movie, but he still got to choose which 30 minutes.

The biggest problem was that the movie kept building and building and then either wouldn't pay off or would pay off with the world's most predictable jump scare. Think about it this way, ever been to a cheap haunted house? Maybe something put on by a church or high school? It's kind of like that. You want to be scared because it's a haunted house, and you want to be scared because you know that their hearts are in it, but really, it's not that scary and you almost feel bad. Afterwards you lie a little and tell them that "Oh, you almost really had me back there!" just to make the kids feel better.

And it's in this way that a movie that could have been something special gets turned into a basic haunted house in space. And that's boring to me.

It wasn't a complete waste of time though. The effects looked really good. The acting was good. And I'm always interested in the ways movies try to get around general relativity to travel through space, and cutting a hole through space-time is as good as any. So, it's not that the movie didn't have anything going for it. And it's not that I wasn't entertained. I was just annoyed. 6 trips to a dimension of pure chaos where your crew will kill each other in some sort of weird outer space blood orgy out of 10.