Tag Archives: Tron Legacy

Event Horizon #30DaysOfFright

event2It is the year 2047, the rescue ship Lewis and Clark is sent to intercept the Event Horizon, a spaceship that mysteriously vanished some seven years earlier but has reappeared. Where has it been, where is the crew and who what is the sinister presence on board? Now the rescue crew, including the creator of the Event Horizon, must rescue themselves before it is too late.

Poor Paul (WS – as he is now known) Anderson has had something of a rough ride on the science-fiction slipstream, with numerous Resident Evils, Death Race and Alien Vs Predator – the latter which I rather liked in a Big Daddy Vs Giant Haystacks kind of way – all drawing buckets of scorn.

For me though his finest hour (or hour and thirty five minutes) has always been the 1997 movie, Event Horizon, and seeing as it part-inspired the uber-atmospheric PS3 smash, Dead Space, I’m not the only one.

event1Essentially the movie is Hellraiser meets The Shining in space…but then the Jaws in space tag never did Alien, which it has a nod to production design and creepiness wise, any harm. And for me that is what makes the movie so much fun, that it is essentially a haunted house movie in space, which is certainly more fun and original than The House on Haunted Hill remake or GhostShip (essentially the same tale as Event but…gasp…set at sea) and certainly better than Jason X which was also set among the stars.

Featuring a stellar (or should that be interstellar) cast comprising of Sam Neill (quite literally exorcising some demons he had left over from In The Mouth of Madness) and Laurence Fishburne, Joely Richardson, a pre-Harry Potter Jason Isaacs and the always dependable Sean Pertwee.

event7Sam Neill, as the designer of the Event Horizon, Dr Weir, is quality as ever, exuding authority and charm at first, with a disturbing back story that haunts him and us for much of the film. At first he is essentially like Ripley in Aliens, has knowledge but not acceptance of the crew. But if he’s good at being good, he’s great at being evil and devilish, see the third part on The Omen trilogy, The Final Conflict, and the aforementioned In the Mouth of Madness for further proof.

Fishburne as Captain Miller, in charge of the Lewis and Clark, is a great no nonsense turn and proves quite the foil to Neill and he really convinces in his leading role.

event4The film is as beautiful as it is deadly and is filled with intrigue, jumps and gore aplenty Event Horizon raises itself above the usual fair due to some wonderful set design and visual imagery – including the mother of all zoom outs from a space station – and a fantastic gate room that is a meld of Stargate meets Hellraiser box via Contact.

Zero gravity has never been so eerie with all manner of objects floating around the titular ship…which is a star of the show in its self, with its great design inside and out, taking its design cue from Notre Dame Cathedral.

event9With elements of The Shining, Alien, The Black Hole, Hellraiser, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Flatliners this isn’t just a mishmash of what we have seen before simply set in space, it is far more intelligent than that. As a psychological space horror Event Horizon has plenty of the crimson stuff and gore, but it is that slowly building sense of dread and pulsating paranoia that gets us as much as the crew.

Adding to the general feeling of unease throughout is the score that is simply something else. Being essentially a science-fiction/horror movie the music is something else, a fantastic fusion of the work of the late Michael Kamen (who worked with Queen on Highlander and scored both the Lethal Weapon series and Die Hards) and the techno sound of Orbital, creating something that is raw and visceral and perfect for the mood of the movie. If you loved Tron Legacy’s score then this is the horror equivalent.

event6Having experienced it on the big screen when it was first released it’s a real surprise that it was something of a misfire at the box office as it really grabs you from the off and engages throughout, delivering both in the science –fiction and horror stakes in buckets (of blood).

I found it a disturbingly thrilling cinematic experience that lingers long after it has been seen, if you haven’t explored the Event Horizon then you are in for one hell of a nerve-jangling ride.

This lean and mean film more than deserves its place with such sci-fi horror classics as Alien and The Thing and certainly packs a mightier punch and more jumps than both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, the latter released the same year.

event10It’s not so much in space no one can hear you scream and more if no one is on board the Event Horizon then when you scream will anyone hear it? The answer to that one is an emphatic yes. Go see it!


Inside Out: The life of Riley

Disney Pixar’s latest is just wonderful and Inside Out is perhaps its richest film since Up! It packs a similar emotional punch with a feeling of elements of Wreck It Ralph and really does make you think…a lot.

It’s a particularly deep and thought-provoking film, period, never mind for animation. It’s hard to not think about your emotional actions in an entirely different way post viewing. It really does strike a massive emotional chord, whether you are watching it as an adult or a child. But at the same time it is seriously joyous, funny and thrilling at the same time and boasts some excellent set pieces that really ramp up the tension.

And at some points it’s really difficult to figure how things are going to play out for the characters, constantly pulling the rug out from underneath you.

rileys-emotions-inside-outInitially the concept seemed a little The Numbskulls, as we inside the mind of 11-year-old girl Riley, but this is quickly transcended to deliver an animated film at its peak with some really deep and meaningful ideas about memories, what makes us us and what makes us tick.

It’s very much a film about the difficulties of growing up and is as powerful a coming of age drama as the likes of the Oscar-winning Boyhood. And this must be a dead cert to take home the Animated Feature statuette next year.

The characters inside the head of 11-year-old Riley, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust, pretty much describes that emotional roller coaster that the viewer goes through and at the same time we get emotional and story echoes of the likes of Monsters Inc, Wreck It Ralph, Toy Story 3 and Up! These are films that we just don’t watch and enjoy, they teach us key life lessons.

It’s little wonder then that the film’s main director is Pete Docter, who also helmed the first Monsters film and Up! But this is no carbon copy of the aforementioned.

Inside-Out-RileyYou’ll also be sure to have a little something in your eye over a certain part elephant, part candyfloss character and the lighting and emotion in the ‘real world’ scenes, especially the journey to the bus depot in drab San Francisco, also packs a powerful Pixar punch.

Riley’s world (head) is in contrast all about colour and has some amazing concepts and look wonderful and work wonderfully, part Wreck It Ralph, part Metropolis via way of Tron Legacy. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about wanting an ‘Art of’ book so much, although having read reviews they lack commentary which is a crying shame and much missed opportunity.

All of it deftly underlined by a touching and exhilarating Michael Giacchino score that really fittingly plays the emotions in our head.

The four-year old (nearly five) I watched it with really rolled with the gamut of emotions and afterwards was talking about the characters of emotions of joy, anger and sadness and how ‘the people in her head’ were with such things.

It ensuring that this film will resonate with parents and children, and even those who are not, long after the credits have rolled. We’ve just recently moved house and after the summer our daughter, Isabelle, is moving schools, so it was difficult to not think Riley as Isabelle at times.

Perhaps it is unsurprising then that according to IMDB psychologists and other experts were consulted so the writers could make the way Riley’s mind works scientifically accurate. For example, it is believed that short-term memories made during the day are converted into long-term memories during sleep, which is what happens in Riley’s mind.

This is something seriously special and even as it unfolds you know you are watching yet another bonafide classic. Dreamworks can’t even begin to touch this output.

A special mention must also go to the  sublime Lava, that precedes Inside Out, about a singing volcano that provides a pyroclastic flow of emotions and does for volcanoes what Blue Umbrella did for brollies.