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Event Horizon Reviews

Without bothering to credit anyone, director Paul Anderson and screenwriter Philip Eisner have nicked the premise of Russian director Anrdei Tarkovsky's heady 1972 science-fiction masterpiece SOLARIS and turned it into a gruesome haunted-house flick set in deep space. In the year 2040, the Event Horizon, an exploratory craft headed for the outer boundaries of space, is launched; somewhere beyond Neptune, it inexplicably disappears. Seven years later, when the ship makes an unexpected reappearance, a search and rescue team, helmed by hard-nosed Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) and including the Event Horizon's architect, Dr. Weir (Sam Neill), is sent out to investigate. It's clear something had gone terribly wrong: The ship is empty of its original crew and the walls are covered in gore, but the craft still registers a life force. It seems that wherever it was that the Event Horizon went (hell, it turns out), it's come back a sentient, clairvoyant being that wants the intruders off the premises, pronto, and begins to play on the guilt-plagued consciences of Miller and his crew with terrifying hallucinations. Pilfered or not, it's still a great idea, and Anderson almost pulls it off. The special effects are state of the art, the makeup is suitably stomach-churning and the production design wonderfully creepy -- 2001 inflected with the Gothic charnel-house sadism of HELLRAISER. But the dialogue's dopey and the scares come cheap: The film is content to relentlessly scream "Boo!" behind the audience's back rather than provide any real thrills. Too bad the only brains to be found onboard this vessel are the ones splattered across the walls.