Scream Factory has finally brought Event Horizon to its amazing Collector's Edition vault, which is a long time coming. This film is one of the most frightening films of all time with an all-star cast and a killer plot set in space that continues to be as scary today as it was some twenty-plus years ago. The new 1080p HD transfer along with the new DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is simply remarkable and a worthy upgrade. There are many new extras, all being new interviews via zoom which vary in quality, plus all former extras from the previous release. Highly Recommended!
Event Horizon is one of the scariest films ever made and it still makes a big impact some 25 years later after its initial release. Paul W.S. Anderson became the talk of the town after his huge success with his adaptation of Mortal Kombat did wonders both financially and critically. A couple of years later, his foray into the horror genre was permanently chiseled into stone with Event Horizon. This film follows a rag-tag group of people on a rescue vessel in space that was tasked with a top-secret mission to investigate and rescue any survivors of the iconic spaceship - the Event Horizon that mysteriously disappeared for seven years, but has now reappeared as if nothing happened. Once the crew arrives, they get much more than what they bargained for that turns their lives into a literal living hellscape.
The film was so horrifying that it went through multiple re-cuts, many test screenings, where audiences deemed it too scary that had studio execs crying for a PG-13 cut of the film. Anderson was never going to allow for that, but the result was a difficult-to-market movie that while being scary-as-hell and a truly haunting story with great performances, failed at the box office until it arrived on home-video where it took off for the stars and became an ultra-popular cult-hit. Presently, while still a horror-favorite amongst genre fans, people are still clamoring and salivating for that director's cut of the film, similar to Zack Snyder's Justice League.
The theatrical cut of Event Horizon is about 90 minutes long, but there is a 130-minute cut of the film that includes much more character development, better story arcs, and a longer and more graphic blood orgy sequence. Perhaps the movie would have faired better if these elements were restored, but for now, Event Horizon still stands the test of time with its horror and one-of-a-kind story that takes its cues from the likes of Aliens and The Exorcist. With that all-star cast led by Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill, along with Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Richard T. Jones, Kathleen Quinlan, Jack Noseworthy, and Joely Richardson - the movie runs at a fast and terrifying pace, although midway through, it is bogged down somewhat by hallucinogenic flashes of terror with each character, until it's revealed exactly where the spaceship has been and what it has brought back.
Still, there are buckets of blood, gore, and jump scares to satisfy even the most veteran of horror fans here, and with its clever story-telling, Event Horizon succeeds in the long run and even left everything open-ended for a sequel. Michael Kamen provided an excellent and haunting score that was somehow mixed with the EDM duo Orbital, which makes for a strange concoction of atmosphere during the scary sequences. The only explanation for this was that the early 1990s demanded every movie have some sort of techno, hard rock beat to it. Still, Event Horizon never feels cheesy, nor desperate to scare. It simply exists to be a well-thought-out horror movie that tried to do something original but was so heavily edited down from its extreme content that this theatrical cut is the only thing horror fans have to relish and bathe in its spooky scent, which by the way, is a fantastic feat for just how scary it really is.
For a glimpse of the previous review of the film, Click Here, and as it says at the end, "They'll defend this movie until their dying day", this cinema aficionado will do the same.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Event Horizon scares its way on Blu-ray from Scream Factory in its Collector's Edition format. The disc is housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve, featuring the brand new amazing artwork of the ship's core and the burned and scarred demon. The reversible cover art also features the original artwork from the film.
Event Horizon comes with an impressive and brand new 1080p HD transfer from a new 4K scan from the original camera negative that was produced by Scream Factory, and it looks amazing. The color palette is bold and creepy at every turn, utilizing its green and blue hues throughout the spacecraft. There are some wonderful flashes of red and amber lighting throughout, especially when sparks fly. This new transfer upgrades the black levels which is very necessary for these visuals to succeed. The blackness of outer space and the extremely low-lit corridors, whether it be in the infirmary or dark tunnels all are deep and inky without any evidence of crush or murky shadows that bleed over. The faint use of blue lighting in the sequences really enhances the red blood and detail in the intense makeup effects. Brighter scenes give way to the gray-ish blue uniforms of the crew, while the interior of the Event Horizon has those necessary metallic colors throughout. Skin tones are natural as well here.
The detail is now sharper than it was on the Blu-ray release from almost 15 years ago, where close-ups reveal individual hairs, beads of sweat and blood, and even facial lines on the actor's faces. The main climactic fight at the end showcases the numerous slashes all over Weir's body that look deep and gross. The one slow-motion sequence where the main cockpit explodes in a fire of sparks now shows the great detail in the hardware of the spacecraft in the background. Textures in the spacesuits and the uniforms look wonderful as do the gory guts and innards during the bloody orgy scene. There is a nice layer of filmic grain that keeps its theatrical roots intact, and there are no major video issues to speak of.
This release comes with a new lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix, along with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo option. This is a definite upgrade from the previous Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track from the last Blu-ray release. This mix sounds just as it was intended in the theater, which is booming and loud with ferocity where it's needed. The sound effects of loud clanks on the metal ship, bodies falling from tall heights, and explosions are thunderous and robust. The quieter sequences of the crew talking back and forth, discussing their plans have the necessary reverb and atmospheric voice control of being inside either small, tight quarters or very large metal rooms with echo.
There are some ghastly noises that creep up from behind that sound excellent and even the silence of outer space plays a great part in this sound design when characters are outside the ship. The blood orgy provides all the nasty slurping and stabbing wounds one could expect as well. The low end is packed with a great rumble of bass that is never overbearing and the score, while odd in its mix of techno and classical rhythms sounds good here. Lastly, dialogue is always clean and clear and free of any audio problems.
Scream Factory has included an abundance of bonus features, both new and old. There are a total of eleven new bonus features here, all being new interviews with the cast and crew, along with every single vintage extra from the previous release for a total of over 130 minutes of bonus material. The trouble is, a lot of it is not worth watching for varying reasons. All of the new interviews were conducted over Zoom, so the video and sound quality range from okay to terrible, with barely enough time to really get into the meat of this amazing film. And it's a low-down dirty shame that the extended full cut of the film and blood orgy is not included here. It seems everything else is though. And there is no appearance from Fishburne, Neill, or Richardson. Scream Factory should take a note from Arrow Video on how to do their bonus material.
Event Horizon is still one of the scariest and most thrilling horror movies on the planet and continues to be a source of good discussion amongst horror fans. Scream Factory's new video and audio transfers are fantastic and even though there are a ton of bonus features included here, they aren't the best extras to watch, where all the new material felt rushed and lazy. That being said, this new release is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!