A movie where astronauts investigate an experimental ship (the titular Event Horizon) that disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Almost everybody dies.Okay, a little more explaining...In the year 2047, a signal from the starship Event Horizon is picked up on Earth. The ship had disappeared without trace beyond Neptune in 2040. The ship has reappeared in a decaying orbit around the planet Neptune, and the rescue ship Lewis and Clark is dispatched to investigate. The ship's crew is commanded by Capt. Miller (Laurence Fishburne) and carries the Event Horizon's designer, Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill).No definitive trace of human life is found; inconclusive sensor readings lead the Lewis and Clark's crew to enter the Event Horizon to search for survivors. Things start to go very wrong very quickly, it appears that someone or something is toying with them, and more, the question is what has the Event Horizon become?Event Horizon is a very effective Cosmic Horror Story, basically LovecraftIN SPACE! Or as some like to call it, a very disturbing prequel to the Warhammer 40000 series.Not to be confused with Moral Event Horizon, or Despair Event Horizon. Or, for that matter, the term for the region around a black hole from which light can no longer escape. For the game that was heavily inspired by the film, see Dead Space.
This film provides examples of:
Absent Aliens: Though it's implied there is something out there, no non-human life forms are ever seen. Unless you count the possessed-by-evil ship itself.
Artistic License - Physics: It's noted in the film that the FTL Drive the Event Horizon supposedly has can't work because of the Law of Relativity stating that FTL travel is impossible. William Weir, as he puts it, had to work around it, which is where Folding Space comes into play and the cause of everything that happen in the movie.
"You break all the laws of physics, and you seriously think there wouldn't be a price?"
Big Bad: The Event Horizon itself, with Weir eventually coming to serve as The Dragon.
Big "NO!": Delivered by Weir when Miller activates the explosives, cutting the gravity chamber off from the rest of the ship as it's about to go into the hyperspace dimension and sacrificing himself to save what's left of his crew.
Bizarrchitecture: The Event Horizon itself. The hallway leading to the engine room is a giant rotating tube lined with spikes. The engine room itself is lined with yet more Spikes of Doom, and the engine itself is literally beautiful. It's cool, but the actual purpose of the designed is handwaved away as "reducing the effects of the gravitational field." In reality, the ship's exterior itself was designed by scanning in images of Notre Dame Cathedral and mix-and-matching the various elements. Even the structural scaffolding along the neck was based on the stained-glass windows of the Cathedral.
Black Dude Dies First: Averted pretty hard. Cooper, who in any other movie would be prime fodder for this trope, is one of the few to survive the entire film. Capt. Miller technically survives as well although it's basically guaranteed that he'll wish he hadn't soon enough.
Canis Latinicus: Notably averted. The phrase in question, while often misheard as "Liberate tutame ex inferis" (which makes no sense), is actually "Libera te tutemet ex inferis", which is good Latin and means what they say it does ("Save yourself from hell").
Cat Scare: When first exploring the Event Horizon, Miller is spooked by what looks like a hand grabbing his face. It's just a loose glove from a space suit floating in the gravity free environment.
Cooper:(amused) Cap's got a case of the heebie jeebies.
Conveniently Interrupted Document: At the beginning of the film, the ship receives part of a signal from the titular vessel containing a message in Latin. As the signal is partly corrupted, they initially take the message to be "Liberate me" - "save me." Upon acquiring the full signal and inspecting it closer, they find that the message is actually "Libera te tutemet ex inferis" - "Save yourself from Hell."
Conveniently Precise Translation: Subverted. The distress signal sent by the titular starship contains the Latin phrase liberate me ("save me"). It was later realized that the message was libera te tutemet ex inferis ("save yourself from Hell").
Cosmic Horror Story: Hell is the easiest way for the characters to describe whatever it was the Event Horizon passed through, but some elements suggest it just might be far, far worse.
Covered with Scars: When the ship brings Weir back for the final showdown, he is bald, naked, and covered in freaky scars. It did give him his eyes back, strangely enough.
Dramatic Thunder: IN SPACE!! Lightning illuminates the ship interiors occasionally, justified in that the ship is in a decaying orbit around Neptune which has storms with wind speeds up to 2000 km/h. The ship is already in the upper thermosphere and continues falling deeper into the atmosphere over the course of the film.
Expy: Universal Orlando's annual Halloween Horror Nights event had the haunted house "Interstellar Terror" in 2008, which the Art & Development team proudly admitted was directly inspired by Event Horizon: the first interstellar star ship disappears, then reappears several years later orbiting the moon. You go aboard and find that an alien artifact the crew found has driven them into homicidal insanity.
Eye Scream: This movie basically runs on this trope. It might hold some kind of record for most injured eyes/sockets in a major Hollywood movie. In fact, the very first person we see in this film is missing eyes! This is barely two minutes in, mind you.
Face Heel Turn: Weir. Played with, as it seems he may have been possessed by the ship itself.
Failsafe Failure: The airlocks on the Event Horizon are designed in such a way that a depressurization sequence cannot be canceled from either side of the airlock once it's been activated. While it is a reasonable precaution not to allow both the inner and outer doors to be open at the same time, there is no excuse for not having an abort command when it takes half a minute to actually finish depressurizing the airlock. Then again, what isn't affected by the Eldritch force inhabiting the Event Horizon?
Fan Disservice: Weir's hallucination with his dead and half-naked wife.
It's the Only Way to be Sure: Upon seeing just what really happened to the Event Horizon's original crew, Miller decides that the best thing for everyone is to fire missiles at it until it ceases to be a ship.
Cooper: Fuck layman's terms, do you speak English?
Love Makes You Evil: Dr. Weir's guilt over his wife's suicide is exploited by the ship to it's full extent.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Weir's first few nightmares would seem to be mundane since he is not yet on the ship, but they also appear to be prophetic, suggesting perhaps a greater range of influence for the ship than we might first suspect. Or his grief and guilt are so strong, it's the first natural thing for the ship to latch on to and exploit.
Meaningful Name: The Event Horizon is a ship that creates a black hole to travel through space-time; an event horizon is the point in the gravitational pull of a black hole beyond which light can no longer escape.
No One Could Survive That: Uttered by Starck when Weir is blown through the breached window into space; Miller doubts it. Weir survives, and comes back a Cenobite Expy. They still arm themselves, just to be sure.
An alternative interpretation averts this. There's no evidence that it's the real Weir who comes back.
No OSHA Compliance: Peters chases a hallucination into a room that has a pit leading into the gravity drive chamber, completely lacking any guard rails to stop exactly this sort of thing from happening. Some of the horrific failures could be blamed on the ship being possessed, but the entity is never shown to have outright reconfigured the ship.
Not That Kind of Doctor: Subverted. Dr. Weir is a doctor of theoretical physics, but shows an amazing... grasp of surgery and anatomy later in the film.
Oh Crap: Smith gets one when he finds the misplaced explosive charge, seconds away from going off. He doesn't say anything, but his humiliated, terrified cringe speaks for itself. Cooper also has a few of them.
Cooper: Why's this shit always gotta happen to me?!
Cooper:(when the ship fills with blood) ...Oh, fuck me.
Miller: I have no intention of leaving her, Doctor. I will take the Lewis and Clark to a safe distance, and then I will launch TAC missiles at the Event Horizon until I'm satisfied she's vaporized. FUCK this ship.
Miller is haunted by the memory of the crewman he left behind to save himself (the ship exploits this to torture him). In the end, he saves what is left of his crew by sacrificing himself.
Alternatively, his redemption moment might be when Miller saves Starck from being sucked out the ship's broken window into space. If that was his redemption, then it's an instance of Must Make Amends, or My Greatest Second Chance.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: The hallucination of Weir's wife, Claire, that keeps popping up. Notable in that her eyes are entirely red.
Rule Of Cool: The Captain of the Event Horizon firmly believed Altum Videtur. After bidding farewell in English, he gave his sendoff in Latin; "Ave Atque Vale - Hail and farewell." The reason he spoke Latin in "the tape" is because, well, Altum Videtur.
Of course, another reason why the captain was shown speaking Latin is so that the audience would know it was him on the tape.
Even the writers probably couldn't figure out why anyone wouldn't destroy the Event Horizon on sight.
Especially since Cooper, Justin, and Starck presumably tell their story.
Shoo Out the Clowns: Possibly the darkest example in cinema. When Weir starts his rampage, his first act is to blow up the Lewis and Clark. Cooper survives on a piece of wreckage, but is blown clear. He blows his air supply to try to return, but we don't see him again until much later.
Space Is Cold: Averted; since the ship is in the upper atmosphere of Neptune, the cold is only natural.
Spikes of Doom: In the DVD commentary, the director states that the spikes in the gravitational drive room were originally intended to engage with the core, but this wasn't possible due to budget constraints. They were left in due to the Rule of Scary.
Take Me Instead: Captain Miller offers himself in exchange for his crew to the possessed Dr. Weir, who responds, "No. There is no escape. The gateway is open, and you're all coming with me!"
Take Our Word for It: Averted. First we see people watching the horrifying slaughter of the original Event Horizon crew... then a significant chunk of the video ( the part where Captain Kilpack has torn his own eyes out and is holding them up to the camera) is shown to the audience.
Technology Marches On: Averted. Though the prop for the ship's log is a CD, in-universe it could be the cheap circular medium of 2047. Also, the visual displays are flat and feature touch-screens, some of which are wireless and portable.
A subversion may be Justin: after he is saved from tossing himself out an airlock he is put into stasis and is not referred to again. However, at the very end the rescue crew remarks that he has survived along with Cooper and Starck.