Event Horizon (1997) and Paul Anderson’s Enduring Vision of Hell

Event Horizon (dir. Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997) – A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that once disappeared into a black hole and has now returned with something else on board.

5/5

This post is part of Preamble to Halloween, an October marathon of horror features before the dawn of All Hallows’ Eve.

For years, many believe that Clive Barker’s Hell Priest may have had a hand in unleashing the hellscape of Philip Eisner’s Event Horizon. Of grotesque mutilations and scarified skin, we see that Barker’s consulting on the film’s pre-production was not for naught. Eisner’s story sees his Lemarchand’s Box take on a different form – the titular spaceship. Reappearing after vanishing for seven years, the craft’s mystery is as tantalising as the puzzle box that unlocks the door to the other world.

Led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), a rescue crew boards to investigate what had happened. They walk through it and begin to see the universe that exists on a plane beyond our understanding. They are shown their past regrets, second chances out of reach. Pleasure was pain there, as Barker once wrote, in seeing their loved ones and losing them all over again.

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Movie Review: Resident Evil – Retribution (2012)

Resident Evil: Retribution (dir. Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012) – Project Alice massacres zombies. Again.

Verdict

A mass of visual barf, as mindless and barren as it sounds.

1/5

Review Open Letter to Paul W.S. Anderson

Dear Paul W.S. Anderson,

Two years ago, I wrote a critical review of Resident Evil: Afterlife. Back then, you directed your weapon of mass disappointment at us fans as we sigh in collective frustration. Had it been too harsh? Was it uncalled for? Perhaps so, and this Resident Evil sequel is the retribution I deserve.

A lengthy recap of the brilliant beginning and its three regressing sequels greets us… except it doesn’t. Instead, we get a few more false starts along the way. An average feature film takes… 90 minutes, I cannot help but think as the lights flicker on slowly… panel by panel.

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Movie Review: Resident Evil – Afterlife 3D (2010)

Resident Evil: Afterlife
Credit: Rafy / Davis Films & Impact Pictures

Take a group of survivors. Have them hold out hope for a safe paradise in a zombie-ridden dystopia. Add Alice and Claire to the alliance, and a new Resident Evil is born. In the visual department, Resident Evil: Afterlife is undeniably a stunner. The effects in actual 3D are naturally impressive. More points go to the style factor in its neat creature designs.

Whilst exceeding in style, the film neglects substance in its storytelling, or lack thereof. A mission takes place on a rapid pace that leaves unanswered questions in its trail. Where did The Executioner come from? Does ammunition come without limits in the future? Are the coins bursting out from the monsters a homage to the Mario games? (Probably not.)

So it seems, director Paul W.S. Anderson has accomplished a visually competent video game adventure with nothing else to rave about. Most scenes only exist for in-your-face action, while there is virtually no room for heart.

None of the side-crew are very likeable, while they do not seem to like each other much either. There is also the unappreciated fact that they seemed to be built on racial and gender stereotypes, whether unintentional or otherwise.

The main draw remains to be the returning cast of experienced zombie killers, Ali Larter and Milla Jovovich. New addition Wentworth Miller makes a good soldier for the team. Ironically, he is once again the only man who knows the way out, only this time zombies are the walls of his cell.

Immediately discrediting their acting is a ludicrous script, though they sure as hell did try. “It’s a trap,” the characters announce with a straight face in the conclusion of a tough fight. Right before they strut through the ominous doors without a chance of hesitation, to our dismay.

2/5