Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
Watch On
  1. Event Horizon could have used a decent script, but the director, Paul Anderson, is a stylist to watch.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It has been said that no one sees a movie for the sets, yet an exception might be made here for Horizon's visually staggering production design -- truly an event itself. The story, though, is such a transparent variation on the Alien ouevre that your tolerance may hinge on how much you can shrug this off. [15Aug1997 Pg03.D]
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Superbly styled in techno-Gothic space-grunge chic, this sci-fi/horror cross-breed is a directorial triumph of reference and homage.
  4. Director Paul Anderson, whose last film was "Mortal Kombat," well knows how to build suspense and increase tension. But counterbalancing all of that is Event Horizon's position as a sci-fi splatter film, intent on drenching the screen in blood and gore whenever possible. [15Aug1997 Pg 16]
  5. 50
    The screenplay creates a sense of foreboding and afterboding, but no actual boding.
  6. 50
    Half of what's going on is never explained, and what is explained, doesn't make much sense. And that's just the beginning of the problems encountered in director Paul Anderson's ("Mortal Kombat") poorly executed endeavor.
  7. It's not a great film, but Event Horizon produces an intense sense of visual involvement. The hallucinatory, almost 3-D-like scenes stick in the mind.
  8. But in its own overblown, melodramatic way, complete with hideous and obtrusive music by Michael Kamen, clanging sound effects that will leave your ears ringing and a penchant on the part of director Paul Anderson ( "Mortal Kombat" ) for quick flashes of blood-drenched gore, Event Horizon is kind of a hoot.
  9. This unwieldy amalgam of science fiction and horror, directed by Paul Anderson, douses almost every scene with glitzy special effects in a futile attempt to cover up a paucity of thought.
  10. Contraryto its exciting advertising, Event Horizon is not the most frightening movie ever made. If anything, the conventional pop-up scares and gross-out effects of this British haunted-space-ship story seem less terrifying than quaint.
  11. The settings and visual effects are imaginatively done, but the dialogue is silly and the plot is a mishmash, with echoes of everything from the "Aliens" movies to Michael Crichton's novel "Sphere," which pushes similar buttons a little more intelligently.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Despite game efforts from a first-rate cast and acres of impressive production values, Event Horizon remains a muddled and curiously uninvolving sci-fi horror show.
  13. 40
    From its marketing-impaired title on down, Event Horizon is a steadily churning debacle that promises much more than it can deliver and ends up drowning in a crimson sea of gore and maddeningly out-of-place steals from other, better genre shockers.
  14. Reviewed by: John Krewson
    The movie looks great at first, with interesting spaceship designs and genuinely creepy abandoned interiors, and the initial idea had plenty of potential. But by the time the story gets rolling, the filmmakers are trying unsuccessfully to scare the audience with sudden loud noises and gallon upon gallon of fake blood.
  15. 40
    The worst thing about Event Horizon--written by Philip Eisner, directed by Paul Anderson--isn't all the gore decorating the 21st-century space ship that gives the movie its name, but the filmmakers' reliance on shock edits and headache-inducing sound F/X to obscure the fact that this is one of the most derivative movies to hit screens in memory.
  16. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The film is content to relentlessly scream "Boo!" behind the audience's back rather than provide any real thrills.
  17. The movie is very loud. It is pointlessly loud, arbitrarily loud, assaultively loud.
  18. It's too bad, then, that Anderson (whose only other major credit is "Mortal Kombat," but of course) and first-time screenwriter Philip Eisner felt so compelled to do away with suspense and turn Event Horizon into a big-budget slasher film.
  19. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    Trying to figure out just what went wrong in the creation of a movie as dreadful as this may ultimately be as futile as trying to ascertain what might lie on the "other side" of a black hole.
  20. If you haven't lived until you've seen Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill duke it out in a vat full of red paint, here's your chance; personally, my idea of hell would be having to see this stinker again.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24
  1. KurtM.
    Nov 10, 2005
    I don't understand the bad critics. I feel this film ist the best horror-scifi film since 2000. It's better than Alien 4 (but not I don't understand the bad critics. I feel this film ist the best horror-scifi film since 2000. It's better than Alien 4 (but not better than Alien 1-3). The horror in this film is not only physical it is also psychological. The acting is good to very good. The plot is simple but absolutely OK for a horror movie. And it's also great to see that african american actors not only play roles as cannon fodder or comedic relief. I think some critics are very narrow minded and dogmatic, when they claim a horror movie should only rely on suspense and thinks you don't see". Concluding I i would say that this movie is way to underrated - you don't have to feel like me and give it a 10, but come on this film deserves at least a 8 . Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2011
    I honestly do not understand the hate the critics had for this film. The primary complaint seems to be that it makes little sense, and itsI honestly do not understand the hate the critics had for this film. The primary complaint seems to be that it makes little sense, and its frightening scenes rely on cliches. I don't think either of those complaints are fair. The ship itself literally went to Hell and back, and is even described in the film as having come from "pure chaos". It's not supposed to make sense, because sense is a psychological luxury that probably wouldn't exist in Hell. As for cliches, I don't think that's fair either. I'm not a big horror buff, so maybe I just don't see it, but the psychological and physical torment that occurs in the film came off to me as somewhat creative--at the very least, a very well-done cliche. I can totally see why this is considered a cult classic: it's extraordinarily original in its premise, and watching it is, at times, surreal, and very entertaining.

    Now, if I had one complaint, it would be that it pulls its punches when it comes to horror and gore. Yeah, it's gory, but it's not *that* gory. But I can't knock points off for that because the director himself stated that he was forced by the studio to tone down the gore, which supposedly turned initial audiences off. He's said that he's very sorry he was forced to do that, and he feels it takes away from the effect the film is going for. I'm inclined to agree; for a film essentially about a glimpse into Hell itself, the violence and gore is pretty minor, and I can tell that quite a bit of it was cut or toned down a lot. Still, I liked this film. The characters were entertaining, and the happenings on the ship were creepy, until the final surge of violence at the end as very bad things start to happen. The "final battle" with the main bad guy isn't particularly climactic, though, and his design didn't strike me as creative or particularly frightening. Since the horrors on the ship are personal for each person, I would have imagined the good guy's past mistake that cost someone his life as the form of the bad guy, in his post-mutilation form. Well, that's how I would have done it, anyway. Still, it's an entertaining movie, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 19, 2012
    This movie has a certain cult status, which implies that it has no real status, and let me tell you why: IT SUCKS on an gargantuan level.
    This movie has a certain cult status, which implies that it has no real status, and let me tell you why: IT SUCKS on an gargantuan level.
    The first 20 minutes or so are actually pretty good in setting up the mysterious mood, but after the crew enters the "Event Horizon" the movie disintegrates into a string of horror movie cliches. There is really no story at all, the crew is forgettable (except for the two leads) and plausibility and creativity fly straight out of the air-lock.

    This is "haunted house" schlock in space, stay away from this stinker.
    Full Review »