Archive for sean pertwee

EVENT HORIZON (1997) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2013 by goregirl

Event Horizon is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, not to be confused with the immensely talented Paul Thomas Anderson. You know the expression less is more? Mr. W.S. Anderson believes more is more and that is clear from his output. His titles are an exercise in overindulgence; Mortal Kombat, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution and The Three Musketeers are really all just mucky-muck if you ask me. More is often too much in my opinion. Long and short, I am not much of a fan of Paul W.S. Anderson’s work. I guess that is part of the reason I haven’t bothered to revisit Event Horizon. Event Horizon is a film I have not watched since it came out in theatres. It had two things working in its favor for a re-watch; Sam Neill going mad and it came highly recommended from a trustworthy source. Neill going mad is a fecking treat! Neill in Possession, Neill In the Mouth of Madness and Neill in Event Horizon is the perfect trilogy of insanity. I am happy to say that Event Horizon ended up being a nice surprise and well worth the re-visit! My awesome video store had the special collector’s edition which had an entire disc of special features. The special features are quite extensive! It includes a full on documentary on the making of Event Horizon, storyboards for a scene that was never filmed, and lots of stuff about the special effects (which I always enjoy!). There was a bunch of other stuff I didn’t write down too! It is a must have if you are a fan of the film. Event Horizon is an intense sci-fi horror gem that is a hell of a lot of fun!

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Event Horizon opens with the following text:

2015
First permanent colony established on moon.

2032
Commerical mining begins on Mars.

2040
Deep space research vessel ‘Event Horizon’ launched to explore boundaries of solar system. She disappeared without trace beyond the eighth planet Neptune. It is worst space disaster on record.

2047
Now…

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The camera gives us some impressive shots of a spaceship and we travel inside to see various personal effects floating through a tunnel. We see a man looking badly mutilated screaming in terror and/or pain. We meet Dr. William Weir as he is waking up from a nightmare. In this short scene we learn Dr. Weir is apart from a wife he misses. And more text…

Daylight station low earth orbit.

U.S.A.C. Vessel: Lewis & Clark
Category: Search and rescue
Mission: Top Secret

U.S.A.C. Lewis & Clark: 56 Days out

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Was Dr. Weir affected by the Event Horizon before he boarded it with the crew of the Lewis & Clark? If anyone would be, I suppose it would be him being he was the person who built the ship. Dr. Weir debriefs the crew of the Lewis & Clark on the original mission of the Event Horizon. The mission of the experiment was to beat the speed of light, or at least cheat it a little. Dr. Weir makes folding space in half sound completely plausible. You are messing with some crazy shit Dr. Weir! One of the details that makes Event Horizon stand out is it is a horror film that takes place is space and there is not an alien in sight! It is a pretty wacky premise though. The ship travelled to hell and came back possessed. There have been possessed houses, possessed cars, possessed boats, possessed hotels and plenty of possessed people. Why not a possessed space vessel? It knows what you fear and uses it. It knows your secrets and materializes them. It is in your head and all around you and you can not escape. You are in freaking space!

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In the more is more category Anderson includes too many scenes of people making it through doors in the nick of time. Three come to mind instantly but there were at least one or two more. One is fun, two is acceptable, three or anything more is hokey and redundant! Worry not, there is a ton of action in Event Horizon and this was a minor blip in the overall scheme of things. The effects are great and the sets are massive and very impressive. Even though the vessel itself is a massive structure there is a claustrophobic feel to the action. There is a great intensity that builds steadily throughout the film. The ending wasn’t exactly a shocker but it was not unsatisfying. There were some very impressive sets created for Event Horizon. Amazing models and effects too. There is some computer graphics but most of the effects are of the practical variety. If you watch the features you will get an idea of just how labor intensive some of the effects actually were.

A lot of people die and pretty gruesomely too. The goriest bits are the flashes of hell and the log from the former crew of the Event Horizon. The flashes of hell are shot in rapid fire providing a rather jarring effect. Some of the shots from hell feature models that are inspired by H.R. Giger. I think they have captured that Giger vibe pretty damn well! The playback on the Event Horizon log is also seen only in flashes but the crew are literally tearing each other apart. Imagine being one of the crew of the Lewis & Clark watching this recording?! These are great well executed scenes. The getup sported by Dr. Weir towards the film’s finale is particularly nifty. According to the DVDs special features it took a few hours to apply. Event Horizon is heavy on the visuals and very slick looking but it is not the only thing Event Horizon has going for it.

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The crew of the Lewis & Clark had great chemistry. Captain Miller played by Laurence Fishburn is the stalwartly captain; respected and liked by his crew. I am in the camp that finds Fishburn a welcome edition to any film; the man has presence. While Dr. Weir is the exception to the chemistry rule (his role is the maligned outsider), Sam Neill is a great actor who always brings his A-game and has a wide range. Neill is particularly great when he is playing characters that are going mad. Joely Richardson who plays Lieutenant Starck doesn’t get much focus in the first half of the film, but she is likable enough; and she sure does get tossed around like a football in the finale! Handsome Sean Pertwee plays the ship’s pilot Smith; an outspoken, sarcastic but not unlikable bloke. Engineer Justin is the young one of the group who is nicknamed baby bear. Jack Noseworthy does a great “I just seen Hell” face! Justin is a great character you have empathy for. Another high in the empathy category is med tech Peters played by Kathleen Quinlan. The ship uses her young son to manipulate her and bring about her demise. Doctor D.J. played by Jason Isaacs is the serious one of the group. He is quiet and intense; I figured him for being an easy target for manipulation. Finally we have Rescue Tech Cooper played by Richard T. Jones. He was one smart, spunky and durable bastard! He is in a particularly outrageous scenario that I must admit was pretty damn funny. I don’t know that they needed to add comedy to this film, but I have to admit, I thought it worked. A great cast of interesting characters.

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Event Horizon is a visually appealing, well-acted, action-packed, creepy and intense sci-fi horror. Event Horizon comes highly recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Peter Marinker, Holley Chant, Barclay Wright, Noah Huntley

DOG SOLDIERS – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by goregirl

dog soldiers dvd“Six soldiers. Full moon. No chance.”

Today’s review is another suggestion/recommendation from a reader. This is actually my second viewing of ‘Dog Soldiers’, which I had initially rented when it was a new release. I’m pleased to say I enjoyed this flick just as much as I did the first time. Don’t be put off by that cheesy looking cover. The film’s DVD art is not a reflection of the quality product contained within.

The bloody remains of a cow dropped into their camp surprise a group of soldiers on a routine training mission in Scotland. They follow the bloody breadcrumbs to what remains of a Special Ops squad. Among the blood and guts they find a wounded survivor. The enemy has come back for seconds, but thanks to a zoologist driving through the area, the group manages to escape. With two badly wounded men in the group, they decide to hole up in a local house. Here they are forced to battle an unimaginable enemy, a pack of werewolves.
still from dog soliders
We begin with a couple camping in the woods. The zipper of their tent slowly moving upwards interrupts their necking. As they stare dumbfounded, the female is ripped from the tent and killed. We then move to a scene where a man is being chased, but learn that he is completing survivor training. His refusal to shoot a dog in the head for no reason gets his ass booted out. Now enter our soldiers on a routine training mission. Private Cooper, our man who refused to shoot the dog (and good on ya sir!) is now part of this group. When they find the gory remains of the Special Ops unit, he instantly recognizes the survivor as his former superior, Captain Ryan. Captain Ryan played by Liam Cunningham is the films asshole. In direct contrast is the personable Sargeant Wells played by Sean Pertwee. The group under Sargeant Wells command are a bunch of likeable blokes who are about to get a lot more than they signed up for. Rounding out the cast is the films lone female, our zoologist Megan. The film is well cast with every single performance top-notch. Perhaps I am somewhat charmed by the accent, but there is definitely a natural fluid feel to the dialog.

The film is well written, particularly the dialog as noted above. Some of the banter between the men is humorous, but the film is generally a more serious affair. Like vampires and zombies, there is a pre-determined set of rules one comes to expect with werewolf behaviour. They stick to the basics here, hunting during the full moon, good eyesight, can’t be taken down by a regular bullet. Of course the men had no idea they would be running into werewolves so they didn’t come prepared with silver bullets, but there’s pretty much nothing you can’t blow to bits.
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There is a decent amount of blood and gore. The werewolves make short work of their prey leaving nothing behind but entrails and blood. Plenty of blood. That stuff can really stick to a boot! The werewolves are extremely impressive from a distance and cast a most intimidating shadow. Unfortunately, there are times when the shots get close in, that they look considerably less than perfect. But you have to appreciate that they opted for costumes over CGI.

The mood is excellent. It manages to keep a nice intensity throughout. The remote, vast expanse of wilderness that the troops are dropped into adds to the sense of hopelessness, which escalates as the film moves along. How can so much space seem so claustrophobic? Marshall is a master at casting and mood. If you are a fan of his film ‘The Descent’, and you’re not adverse to creature features, you will probably find much to enjoy here. A solid story, excellent cast, great setting and decent effects make ‘Dog Soldiers’ an excellent way to spend 100ish minutes. Highly Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4.5/5

Directed By: Neil Marshall

Starring: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson