When I was 22 (not 12, not 16) I met a friend-of-a-friend who dared me to watch Event Horizon. He was visiting her from out of state, sleeping under her front porch because her college didn’t allow male sleepovers. He was a film major. At the time he was obsessed with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 version) and explained to me why the scene where Leatherface calmly puts one of the teens on a hook was groundbreaking. The matter-of-factedness of it, I think.
Somehow in the conversation my love/hate/terror/fascination of horror movies came out. He’d just seen Event Horizon. I told him it didn’t sound like it was up my alley. Or block. Or zip code. He said he’d pay for my ticket to watch me see it. Or get my reaction. I don’t remember him watching me. I do remember feeling numb afterwards. We went to a matinee so when we came out, my rommmate came with me, I had a grimmer view of the world. It’s a movie, basically, about one idea of hell: physical and emotional torture. I wonder why so many horror movies that bag on religion count on a torture hell theme. There’s a thesis there, film majors.
In those situations my roommate and I would often try to right the psychic damage by watching something like Care Bears or Winnie the Pooh. Watching something completely sunny with zero guile seemed to salve some of the pain. I don’t think we did this time – it felt too bleak. We just went back to our apartment and stared at each other blankly.
“That was messed up.”
A couple of months ago I found the script for Event Horizon and read it. I think they cut some stuff out of the movie or didn’t shoot everything. I haven’t gone back to check. It’s still messed up.