Event Horizon: Exploring the Blurred Lines Between Science & Supernatural

Event Horizon

As far as horror movies go, “Event Horizon” is one of the most disturbing and haunting. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and released in 1997, this movie tells the story of a rescue crew sent to investigate a spaceship that mysteriously disappeared seven years ago. What they find on board is a nightmare beyond their wildest imagination.

But “Event Horizon” is more than a gore-fest or a cheap scare. The movie blurs the line between science and the supernatural and raises some thought-provoking questions about the nature of reality, the human mind, and the limits of scientific exploration. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the things you might not know about “Event Horizon” and how it combines horror, science fiction, and philosophy in a way that makes us question what we know about the universe.

The Design of the Ship is Based on Real Science

One of the most striking things about “Event Horizon” is the ship’s design. The USCSS Lewis and Clark is a massive vessel that looks like a cross between a battleship and a cathedral, with Gothic arches, stained glass windows, and religious iconography. But many people don’t realize that the ship’s design is based on real science and engineering.

The concept artist, Kevin Phipps, designed the ship to resemble a Gothic cathedral, emphasizing the connection between science and religion. He also incorporated elements of authentic spacecraft design, such as the solar panels and radiators that provide power and cooling for the ship. The result is a ship that looks futuristic and ancient and serves as a metaphor for the movie’s themes of faith, madness, and the unknown.

The Movie Was Originally Even More Disturbing

If you think “Event Horizon” is disturbing now, you should know that it was originally much worse. The MPAA initially gave the movie an NC-17 rating due to its graphic violence and disturbing content. Some scenes that were cut include a man being sodomized with a barbed wire tentacle and another man being ripped apart by gravity. The director has stated that he had to cut the movie significantly to avoid getting an NC-17 rating.

But even with these cuts, “Event Horizon” is still one of the most intense and disturbing horror movies. It’s a movie that doesn’t hold back regarding gore and violence but also explores deeper themes of fear, guilt, and redemption.

The Movie Features Real Scientific Concepts

Despite its supernatural elements, “Event Horizon” also incorporates real scientific concepts into its story. The movie explores the idea of a black hole as a gateway to another dimension or universe, a concept explored by theoretical physicists and cosmologists. The ship’s gravity drive, which allows it to travel faster than light, is also based on real scientific theories such as the Alcubierre drive.

But “Event Horizon” also takes these concepts to their most extreme and terrifying limits. The ship’s gravity drive opens a portal to a dimension of pure chaos and evil, where the laws of physics don’t apply, and the crew’s worst nightmares become a reality. The movie raises questions about the limits of human understanding and the dangers of playing with forces beyond our control.

The Movie Has Influenced Many Other Works of Science Fiction

“Event Horizon” has significantly influenced other works of science fiction, including movies, TV shows, and video games. Its blend of horror and science fiction has inspired many filmmakers and writers to explore similar themes, such as the “Deadspace” genre, which features a team of astronauts facing a terrifying threat in the void of space. Moreover, numerous movies and TV shows, such as “Sunshine” and “Lost in Space,” have taken cues from “Event Horizon” to depict the challenges and hazards of space exploration.”

“Event Horizon” has also significantly impacted the video game industry. The famous “Dead Space” franchise features a similar premise of space exploration gone wrong, with players taking on the role of an engineer battling horrific monsters aboard a deserted spaceship. The game’s developers have cited “Event Horizon” as a significant inspiration for the series and even included a nod to the movie with an unlockable “Event Horizon” suit in “Dead Space 2.”

Real Science in “Event Horizon”

While “Event Horizon” is undoubtedly a work of science fiction, it does contain some elements of real science. The movie’s depiction of a black hole and its potential effects on the fabric of space and time is based on real scientific theories.

Black holes are some of the universe’s most mysterious and fascinating objects. They are formed when a massive star dies and collapses under its gravity, becoming so dense that nothing can escape its gravitational pull, not even light. The seriousness of a black hole is so intense that it can warp the fabric of space and time around it, creating strange and unpredictable effects.

In “Event Horizon,” the titular ship uses a device called the Gravity Drive to create an artificial black hole and use it to travel faster than the speed of light. While faster-than-light travel is still firmly in science fiction, the movie’s depiction of a black hole and its effects on space and time are based on real scientific theories.

Anecdotes from the Set

As with any movie production, there were plenty of interesting and unusual anecdotes from the set of “Event Horizon.” One of the most notable was that the production design team created a 40-foot-tall recreation of the interior of the titular spaceship.

This massive set piece was so large that it had to be built in a disused aircraft hangar, and the production team had to use cranes and other heavy equipment to move it into place. The set was so detailed and intricate that it took more than three months to construct, and the filmmakers used it to shoot some of the movie’s most memorable scenes.

Another interesting anecdote from the “Event Horizon” set involves the movie’s use of practical effects. Rather than relying solely on CGI to create the movie’s terrifying and gruesome scenes, the filmmakers used a variety of practical effects, including prosthetics, makeup, and animatronics.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie involves a character being pulled into a portal to hell, with his body contorting and twisting in horrific ways. This scene was achieved using a combination of practical effects and a contortionist actor. The animatronics team created a puppet of the character’s lower half that could be twisted and deformed in real time.


“Event Horizon” is a true classic of the science fiction genre, blending horror, action, and suspense into a thrilling and unforgettable movie experience. Its influence can be seen in many other works of science fiction, and its depiction of a black hole and its potential effects on space and time is based on real scientific theories.

With its exciting anecdotes from the set and its blend of real science and science fiction, “Event Horizon” is a movie that will make the reader think and engage their imagination. We highly recommend you watch the movie and listen to our podcast episode “Movie: Event Horizon (1997)” to hear our perspective on this cinematic gem. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles.

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