Event Horizon shocked studio bosses who first saw it, says director

Event Horizon, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, is a science fiction horror movie known for its graphic scenes — it even shocked Paramount when they saw it

Dr Weir in Event Horizon

Disturbing science fiction movie Event Horizon definitely shook up audiences when it was released in the ’90s — but little did they know that Paramount, the distributor of the horror movie, were just as shocked as they were.

Event Horizon tells the story of the mysterious eponymous spaceship which reappears in our solar system after going missing for seven years. The crew aboard the space rescue ship Lewis and Clark pick up Event Horizon’s distress call, only to discover the ship and its remaining crewmates are linked to a terrifying alternative dimension.

The thriller movie starred Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, and Peter Marinker. When Event Horizon was initially released, it was considered a commercial and critical flop, but it has since developed a cult following for its horrifying visuals. However, in a new interview with Variety, Anderson revealed that Paramount executives were among those who were less than enthusiastic about the divisive visuals.

“Someone actually said to me, ‘We’re the studio that makes Star Trek!'” he recalled.  “They weren’t only horrified by my movie; they felt I was besmirching Star Trek somehow because I was also in space and doing all this terrible stuff.”

Fortunately for Anderson, history has been a little kinder to Event Horizon, which he reflected on in that same interview. “I don’t think we were ever going to test great because the end of the movie is a bit of a downer,” he said.

Dr Weir in Event Horizon

“When you disturb an audience, they’re not going to go, ‘Oh, that was an excellent cinema-going experience.’ But we delivered a movie that really stayed with people. I think that over time it’s been appreciated for that.”

If you’re in the mood for more unspeakable space horrors, why not check out the Predator movies in order? Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more recent, check out Jordan Peele’s terrifying Nope.