What the Hell is going on here? This is one of those films that has been panned by many, many, many people, yet, I have been half interested in seeing it, I am a sucker for space horror of this sort. So I rented it. Why, may I ask, did I enjoy it so much if it is supposed to be so bad?

The plot is rather simple. A paramedic/rescue ship receives a distress call. The call comes directly from the source, not from the paramedic's dispatcher. This is highly unusual, but there is no time to question, so off our heroes go, doing a rather cool dimension jump thing that looks cool and really expresses the shear intensity of what they are doing.

What we find out is that one of our crewmembers has had contact with the person who placed the call and this person she refers to as a "living nightmare". This is an understatement. We are treated to one of the most bizarre love triangles to ever appear in a film (aside from maybe anything in the "Nekromantic" films). Plus we get a very well done psycho and a cast of characters it is hard to like, but that you end up liking somehow.

This film works in an "Event Horizon" form. If you liked that film, then this one is right in your area of things. I felt "Event" was a good movie that could have been worlds better had a person with more guts and insight been in charge. Either that or that film is on the cutting room floor. This is almost the exact same situation. Both films work with a very evil overtone. Both films deal with a person being overtaken by some evil thing. "Event" though has a more vicious side to it underlying everything.

The look of the film is a strange one. The scenery is the basic "Star Wars" meets Alien. But the filming technique goes into a cross between conventional, "NYPD Blue" with the shaky camera work, and "Battlefield: Earth" with that damn "dutch-tilt", but somehow it all worked for me. The film kept the suspense nice and fluid and the plot moved at a decent pace. Sure, the viewer new what was going on before the characters, but at least their revelations weren't held off until the very end of the film. They all realized what was going on at a decent time, but it didn't matter when they found out, the outcomes would have been the same.

My main complaint with the film is that I really was not happy with the outcome of the Robert Forester character. I would have liked more of him in the film. Plus I really didn't like the love stories going on. Not that this was a romance, but everybody in this movie was involved with somebody on the ship, right down to one of the crewmen becoming friendly with the ships computer and naming it "Sweetie"! You also know that the film is going to end up being a "cat and mouse" type of film. But it still worked and did a decent job of keeping you interested.

Extra feature is a bunch of deleted scenes (about 30 minutes worth!!!), one of which is an alternate ending. The ending is pretty much the same, just shot differently. But the bleak outlook is still there. None of these scenes were mind-blowing stuff.

The picture is real nice on this DVD. As with most new films, it had better be nice. I noticed no grain or any problems with the picture. The colors all work nice, which is a plus since this is your typical "space is a real dark place" type of film. The blacks are deep and clear. I never once had to squint to see what the hell was going on. Nice.

The sound was nice. There was enough action all around to make the surround experience a good one. Nothing was too over-powering either.

I found this film to be an overall decent film. Sci-Fi nuts might dislike it since it is more Horror. Those, I believe, were the majority of the people who disliked "Event Horizon". If you want a "cat and mouse" type of film, and enjoyed the world of "Alien" and it's rip-off films, give this a try. This one though is in the rent-it-first category. Not enough here to recommend just running out and buying, but still enough to recommend it for a lonely night at home.

Review by Carl R Isonhart

Directed by Jack Sholder & Francis Ford Coppola
Released by MGM
Region '1' NTSC - Rated R
Ratio - Widescreen anamorphic 2.35:1
Audio - English (Dolby Digital 5.1) & Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles - Spanish & French
Running time : approx 91 minutes
Extras :
20 minutes of Deleted Footage including an alternate ending