Why Event Horizon Beats Prometheus As The Superior Sci-Fi/Horror

sam neill
Posted on: October 23rd, 2012

By | Follow on Twitter

There was a time in my life when I would have gone completely nuts at the idea of an Alien prequel. Probably between Alien 3 (which is better than you probably remember) and Alien Resurrection (which is just as twatty as you remember) and long before Alien versus Predator (Whoever wins… you won’t give a fuck…) which was so bad I was certain halfway through I had been sent on a rite-of-passage style vision quest. You can imagine my anger at the end to discover I was no more of a man then I had been beforehand; although now that I think of it, I’m a lot more world-weary than I had been, but that may be thanks to AVP – Requiem, which was a supremely demoralizing experience.

.

crying xenomorph

What have they done to my legacy! *sob*

.

Those days are long gone now of course. I wouldn’t say sci-fi horror has moved on; but The Xenomorphs are no longer the only game in town. Movies like Event Horizon, Pitch Black, and Pandorum have come along and while they may not have been the shock to the system that Alien was upon its release, they’ve at least… That is to say they… Well shit. Two of those three aforementioned movies, the exception being Event Horizon; were kind of guff; and I can’t think of many more I could be arsed including.

.

event horizon sam neill

Plus only Event Horizon has the “Sam Neill Seal of Approval”!

.

I guess Horror Sci-fi is in more trouble than I’d thought. Thank the cosmos then for Ridley Scott, who has come storming back at the nick of time with his game-changing prequel story (sic):

Prometheus!

.

prometheus poster

.

Adult nappies were bought in bulk in preparation for the frenzy of shitting-themselves that was bound to follow the long awaited fruition to a million points of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” speculation. The Space Jockeys; those ten-foot enigmas (who were surpassed only by Boba Fett in the disproportionate screen time/fan kudos stakes) were about to get top billing and all our questions were going to be answered. Ridley Scott didn’t say any of this stuff exactly (at least not when he’d finally gotten around to starting work on the movie) but, y’know, we all knew what was going on, right?

No. No we did not. In our folly we didn’t listen as Scott told us that no, this was not the prequel we were after, and although it would have some thematic similarities, and be set in the same universe, and HAVE THE SPACE JOCKEYS IN IT, it was still not going to be what we thought. “OK” we said, thinking we were getting a phantom whiff of misdirection. “So what is it then?”

.

human chestbuster

Perhaps a completely shocking twist in the tale.

.

As details began to emerge, I heard two words that chilled me to the bone; “Ancient Aliens.” Now at the risk of editorializing (by that I mean I am about to editorialize and you can just fucking live with it). This is the same lazy jumping off point that brought us AVP and Indiana Jones and the Bitter Disappointment, and presumably has a large chapter devoted to it in “The Ladybird Bumper Book of McGuffins for Dummies”.

This served to pretty much torpedo the movie for me from the outset. Before the outset even. It seemed to be a pretty dumb move to have your movies opening premise mirror that of another movie from the very same franchise you are actively trying to distance yourself from. So either Ridley Scott had something up his sleeve that was gonna blow minds to the point where we would look back at our earlier fears with incredulity at how stupid we were at not trusting his genius and vision, or he had lost the plot and was just taking a lazy approach to writing a story.

.

Screenwriting for Dummies

This book only has one page titled “Steal everything; Originality is for losers”

.

Statistically there is someone somewhere that believes the first of those things. I’m sure of this because I’m sure that there is also someone, somewhere (Probably a hipster) who has attempted to use an upturned, but still armed bear-trap as a helmet (I think it’s called “Accessorizing. Basically it’s hanging silly trinkets off yourself like a foppish human christmas tree), and both of these someones will reap the benefits of their wrongness.

In the former case, because one or two sequels down the line they will be heartbroken to realize that the story has not gained any substance (I know that is a very speculative thing to say, but I really hold out very little hope for this series) and in the latter because when that bear trap goes off all the other hipsters will chase the guy around, ironically trying to dip toasted soldiers into the yawning hole where the top of his skull used to be. And good for them I say.

So if you’re wondering whether or not I liked Prometheus, let me answer your question with another question. How much of a laugh would it be to compare it to another movie, to which its links could be described as “tenuous,” or even “not there” instead of giving it a proper review? And the answer is:

A huge laugh!

Tags: , , , ,

Articles from around the web you may also enjoy:

Author Info Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/Fix06 Mark McCann

    I agree with absolutely everything you just said. Just to get that out there :)

  • A Parasitic Cyst

    ‘Wow, the mystery of the space jockey is about to be explained………. COOOL!!!!……. Oh wait, they’re just big humans…… How… Boring?….. Erm… How shit?!…… At least it has aliens in it, right?… Well ONE…. Oh wait, guess what?……. It was shit too!’

    I really hope the movie execs have a gun to ridley’s head screaming “Just make us a decent fucking Aliens film for fucks sake!!!”

    Event Horizon kicks arse though, possibly Mr anderson’s finest film?

    Good article by the way.