Event Horizon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The Dolby Vision image didn’t dazzle but it appeared to represent the source pretty well.
Sharpness usually worked fine. A few instances of slightly soft shots materialized, but the majority of the flick seemed fairly accurate and well-defined.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt largely natural, and no print flaws appeared.
Horizon went with a cold, metallic palette. Occasional examples of greens and reds appeared – usually via lighting – but the movie mostly stayed with cool tones.
The disc replicated these well and displayed them with more than adequate fullness. HDR added some range to the colors, even if their limitations meant that facet of the 4K didn’t shine.
Blacks seemed deep and dense, and shadows were appropriately clear. HDR gave a boost to whites and contrast. Though not a showpiece, the image worked fine.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio of Event Horizon seemed pretty solid as well, though a few issues appeared there as well. In particular, a little distortion crept into the mix on occasion – more than I’d expect from a relatively “modern” track.
Otherwise I found a lot to like from the audio, and the soundfield was appropriately active. It created a good sense of the outer space setting and allowed elements to move around the spectrum neatly.
The action sequences formed a solid setting and the quieter scenes offered creepy ambience. All five speakers participated actively.
Except for the occasional light distortion, audio quality was good. Speech seemed natural and crisp, and I noticed no signs of edginess. Music showed nice range and definition. The score was consistently bright and bold.
Despite the mild distortion, effects usually came across as full-bodied and possessed a good impact. Bass response was full and tight. Overall, the mix worked well.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the 2008 Blu-ray? Both brought the same TrueHD 5.1 audio.
As for the 4K’s Dolby Vision image, it brought superior delineation, colors and blacks. It also lacked the Blu-ray’s problematic noise reduction and print flaws. The 4K turned into an obvious visual upgrade.
No extras appear on the 4K itself, but the included Blu-ray copy literally reproduces the 2009 release. Obviously, this means it comes with the same materials.
We start with an audio commentary that presents a running, screen-specific chat with director Paul WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, both of whom sit together. Veterans of the format, they show comfort with commentaries but don’t manage to make this one memorable.
Anderson and Bolt cover how they came onto the project, its rushed production, sets and various effects, influences and inspirations, the cast, cinematography and design, cut scenes and trims, and other general notes.
This acts as a decent nuts and bolts examination of the processes, and we occasionally find good stories. I especially like Anderson’s discussion of how he worked to meld the very different acting styles of Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill.
However, I can’t say the commentary leaves a terrific impression overall. It goes slowly at times and doesn’t seem an involving or complete as I’d like. Expect to find a fair primer here but not a terrific chat.
Next we go to The Making of Event Horizon. This five-part documentary fills a whopping one hour, 43 minutes and one second with notes from Anderson, Bolt, production designer Joseph Bennett, animated extras chief supervising designer Pauline Fowler, actor Jason Isaacs, Image Animation effects consultant Bob Keen, special effects producer Stuart McAra, special effects supervisor Richard Yuricich, and Orbital’s Phil and Paul Hartnoll.
The show looks at Anderson’s influences and the project’s development. From there it digs into stages, sets and the movie’s look, the qualifications of the crew and their work, and the cast, their performances and their interactions.
The program continues with information about various shooting difficulties and technical issues, prosthetics, makeup and visual elements on the set, ship design and creation, and various effects concerns. Finally, the piece goes through edits and studio pressure, the score, and final thoughts about the flick.
Inevitably, a fair amount of material from the commentary repeats here. That said, the documentary acts as a better source of information. It covers the various topics in a more direct, coherent manner and lacks the commentary’s slow spots.
In addition, shots from the set and other behind the scenes elements help flesh out our understanding of the production. The presentation occasionally becomes monotonous.
For instance, the chapter that deals with effects often offers little more than very dull “talking head” shots of McAra and Yuricich. However, things usually work fine and this turns into a very strong documentary.
We get one deleted scene and two extended scenes in the Secrets area. Taken together, these run a total of 10 minutes, three seconds.
These include “Deleted Briefing Scene”, “Extended Medical Bay Scene”, and “Extended Burning Man Confrontation”. The last two include no production sound and come only with commentary from Anderson, while his remarks are optional with “Briefing”.
Anderson gives us good information about the scenes and the changes made to them. As for the sequences themselves, “Briefing” is the most interesting, though I think it was a smart cut as it ruins some of the tension and surprises.
In “The Unseen Event Horizon”, we split into two areas. The Un-Filmed Rescue Scene gives us a two-minute, 57-second collection of storyboards for what would have been our intro to the Lewis and Clark.
Anderson discusses it and offers nice background about it. I wish they’d filmed it, as I think it’d have made a nice start to the story.
When we look at Conceptual Art, we get a three-minute, 52-second montage of images. Accompanied by narration from Anderson, we see drawings and paintings created for a mix of elements used in the film. We get a decent little overview of these stages of the production.
The Point of No Return divides into four featurettes that run a total of eight minutes, 12 seconds. Featuring commentary from Anderson, these show various elements from the set.
We look at “The Revolving Corridor”, “The Crew Gathers”, “Shooting Wire Work” and “The Dark Inside”. These let us see various elements of the shoot while Anderson gives us notes about them.
All of this works fine, though I’d have preferred optional commentary, as I’d like to hear what the participants said on the set.
Finally, the disc presents two trailers. We find the film’s theatrical clip along with a video promo.
A ridiculously derivative film, Event Horizon comes across as less than the sum of its parts. The movie steals with abandon but fails to tie together the components into a coherent, entertaining whole. The 4K UHD offers very good picture, audio and supplements. This isn’t an awful flick, but it doesn’t overcome its inherent problems.
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