Paul W.S. Anderson’s 1997 sci-fi horror tale “Event Horizon” remains one of his best works, an extremely gory but effective “Hellraiser” in space-style film with impressive visuals done on a relatively moderate budget.
Over the years there’s been legends about the film having a director’s cut. Anderson was famously pushed to edit the film in just four weeks by the studio due to delays related to the lengthy post-production process on “Titanic”.
He delivered a rough cut that clocked in at 130 minutes, a version that was tested with bad results and reports of some test audience members fainting. This led to a cut down of the film’s gore and runtime to just 95 minutes.
Anderson shot down talk of a longer cut during the 20th-anniversary celebrations of the movie, saying that a lot more was shot than what was in the movie. The excised footage wasn’t archived well and attempts to find it have proven fruitless.
One of the film’s stars is Jason Isaacs who recently spoke with Yahoo UK about the cut footage from the film, saying it was too much:
“I don’t know about this director’s cut If you watch the film it does occasionally flash — literally flash frames — to what happened to the ship when it went to hell and there’s all kinds of what looks like, ‘Is it an orgy? Is it a massacre? What’s going on?’
They shot it on a soundstage next to us, and there are things that are definitely illegal to do now, probably illegal to do then, with a whole bunch of people with certain things wrong with their body or their mind.”
Paul’s best mate was shooting the second unit, and he kept coming back to our stage going, ‘You will not believe what I saw this morning,’ and I don’t think putting more of that in there will make it work, and I don’t think more people’s visions make it work.
Maybe Paul’s got some footage somewhere. I don’t think so, he’s never mentioned it to me. I think it’s a bit of a myth this director’s cut, that’s the film. But I might be wrong, I didn’t direct it.”
Set in 2047, the film follows a crew of astronauts sent on a rescue mission after a missing space ship, the Event Horizon, spontaneously appears in orbit around Neptune nearly a decade after it disappeared.
Searching the ship for signs of life, the rescue crew learns that the Event Horizon was responsible for testing an experimental engine that opened a rift in the space time continuum – a doorway to another dimension that is effectively Hell.
“Event Horizon” is available to stream on Paramount+ and The Criterion Channel along with VOD platforms.