People Magazine said this movie was a "boring, blood-soaked mess." Okay, blood-soaked mess definitely, but I'll admit the film was far from boring. The movie had me in a nervous wreck from beginning to end-- perhaps they even overdid it. Too much BANGS!!! and suddenly appearing people or loud voices designed just to scare you--I am probably not in a position to judge these since I am fairly new to the horror film genre. Hey, I wasn't even supposed to see this movie!! But I have no doubt any adult (well, at least any female adult--forgive me if I am gender stereotyping) will be just as freaked as I am. This is definitely too much blood and gore for the liking.
On the technical side, the opening music and the outer space scenes, not to mention the design of the ship's exterior and interior are great. Note that cool sliding thing (if you don't see this movie you probably won't know what I'm talking about) and the cool gadgets they have inside the spaceship. The film makers created good atmosphere with the shots of random stuff drifting around in the ship, especially the watch. Here's another aspect of the film I am not in a place to judge but I am fascinated by--Sam Neill's theory, about folding space so two points collide, making it that much easier to jump from point A to point B. I know this isn't the first time I've heard that theory, but whoever made that up, if it is made up and has no scientific basis (correct me anytime!), is a true genius, or at least he's very creative.
Perhaps this movie is a horror film in the classic sense (again, I am new to the genre), with lots of blood and disgusting, terrifying scenes (most of which I was able to avoid by ducking), loud sound effects designed to scare, and utter chaos. Yup, by the end of the film I don't think Sam Neill even needed an excuse to look gory and be a psychopathic murderer. I don't know about him, but his wife is sure weird. Interesting idea about the ship being alive and all, but perhaps a little too farfetched, dontcha think? The further the movie progresses the more I think it's starting to turn into a mess, with many what-the-fuck-just-happened moments. All this gets tiresome after a while, and while we're still scared and we're still at the edge of our seats, somehow we're "bored" at the same time.
The cast has created some nice atmosphere during the first couple of scenes when they were actually, shall I say, "sane." Lawrence Fishburne isn't too great here, the same goes to the other actors--although Richard T. Jones (yay!! I actually wrote down the name this time!) did provide some much needed comic relief. Perhaps it is because I grew attached to the team (especially the women and Justin aka "Babybear"--awwwww-- played by Jack Noseworthy) that I felt very sorry at the end, and the last scene, along with some scenes with "Mamabear" Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) and Stark (Joely Richardson). I felt sorry for the darkness and horror they were experiencing, especially when it came from within themselves. This, IMHO, is a successful aspect of the film.
Until I can get used to these horror films, I don't think I'll ever like this film no matter how exciting it is, and I definitely won't recommend this to the faint of heart. People who like these things make get a kick out of it though--it's exciting, suspenseful, but SICK.
Rating: C (First viewing, 8/22/97)