awkwardly

Saturday

Event Horizon is unofficial Hellraiser 5 (or Hellraiser in Space 2)

People keep mutilating themselves. A body is suspended by hooks in its skin. The main antagonist of Event Horizon starts off somewhat sympathetically, but displays his wounds and self-mutilation proudly after he becomes thoroughly evil. The "Gravity Drive" is the Lament Configuration, the puzzle which opens the doorway to a dimension of "chaos" and suffering. When he tries to bring everyone else to Hell, the bad guy has a network of injuries crossing his face and hairless head. Where have we seen that before? 

And it all happens in space! So that would be a nice twist on things if it didn't come out a year after Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), the fourth official installment of the series, part of which deals with a space station that is a puzzle box.

I wrote a review of Event Horizon way back in 1998, explaining some of the storytelling lessons you could learn from its failures. One of the failures I overlooked is repeated in Prometheus. You show all the gritty details of space travel, views of the ship from outside and inside, show our heroes waking up from suspended animation. Then you gather them in a room and reveal what their mission is. 

How many people are willing to go on a mission without first hearing what it entails? From the mission-planning side of things, why would you pick a bunch of people and spend all the money to get them way out near the site of their mission without knowing that they're capable and willing to carry out the mission? No matter how secret the mission is, it would make more sense to pick people you feel you can trust and explain the mission while they're on Earth (or whatever stable colony or ship they call home). But it's a little inconvenient to have a boring briefing scene, then all the gritty space travel bits, then have them move into their mission. They manage to make it work for Bond, sometimes.

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