Film: Sci-fi romps; surreal suspense; school daze

Video watch

Event Horizon (18)

CIC (available to rent 13 March)

When the experimental space-ship, "Event Horizon", mysteriously reappears in 2047 seven years after it vanished, Laurence Fishburne and the Horizon's designer, Sam Neill, are despatched to investigate where it and its crew have been.

Well, whichever infernal dimension the Horizon escaped from, there's obviously a pretty good video shop there. As they scrape up what remains of the maiden crew, Fishburne, Neill and their support team (including Sean Pertwee and Joely Richardson) appear to be wandering around a classic sci-fi/horror film museum, re-enacting edited highlights of Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining. Scriptwriter Philip Eisner mistakes gung- ho techy inanities ("Locked, cocked and ready to rock!") for dialogue and one-dimensional archetypes for characters (firm-but-fair Fishburne leading touchy-feely women and superstitious/disturbed/vulnerable men). What diversions there are in the script (the ship can apparently "read" minds) director Paul Anderson handles with all the psychological nuance you might expect from the man responsible for Mortal Kombat.

Disappointing and derivative certainly, but the special effects pack a visceral punch in a film which appears to have based its vision of Hell on Duran Duran's `Lost Boys' video - at least it got one thing right. 2/5

Lost Highway (18) Polygram (available to rent 16 March)

Demanding narrative clarity from a David Lynch film is like bemoaning the lack of a good car chase at the end of The Seventh Seal. As in Eraserhead and Blue Velvet, or the gloriously off-beat Twin Peaks, Lynch's best film and TV work relies on the stylish and witty subversion of almost everything an audience can reasonably expect of a film.

And so it goes with Lost Highway. Musician Bill Pullman's uneasy relationship with his femme fatale wife, Patricia Arquette, is further blighted by the malevolent attentions of a demonic stalker. Until he pulls off a bewildering U-turn an hour in, Lynch seems to heading for a quirkily noir-ish destination. Suddenly, with the barest of narrative threads to hang on to, we're pursuing Balthazar Getty, a small-time crook, who falls for a charismatic gangster's moll. Arquette, formerly brunette, is now the seductive blonde. What's more, the fiendish intruder is now the gangster's personal assassin who, as with Pullman, interposes threats aimed at Getty with the alarming insistence that the two of them have already met.

Studded with husk-dry wit, Lost Highway - even if it sags in the third quarter - has the instinctive, terrifying logic of a fairy-tale. If you can stomach Lynch's complete disregard for what the film textbook calls "disclosure", it's unlikely that you'll spend a more rewardingly disconcerting evening in front of your TV this year. 4/5

187 (15) Warner (available to rent 13 March)

"A teacher wrote this movie" testifies 187 at its conclusion - so how come a dunce directed it? That this portentous statement can be read either as validation or disclaimer tells you a lot about Kevin Reynolds's overly ostentatious execution of Scott Yagemann's script.

187's broadest contention - that a nifty physics experiment isn't necessarily going to send American inner-city high school kids scrumping in the orchards of academe - sounds about right (the title refers to the police radio code for homicide). The bleached out, filtered colours successfully impart the threatening air of the hostile classroom as experienced by Samuel L. Jackson (a principled teacher brought low by a violent encounter in a previous school).

It quickly transpires, however, that Reynolds's emphasis on moody cosmetics is at the expense of any imaginative use of the provocative screenplay. Jackson's problems stem from a core group of kids (all, questionably, Latino) but Reynolds's attempt to see what homes produce these problem children is dangerously schematic. The director's coy omission of the violence committed in the name of vigilantism shouldn't deceive anyone about Jackson's real vocation in 187 - Charles Bronson with leather elbow patches. 2/5

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

    £26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

    £22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions