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

Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor