Event Horizon was so terrifying that Paramount thought it’d affect Star Trek and maybe it did.
Paramount was riding high in 1997 with the Star Trek franchise. Their first film in the new generation, Generations, did great at the box office in 1994, pulling in over $100 million at the box office, in a time when that was comparatively rare and impressive. Then in 1996, First Contact came out and did even better than Generations, while also hitting highs with reviews. It was the best film since Wrath of Khan and its true rival in the “greatest Star Trek film ever” discussion. Then in 1997, Paul W.S. Anderson released his film; Event Horizon.
Things got ugly really fast.
Event Horizon starred Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill in a science fiction horror movie. The ship finds a lost ship, the Event Horizon, that’s been missing for seven years. After finding it, boarding it, and investigating it, all hell breaks loose, literally. The ship was lost in another dimension, thought to be hell, and now the essence of the Event Horizon starts affecting the recently arrived crew, namely Neill’s character, who was set on taking the Event Horizon back to that dimension.
Visually, it’s a terrifying film. Story-wise, this is the man that turned Resident Evil into Clone Wars 2.0, so you know it’s got its issues. I’ve only ever watched it once when I was in my early teens due to how awful it was to watch. Both due to the nightmares and the hacky story.
Yet, Paramount thought the film was so much that it may ruin the Star Trek franchise by proxy, and maybe it did.
In an interview with Variety, Anderson revealed that someone from Paramount chastised him about possibly ruining Star Trek, saying;
"Someone actually said to me, ‘We’re the studio that makes Star Trek! They weren’t only horrified by my movie; they felt I was besmirching ‘Star Trek’ somehow, because I was also in space and doing all this terrible stuff."
Did Event Horizon ruin Star Trek?
Scientifically, I can’t prove that Event Horizon affected the next films in the Star Trek franchise; Insurrection or Nemesis. Those films had their own issues, specifically lackluster plots, and underwhelming villains.
Is that Anderson and Event Horizon’s fault? No, again, not scientifically.
But Anderson ruined the Resident Evil franchise, and so I don’t rule out his ability to tarnish things like Star Trek by proxy. He took a solid intro film and went so far into the realm of nonsensical that a simple survival story of surviving zombies in a mansion evolved into clones battling clones at the end of the world.
All with a lackluster cast and awful dialogue.
So am I just blaming Anderson for the failings of the last two Next Generation films because he ruined the great potential of the first Resident Evil franchise? No, of course not.
Am I being honest? No, of course not.