Event Horizon’s Two Alternate Endings Explained

Event Horizon's Two Alternate Endings Explained

Event Horizon ends on a slightly ambiguous note, but here are the other two endings that were considered for the cult 1997 sci-fi horror movie.

Here are the Event Horizon alternate endings explained and why they weren’t used. Paul W. S. Anderson scored a major success with his 1995 adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombat but passed on returning for a sequel so he could focus on making an R-rated movie. He selected the script for Event Horizon, which sees a deep space rescue team explore the titular ship. The Event Horizon was an experimental craft that could travel to any point in space, but after disappearing for seven years, the crew discovered it brought back something hellish.

Event Horizon was intended to be a major blockbuster overseen by Paramount. Unfortunately for the studio, they hadn’t figured on Anderson’s dark, blood-soaked vision for the film, which had been put together quickly to fill a slot left by the delay of James Cameron’s Titanic. This meant Anderson was largely left alone making Event Horizon, and his original cut for the movie was famously extremely brutal and gory. After several walkouts during a test screening, the studio demanded much of the bloodshed be removed, but the movie was ultimately a financial letdown.


Related: Libera Te Tutemet Ex Inferis: Event Horizon’s Latin Quote Translated & Explained

Despite this, Event Horizon found a cult following in the years following its original release. It’s certainly Paul W.S. Anderson’s best movie, and while fans would love to see a director’s cut, the footage to put one together no longer exists. There were two alternate endings to Event Horizon, and while neither radically alter the movie, they are intriguing in their own way. Here are the Event Horizon alternate endings explained.

The Burning Man Ending

event horizon burning man

Event Horizon’s “Burning Man” finale is essentially a different version of the current showdown. In the final iteration of the Hell in space movie, Laurence Fishburne’s Captain Miller is left trapped in the ship’s gravity drive room, while the demonic Weir (Sam Neill) taunts him with visions of his crew being ripped apart in Hell.

In the Event Horizon alternate endings, one of them sees Weir’s place taken over by Corrick, a crew member from one of Miller’s previous missions who he had to abandon. Corrick burned to death, and Miller is haunted throughout by visions of the burning man. In this ending, Miller was coming face to (burning) face with his biggest regret, and Corrick served as the final antagonist for the Captain to overcome. It turns out that test audiences preferred the Weir-centric version, which led to the use of that finale.

The Screaming Ship Ending

event horizon joely richardson

Event Horizon, Hellraiser’s intergalactic equivalent, ends on an ambiguous note, with survivors Starck and Cooper being picked up by a rescue team. Nonetheless, Starck hallucinates Weir as one of the rescuers, and a door closes by itself, implying sinister forces are still part of the Event Horizon ship. Either way, it appears Starck will remain haunted by her experiences on the ship.

Related: Blair Witch Project Had 3 Alternate Endings (How Each Would Have Changed It)

The Event Horizon alternate endings see another variation, though it arguably would have been creepier. Instead of a vision of Weir, Event Horizon’s scripted ending saw Starck assailed by screams from the deceased crew of the ship, with hands reaching over her body — which turns out to be the rescue team. Cooper also comes to comfort her, but again, the implication is that the trauma will linger with her for a long time.

Would The Event Horizon Alternate Endings Have Improved The Movie?

Doctor Weir hallucinates an image of his wife Claire in Event Horizon

Based on the Event Horizon alternate endings, it’s hard to say which one would’ve changed the movie more or if they would’ve altered the film for the better, as choosing either of the alternate endings would’ve adjusted the film in a different way. If the first ending had been chosen, with Corrick taking Weir’s place, it would’ve had a negative impact on the film. Corrick wasn’t as central to the story as Weir, mainly appearing as a hallucination from Miller’s mind. Swapping the two characters out was the right call given Weir’s presence throughout the movie, and the intended level of sexual violence in Event Horizon’s infamous scrapped “blood orgy” was completely gratuitous. The second alternate ending retains its ambiguity but would’ve been far more psychologically troubling. Plus, it could have prevented the “it was all a dream” moment that undercuts the conclusion in the Event Horizon final cut (even though the door in the theatrical cut closes unprompted, implying that the ship is still sentient and possibly malicious). Having the ending as a possible hallucination rather than a dream lends itself more to the theme of Starck’s trauma and makes the continued hellish possession of the ship simultaneously less certain and more implied – the movie lost a smarter denouement in this alternative.

Next: How Event Horizon Perfectly Combined Elements Of Alien & The Shining

tomb raider 2 alicia vikander

Tomb Raider 2 With Alicia Vikander Scrapped As MGM Loses Rights

About The Author

Padraig Cotter
(3705 Articles Published)

It’s pronounced Paw-rick, not Pad-raig. Now that’s out of the way, a brief introduction. Padraig has been writing about film online since 2012, when a friend asked if he’d like to contribute the occasional review or feature to their site.

A part-time hobby soon blossomed into a career when he discovered he really loved writing about movies, TV and video games – he even (arguably) had a little bit of talent for it. He has written words for Den of Geek, Collider, The Irish Times and Screen Rant over the years, and can discuss anything from the MCU – where Hawkeye is clearly the best character – to the most obscure cult b-movie gem, and his hot takes often require heat resistant gloves to handle.

He’s super modern too, so his favorite movies include Jaws, Die Hard, The Thing, Ghostbusters and Batman. He can be found as i_Padds on Twitter making bad puns.

More From Padraig Cotter