Friday, October 13, 2017

The Void (2016)


I’m always on the lookout for horror films with a Lovecraftian feel to them. But it is pretty tough to find movies that really capture the feeling of cosmic horror. Then I heard about this film which combined elements from The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness two of John Carpenter’s more Lovecraftian films. This sounded like just the kind of horror movie I could get behind, but were all the rumors true, or was the real eldritch horror the fact that the film doesn’t quite measure up to the hype?


Officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) is having a rough night. He finds an injured man on the road and takes him to the nearby hospital. Unfortunately, the hospital is undergoing renovation and is operating with a skeleton crew. Luckily Dr. Powell (Kenneth Welsh) is on hand to help. But the injured man seems a bit, well... crazy is the best word for it.

Then everything goes south quickly as two deranged men enter the hospital with an arsenal of guns. They are after the injured man with murder on their minds. Then the hospital is surrounded by hooded figures with strange symbols on their robes. Officer Carter finds himself trying to make sense of the motivations behind these interlopers and some of the hospital staff. As things escalate bodies mutate, offerings are made and a door to The Void is being opened. Does Officer Carter stand a chance in any dimension of stopping the insanity?

Good Points:
  • Impressive visual and make up effects
  • Handles the crazed cultist and dimensional horror really well
  • Manages to capture some really disturbing moments. 
Bad Points:
  • None of the characters feel quite fleshed out.
  • Pacing feels off for most of the movie
  • Lovecraft fans may be disappointed at the movie not quite meeting its potential

Love the concept behind the film. It really nails that Lovecraftian feel of cultists attempting to bring about trans-dimensional forces into our world. Unfortunately the execution doesn’t quite hit on all cylinders. The pacing feels off for nearly the entire film. If it had slowed down, and built up to the tension instead of going full bore with the intensity it might have worked better. But the impressive visual effects and practical creatures and gore makeup work really well. This movie has some real gross visuals, and is worth a watch for fans who like their cosmic horror with a dash of graphic violance.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals:  4
Sound: 4
Acting:  3
Script:  3
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 4
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

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  1. I missed this one completely, but extra points for using make-up instead of cgi. The latter is fine when it's just to expensive to, say, destroy a real city for a good action shot, but it too often is a crutch when practical effects would work better.

    1. Yeah I agree. CG has its place, but a good mix of all the techniques is the best option. CG gore in particular looks really bad still. This movie certainly avoids that with plenty of real fluids splattering everywhere. The CG is used sparingly and for moments where the otherworldliness can only be captured using the technique. Worth checking out for an October nightmare journey.

  2. I might add it to my Q. I've been looking for a horror movie to enjoy this coming Halloween with. Nothing much has appealed to me however. It seems the older I get the less interest in the genre I have, however, I don't think it's my interest--I just don't care about many of the films.

    For instance: It Follows--as a film, I didn't think much about it, but I had these "analogy" type films, ie they mean something else like a social disease or whatever. Raw, a French film, was in that mode too. No scary, but had some gore, but not much else. Just give me an old fashion monster flick.

    I did enjoy The Witch and The Babadook however. I also liked Hush, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Don't Breathe.

    1. I liked "It Follows" a bit more than you did. I liked the idea of the thing following being invisible to everyone else, and yet only obvious to the victim... if they weren't in a crowd. I thought the climax ran out of steam a bit, but all in all, an effective movie.

      For some reason "The Witch" didn't click for all that well. I need to give it another shot. I really liked elements of it, and the performances were really good. I just don't think it was what I was expecting, so it didn't quite work.

      Want to give "Don't Breathe" a shot. That one sounds good. And I'm glad you liked "Hush". That one was really well done. That director has done some really good work in horror all the way around. Even his film "Occulus" was pretty well made even if the story didn't work for me.

      Hope you like "The Void". It certainly has its share of monsters and crazy visual effects.