There’s no way I could be the herald of The Story Monster and not be a fan of creature features. The Void (2016) is a horror film based on Lovecraftian monsters. Directed by filmmakers Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski. These guys are not strangers to the sci-fi and horror genre. Gillespie has worked as an art director on The Boys, Locke & Key, IT Chapter Two, and Shazam. Kostanski wrote and directed the hardcore comedy horror Psycho Goreman. This duo came together like Voltron to create something special from beyond this world, The Void.
Once again, a small-town fall victim to a malevolent force. Police officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) transported an injured man named James (Evan Stern) to a hospital with a small staff. Not long after they arrive, a murderous cult surrounds the hospital and attempts to kill anyone who leaves. Compared to what happens inside the building, fighting a murderous cult seems like a cakewalk. A random transformation occurs, which causes mayhem and a hideous scene involving tentacles. This film turned a relatively mundane situation into a hideous, world-ending event. I was not ready for the madness that ensued.
The Void is body horror at its finest. People perform violent acts on each other, and Lovecraftian monsters appear like wild Pokémon. Quick and unconventional camera angles magnificently capture the expressions. Viewers get an up close and personal view of the fatalities. Those who are squeamish should steer clear of this movie.
A father (Daniel Fathers) and son (Mik Byskov) duo find their way to the hospital, and they are all about that action. They don’t give a damn about the police being there, defenseless women, or the doctor. These guys are out for revenge! A pregnant woman, her elderly father, and the hospital staff are caught in the ruckus. Just when the situation seems like it’s completely gone to hell, the stakes get higher and higher. At a certain point, one wonders if there will be any survivors. I’m a big fan of how they revved up the tension, then allowed the story to breathe when characters reflected on their lives or shared an emotional moment.
Character backstory is communicated through dialogue and well-timed flashbacks. In addition to physical threats, a psychological battle occurs throughout the film. It reminds me of the scene from Spiderman: No Way Home when Mysterio fought Peter in the warehouse using illusions to get the upper hand. How do you fight an enemy that can come back to life, then turn into something else completely? Something inhuman and visually disturbing that takes two to three men to put down. Lovecraftian monsters are on full display from start to finish. These creatures are reoccurring antagonists in the literary work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
He frequently wrote about deformed and terrifying beings from another world that inspire fear. Tentacles are a signature appendage of the horrifying monsters and their god-like power. Filmmakers Gillespie and Kostanski pay homage to these concepts with the creature designs. All of them are unique, eerie, and mutilated beyond human recognition. The Void does a great job of conveying the impact of grief. The theme is a throughline for the entire narrative; a supernatural influence exploits this emotion, and it is brilliant. I highly recommend this to anyone that loves watching scary movies with people who don’t. The reactions and screams are priceless.
Praise to the composers of the soundtrack, which immerses you in the doom and gloom of this world. Lots of dark synth waves, metal guitar, bass, and booming percussion. None of the music evokes a positive vibe, but it mellows out when everyone isn’t fighting to survive. The Void gets my stamp of approval with a 7.5 out of 10. What’s your favorite creature feature? Comment below, and don’t forget to share this spoiler-free review on social media. If you don’t, Cthulhu will come to get you.
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