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John’s Horror Corner: The Void (2016), the indie horror where The Thing’s (1982) practical effects meet Lovecraft and Barker!

April 12, 2017

MY CALL:  This indie horror film performs wonders with a small budget, honors your favorite concepts of 80s horror and practical effects, and honors Clive Barker, John Carpenter and H. P. Lovecraft to end.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The VoidThe Thing (1982), the prequel/remake of The Thing (2011), Harbinger Down (2015)…but also The Fly (1986), Hellraiser (1987) and Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988).  I’d focus more on the four 80s suggestions, even if you’re young and think “older horror” isn’t your style.

I’ve been waiting for this film for a loooong time—ever since I wrote Trailer Talk: The Void, an unfinished Lovecraftian horror labor of love that needs your help.

Small town sheriff Daniel (Aaron Poole; The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh) brings an apparently drunk, injured man to a hospital.  Preparing to relocate, the hospital is running on bare essential supplies and minimal staff including Dr. Powell (Kenneth Welsh; The Exorcism of Emily Rose, TimeCop, Of Unknown Origin), nurse Allison (Kathleen Munroe; Alphas) and trainee nurse Kim (Ellen Wong; Silent Night).

Shortly after admitting the patient things get weird…fast!  A nurse kills a patient and mutilates herself, the phones and even police radio go out, murderous cultists surround the hospital, the electricity goes out, and you know the Lovecraftian sh** has hit the fan when patient zero has bloody whipping tentacles emerging from his face!

The dialogue is really just passable with equally unimpressive writing (but a great premise), but I’m going to call this a great horror film anyway!  Written and directed by Steven Kostanski (Manborg, The ABCs of Death 2 segment W is for Wish) and Jeremy Gillespie (Father’s Day)—two men reared on the creative and effects side of the camera—I am dying to see what they can do with a little more experience (now under their belt) and a bigger budget on their next project. And there better be a next project because, and I think I speak for all of us, we want more of this!  Why?  Because the effects were OUTSTANDING!!!!! Their premise was also a story I’d like to see further developed—but I can’t explain that without huge spoilers.

We graduate from some flailing face tentacles to a hulking, disfigured amalgam of human body parts and tentacles.  It’s all practical effects and it’s all glorious.  Even if clearly birthed from a humble budget, this is exactly what gorehounds want!  When the creature kills, it pumps its tentacles down its victims’ eye sockets and other orifices so as to absorb more helpless cadaver into the monster’s mass.  A head even emerges tearing its way out of the mutated body—much as The Thing (1982)—and we see lifeless, shambling mounds of reanimated undead flesh with melted mozzarella-gooiness.

The violence and gore includes loads of blood, wounds and flesh rending.  There’s even something of a metamorphosis through a messy birth scene.  But far more gratifying than the slimy masses of tentacles that await is the 80s homage to practical effects and iconic horror influences worn on its sleeve.  Not just the conceptual aspects of Lovecraft’s madness or Clive Barker’s Labyrinth (here the Abyss) and even a touch of Evil Dead (1981), but we find special effects honoraria to The Fly (1986), Hellraiser (1987) and Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)!

This film offers a lot…but it may not be what you expected.  If you want to see something that will unnerve you and frequently make you jump—watch Life (2017).  Want something with a slower tension built up through an atmosphere of uncomfortable mystery and dread?  That’s The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016).  No…this…this atmosphere is pure weird unsease…and it’s gross!  As I hinted before on the writing, this is a passable movie…but a passable movie with outstanding special effects and an excellent premise that honors (not rips-off, but honors) all the things we love and miss about 80s horror.  The ideas brought forth by these filmmakers are exceptional and I must see more projects spawned the Abyss.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2017 9:52 am

    WOW this looks so awesome and creepy, been really looking forward to The Void as well 🙂

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 12, 2017 11:07 am

      I hope they do more deep dark stuff like this in the near future!

      • April 12, 2017 4:10 pm

        Me too, this is how I like my horror, great effects as well!

  2. April 12, 2017 10:50 am

    Fantastic! Any reference to Clive Barker, and I’m there. And those are some amazing posters.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      April 12, 2017 11:08 am

      The Barkerness appears later in the film with Lovecraft dominating the theme. But I love both, so, double win. lol

      • April 12, 2017 11:19 am

        Haha, for sure! It sounds like a right treat for all genre fans. 🙂

  3. April 12, 2017 11:56 pm

    I am very interested in seeing this and I love reading that it pays homage to Clive Barker, John Carpenter and practical effects of 80’s horror movies


  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. Trailer Talk: The Void, an unfinished Lovecraftian horror labor of love that needs your help | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. John’s Horror Corner: Tethered (2017), Independent Short Film Review. | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Baskin (2015), a disturbed, disorienting and gory Turkish terror about cults and Hell. | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. John’s Horror Corner: The Brood (1979), Cronenberg’s approach to metaphysics, evil children and modern psychology. | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. John’s Horror Corner: Remnants (2016), Independent Short Film Review. | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. John’s Horror Corner: The Dunwich Horror (1970), an early Lovecraftian adaptation about a dark family secret and a tentacle monster. | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. John’s Horror Corner: The Strangeness (1985), a bad tentacle monster movie with some redeeming Claymation monster effects. | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: The Creature Below (2016, aka The Dark Below), a British tentacle monster movie that makes an effort. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: The Editor (2014), a wonderfully gory and raunchy yet awkwardly written ultra-cheesy horror comedy. | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: The Unnamable (1988), a Lovecraftian version of Night of the Demons (1988). | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: The Unnamable 2: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1992), the revenge of the bare-boobed Lovecraft demon. | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Dreams in the Witch House (2005), Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s story for Masters of Horror. | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), a Lovecraftian horror anthology loaded with disgusting gore and slimy tentacle monsters. | Movies, Films & Flix
  15. John’s Horror Corner: Cthulhu Mansion (1992), a haunted house B-movie capturing none of the magic of H. P. Lovecraft. | Movies, Films & Flix
  16. John’s Horror Corner: Color Out of Space (2019), manic Nic Cage meets the alluring madness of HP Lovecraft (done well for a change). | Movies, Films & Flix

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