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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

The Void movie review: retro monsters, alien mystery

The Void green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

It’s Lovecraft by way of The Thing and Alien in this satisfyingly schlocky 80s throwback, complete with practical FX. A genuinely eerie experience.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): big SF fan
I’m “biast” (con): but not much of a horror fan
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It’s Lovecraft by way of The Thing (John Carpenter’s) and Alien in this deliberately and enjoyably schlock 80s throwback from writer-directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, who crowdsourced the construction of their practical (ie, not CGI) monsters. Primarily artists and FX specialists on big-budget Hollywood films — including, recently, Suicide Squad and Pacific Rim — they’ve created an effectively eerie and very, very gruesometweet homage to old-school body horror and mind-bending science fiction that satisfies in a less-is-more way, granting us only peeks at frightful creatures and leaving the question of just what the heck is going on tantalizingly ambiguous, suggesting that maybe puny human minds simply cannot comprehend it. It makes for a genuinely mysterious experience, capturing a truly alien ethos,tweet around the band of small-town folk holed up in a decommissioned rural hospital: as some of them start to behave in strange, violent ways, sinister white-robed figures gather outside the building… but are the robed figures trying to prevent those inside from leaving? Somehow, that makes the situation even creepier. The root of the body horror is mostly of the already well-explored “male filmmakers freak out over the idea of pregnancy” type, which is a bit tiresome, but around that familiarity, Gillespie and Kostanski craft a unnerving flick that draws on the past of the genre yet delivers something new.

Click here for my ranking of this and 2017’s other releases.

green light 3.5 stars

The Void (2017) | directed by Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
US/Can release: Apr 07 2017 (VOD same day)
UK/Ire release: Mar 31 2017

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: rated 18 (strong gore, bloody violence)

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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