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The Void: Lovecraftian Hospital Horrors
picked a heck of a time to close this remote medical clinic. Most of the
emergency supplies are in mothballs already. It’s a rather inconvenient development,
because the skeletal staff and their patients will be needing the odd suture
when death cult attacks and Hell is loosened upon the Earth in Jeremy Gillespie
& Steven Kostanski’s deliciously Lovecraftian The Void (trailer
which opens this Friday in New York.
officer Daniel Carter has no idea what he is in for when he scrapes up a
battered and bloody derelict up off the highway. The closest medical facility is
not exactly optimal, because it is slated to shuttered (in the wake of a
mysterious fire)—and also because his estranged wife Alisson Fraser is still
the lead RN there. Soon after checking in his mystery patient, Carter is forced
to discharge his firearm when an orderly kills a patient while apparently in a
state of demonic possession. Things go from bad to worse, when a small platoon
of sheet-wearing cultists ominously surround the beleaguered hospital, but it
really turns into a one-darned-thing-after-another kind of night, when two
armed backwoods vigilantes in a kill-them-all-and-let-God-sort-them-out mood
crash the party looking for the new patient.
but that isn’t even the half of it. By about the midway point, things take a
distinctly Lovecraftian turn. Let’s just say when you look into the Void, the
Void doesn’t just look back into you. It offers you a Faustian bargain of
noise you hear is the sound of social justice warriors gnashing their teeth.
That’s right, Lovecraftian horror is back and its bigger than ever. Yes, the frail,
socially isolated early Twentieth Century writer wrote some less than edifying racial
commentary, but the sickly Lovecraft didn’t have a chance to get out much and
his misanthropy was the understandable result of long-term exploitation and
poverty, so give it a rest. Along with several recent shorts, including The Call of Charlie and An Eldritch Place, The Void proves how compellingly eerie Lovecraftian themes and motifs
can be on the big screen.
The Void is tense, creepy, and
frequent all-out nuts. Gillespie & Kostanski (alumni of the Astron-6
collective playing it straight for scares) throw just about every form of
conceivable peril at Carter and Fraser. We really start to care about them
because Aaron Poole and Kathleen Munroe develop such believably frustrated but
still affectionate chemistry together. The presence of Kenneth Welsh (Windom
Earle in Twin Peaks) also gives the
film instant genre cred.
The creepiness of the nearly empty hospital
cannot be overstated either. The production design tandem of Gillespie and
Henry Fong did some tremendously effective work. There is no question this is
one of the most sinister looking and sounding films of the year, along with Blackcoat’s Daughter. Highly recommended
for horror fans, The Void opens this
Friday (4/7) in New York, at the Village East.
Labels: Horror Movies, Lovecraftian Cinema