Horrorfest 2018 Presents: The Void (2016, Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie)


Equal parts John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and HP Lovecraft, The Void is a homage to 1980s films while also standing firmly on its own. There are gory freaky moments, some great shots, and a good sense of pacing. However the plot is a bit thin and there is some acting that is bad even for a horror film. I do think my viewing would have been slightly improved had I been able to see The Void on the big screen, as it adds something to not only horror films but most films in general. Netflix just is not the same, despite their good selection and picture quality.

The main setting is at a hospital that is poorly staffed due to a fire that destroyed part of the building. The hero, Dan, swears a lot and has demons that drive some of his intensity. It does not help matters that a group of weirdos are outside, or that unknown terrors lie in the basement. I like that The Void uses practical effects, and there are moments that are freaky and surprising. If you cannot stomach gore and strange monsters this film is not for you.

I wonder if the film’s creators are planning a sequel, based on how this film ended. I also really liked the film’s score, even if it was John Carpenter lite. My favorite thing about The Void was how it explored some of the characters, diving into their connections with each other. It elevated some of the material, and causes one shockingly violent scene to have a tragic meaning in addition to a shocking one. Good pick by Netflix, and a good fall movie, too.

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: A Cure For Wellness (2016, Gore Verbinski )


Maybe I would have liked this movie better if a different lead actor had been chosen, seeing as this is the second movie where I have found Dane DeHaan to be incredibly dull (the other film being the insanely mediocre Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets from 2017). Or if the film had not featured Jason Isaacs sporting a really awful German accent-at least I think it was German. I don’t really care.

However this movie has some gorgeous visuals, rather nice creepy moments, and Mia Goth was really good as Hannah, the mysterious girl that DeHaan’s Lockhart keeps running into. Sadly one of the major twists was revealed in one of the film’s trailers, so thanks Hollywood, and I kind of guessed one of the other twists, so perhaps giving this film points for its mysterious elements is a bad exercise.

Despite being frustrated with some of its aspects, I do not find A Cure For Wellness to be a poor film, just one that could have been more properly executed. Unfortunately my Horrorfests always have that one movie, or multiple movies, that are a mixed bag. I could not resist a trick or treat pun in here somewhere.

I will say the castle spa treatment facility was really awesome, and I think that Verbinski was going for a Mario Bava, surrealistic type of film that maybe would have worked better decades ago. Verbinski has talent, yet he is often prone to abusing the willingness of Hollywood executives to give him free reign, not to mention sizable budgets. Sometimes, in the case of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it works. Other times, such as A Cure For Wellness, not so much. Oh well. I do hope that Goth receives more acting opportunities, and perhaps some day I will enjoy a DeHaan performance, although I sincerely doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑