Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: The Void

5 of 6 viewers "Liked" "The Void" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Ascendant - "Founded in 2007 by Jeremy Gillespie & Adam Brooks, the ragtag Canadian Collective known as Astron-6 (which also includes Conor Sweeney, Steven Kostanski & Matt Kennedy) have been consistently filling Genre-Addicts’ stomachs with their nutty low-budget (but whole-hearted) films such as Father’s Day (2011), Manborg (2011) & The Editor (2014). When I heard that members of Astron-6 were working on a new project that (from early Press Materials) looked like a cornucopia filled to the brim with influences ranging from H.P. Lovecraft & Lucio Fulci to Clive Barker & John Carpenter (all served with Occult-Flavored Dipping Sauce), I couldn’t contain my excitement. Now that the film’s day-and-date On Demand release has passed (April 7th, 2017), as well as its limited theatrical release and subsequent Blu-Ray/DVD release, do I feel the same? For most of its run-time, directors Jeremy Gillespie & Adam Brooks play to their strengths as individual filmmakers as well as to the strengths of Astron-6. Scenes are shot and framed well, considering that most of the film takes place indoors, at night or within low-light situations. There are some fantastic visual compositions on display here throughout various points in the film, most involving characters (or creatures) that even the most casual film viewer has seen on Social Media. There is much to absorb here visually and therein lies the other strength of this film, creature design and FX work. Considering that co-director Jeremy Gillespie has spent 12 years working as an FX & make-up artist (with credits ranging from NBC’s Hannibal to the upcoming IT film), it’s no surprise that he and Adam Brooks have assembled a fantastic team of artists that have successfully brought their Lovecraftian nightmare to life. Creatures wiggle, crawl, twitch and drip their way throughout this film, making it a treat if you admire practical FX. Within these strengths, the film falters within in its (convenient) plot and extremely dry character archetypes. Even at 90-minutes, I never truly cared about what happened to each character in the film, viewing them merely as plot-devices or vessels to arrive at the next piece of creature or set design. In-turn, the glitch in well-rounded characterizations cause the film’s pace to drag (not slither) along. Even with its faults, this is the film that I wanted Baskin (2015) to be. Welcome to hell." - 3.5 Stars

The Impostor - "I went into this blind after just hearing the great reviews it got before its release and I'd recommend everyone else do the same. I was thoroughly surprised. The atmosphere is very dark and nightmarish and instead of jump scares every two seconds we are watching the tension build from beginning to the crazy end. I definitely held my breath for a few moments. There are also some cool practical effects used and not much CGI, which was a plus. The Void definitely picked up a few things from Hellraiser, The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness in a kinda cool way. While the acting is sub par and some moments were kinda dragging in the dialogue, I overall enjoyed the film." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "The Void is a strange experience and one that I don’t think I got the full effect of from a single screening. The characters populating this film are each unique but their many stories sometimes got tangled up for me. I loved the different elements at play here; freaky monsters, disorienting labyrinth-esque settings, amazing practical effects, and clashing personalities forced to work together. Although a second viewing is absolutely recommended, I can say this: if I made a sci-fi indie horror film that looked like The Void, I’d be extremely proud of it." - 4 Stars

Trash - "I love the Astron-6 guys, and I was thrilled to support this movie when it was in its early crowdfunding phases, especially knowing that the Astron offshoot of the filmmaking collective behind The Void were their FX heavy, creativity maniacs. The early stills were really exciting, and I think maybe my high expectations did some damage to my viewing experience. The movie just never comes together for me. It's too sparse, too devoted to maintaining a tone that's not quite working, because the movie is just too small, and the massive Lovecraftian horror it wants to put into you is way beyond its grasp. There's very little playfulness in The Void. The FX are buried in the failing atmosphere, shrouded in darkness, strobe lights, and rapid editing, I rarely could get a good look at the set pieces. Maybe the low budget hurt the quality of things, it's hard to say. Still, worth checking out, because these guys are talented, and I'm hoping their next project overcomes the weaknesses of this one. Now I've just gotta get the group together for a screening of Father's Day, because it's the best movie ever. I'm calling you out. You hear me?" - 2.5 Stars
Lord Battle - "The Void played very nostalgic for me. I found myself reminiscing over survival horror games like Silent Hill and low level melee's with cults in Dungeons & Dragons. I imagined being 15 and watching The Void and praising it for having captured John Carpenter's The Thing's aesthetic and managing to inject it into an HP Lovecraft plot with a Clive Barker Philosophy. Yet after the film ended and I was leaving the theater, I just found myself wishing the characters were somewhat fleshed out and likeable." - 3.5 Stars

Math Mage - "In a recent review yahtzee Croshaw observed that having a gun in a survival horror situation can make that situation even more terrifying than if you're completely helpless. The Void is an example of this very thing: our heroes have just enough agency to give us hope but are clearly at a terrible disadvantage. This is terrifying and they go down in the basement (which doesn't exist!) anyway." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

The triangle cult in The Void generated just as much conversation as the amazing special effects and creature design which seems impossible, considering how detailed and abstract the horrors are compared to the straight forward garb of the cult. So why does the simple triangle conjure up so much conjecture? I'm not sure but I've decided to touch briefly on some of our favorite and little known occult triangles.

The most obvious and admittedly confusing of our current culture's symbolic triangles appears on our currency and is called The All Seeing Eye. Most already know about this intricate symbol that has captured the mind of conspiracy theorists for years, as the internet makes it easy to research such a thing. But I've decided to quickly touch on the subject anyway. Below is an excerpt from "How the Pyramid Side of the Great Seal Got On the One-Dollar Bill in 1935" on

Turning to page 53, I noted the colored reproduction of the reverse side of the Seal. The Latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum impressed me as meaning the New Deal of the Ages.

I was struck by the fact that the reverse side of the Seal had never been used. Therefore I took the publication to President Roosevelt and suggested a coin be put out with the obverse and reverse sides of the Seal.

Roosevelt, as he looked at the colored reproduction of the Seal, was first struck with the representation of the "All Seeing Eye," a Masonic representation of The Great Architect of the Universe. Next he was impressed with the idea that the foundation for the new order of the ages had been laid in 1776, but that it would be completed only under the eye of the Great Architect. Roosevelt like myself was a 32nd degree Mason.

He suggested that the Seal be put on the dollar bill rather than a coin and took the matter up with the Secretary of the Treasury. He brought it up in a Cabinet meeting* and asked James Farley [Postmaster General and a Roman Catholic] if he thought the Catholics would have any objection to the "All Seeing Eye" which he as a Mason looked on as a Masonic symbol of Deity. Farley said "no, there would be no objection."
- Excerpts from Henry A. Wallace's letters written in 1951 and in 1955

Popularized by the wave of Heavy Metal docs that road the coattails of Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the Tritone is an endlessly talked about, but worth covering (quickly), topic...

Every interval begins with a single note, just like the sound produced by a conch shell. In music theory, there is an interval called the tritone, considered to be one of most dissonant sounds existing in the major scale. In early church music it was known as diablo en musica, or devil in music, resonating with the classic “pitchfork” imagery of Satan.

The Lucis Trust's publishing company was founded in the early 1920s as the Lucifer Publishing Company. The Lucis Trust says that the name was probably chosen to honor Lucifer. The name was changed in 1925 to the Lucis Publishing Company. In Latin lucem ferre means "to bear light" and lucis means of light. The company has headquarters in New York City, London, and Geneva.

The Lucas Trust and Alice Bailey are major occult figures, big enough for Kubrick to name a character Alice in Eyes Wide Shut. But they appear in this wrap-up because of the strange training the Lucas Trust gives relating to triangles... See video below:


I honestly think the Lucas Trust is insane but I doubt that any single use of the triangles above actually inspired the cult's hood design. I'd rather choose to believe that our obsession with the 3 sided shape was reason enough. It's said that the “G” in the middle of the Freemason compass is said to stand for both “God” and “Geometry”, what does this mean? Who knows, it might mean that people are often confused by both or that triangles open portals directly into the cenobite's dimension. Honestly, the hoods just reminded me of the thrash band Rigor Motis' logo... I guess we just see what we want in the end, kinda like the cult.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in the 4 Star Theatre for a screening on 4/14/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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