M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2016 and going through September 30, 2017. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on April 7, 2017! Available On Demand, digital download, & DVD here from Screen Media Films! Also streaming on Shudder!

THE VOID (2016)

Directed by Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Written by Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Starring Aaron Poole, Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, Amy Groening, Art Hindle, Evan Stern, Stephanie Belding, Trish Rainone, Grace Munro, Daniel Fathers, Mik Byskov, James Millington, Mark Fisher
Find out more about this film here, @TheVoidMovie, and on Facebook here

While filmmakers Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski made festival splashes with their over the top goof and gorefests FATHER’S DAY and MANBORG, these guys have upped their game to a whole new level with THE VOID, a competent and confident entry into horror that will make fans of John Carpenter proud.

A group of people converge on a newly renovated hospital as a cult of robed weirdos gather outside and strange otherworldly happening occur inside. That’s the basic premise of THE VOID and the simple setup gives filmmakers Gillespie and Kostanski the chance to pay homage to Carpenter in a way few others have done. Reminiscent of THE THING by way of PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE VOID only shows us the tip of the blood-spattered iceberg, but still manages to be compelling all the way through.

A lot of this has to do with some compelling character work from actors Aaron Poole who plays an out of his wheelhouse cop who has no idea what is going on. You also have genre greats Art Hindle and Kenneth Welsh as well as compelling young faces Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong and Stephanie Belding rounding out the cast—all playing pivotal roles in this intense horror show. The way these people interact is what makes the central conflict of the film, never mind the horrors that burst out of the dead bodies and surround all of the exits of the hospital.

But the real take-away from THE VOID is going to be outstanding practical horror effects that occur throughout. Monsters that defy description burst out of flesh, grow tentacles, and devour anyone who comes near. The final moments of this film as a whole morgue-full of corpses shift, quake, awaken, and metamorphize make for an effects showcase that would make Rob Bottin proud. And these directors, who have much of their experience doing effects work for films such as PACIFIC RIM, HANNIBAL TV series, SUICIDE SQUAD, the upcoming IT film, and CRIMSON PEAK know what they are doing when it comes to making monsters on screen. These guys film these effects in a way that most directors don’t know how to BECAUSE THEY MADE THEM!

THE VOID is one of the best horror films of the year, hands down. It offers up practical effects that you’ve never seen before. It does the ‘trapped in one locale with monsters outside and evil inside” theme that Carpenter did to death with a fresh perspective. It ventures into otherworldly territories reminiscent of ALTERED STATES, HELLRAISER, and PHANTASM, but does so with originality and energy that makes you want more tales of this horrific world filmmakers Gillespie and Kostanski. THE VOID is a true achievement in horror that needs to be experienced by anyone calling themselves a serious horror fan. Highly recommended.

Click here for the trailer!


THE 2016-2017 COUNTDOWN!


#9 – THE VOID
#10 – SWEET SWEET LONELY GIRL
#11 – SAVAGELAND
#12 – IT COMES AT NIGHT
#13 – THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
#14 – THE SIMILARS
#15 – HOWL
#16 – SEOUL STATION
#17 – THE TRANSFIGURATION
#18 – THE GREASY STRANGLER
#19 – I AM THE PRETTY THING IN THE HOUSE
#20 – ANNABELLE 2: CREATION
#21 – SPLIT
#22— TRASH FIRE
#23 – 47 METERS DOWN
#24 – HELL HOUSE LLC
#25 – THE SUBLET
#26 – PATCHWORK
#27 – IT STAINS THE SANDS RED
#28 – GERALD’S GAME
#29 – LAKE BODOM
#30 – NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE
#31 – THE EVIL WITHIN


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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