I’m not generally the biggest fan of Lovecraftian horror but, having already seen an amazing adaptation of ol’ H.P.’s work this year, I figured I might as well give a chance to some indie cosmic horror. All I had heard about this was that the creature effects were good and, given that this is Monster Week, I figured I should see what the Canadians can offer in terms of gross tentacle things from beyond space.
Daniel Carter is a small town sheriff that finds a man bloody and stumbling out of the woods and takes him to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, the nearest hospital is on a skeleton crew since a fire has cause them to move most everything out in preparation for repairs. When they get there, things immediately begin to spiral out of control as cultists surround the building and bar their exit. However, what’s waiting for them inside the hospital is much, much worse as monsters from beyond crawl their way into our reality.
Right off the bat, let me just say that I love all the practical effects for this film. Everything is very goopy and distorted in a body horror way that is reminiscent of classics like John Carpenter’s The Thing. The monsters definitely surpass the small budget that they were made with. The faceless cultists are a wonderful touch as an ever present, silent threat that is all the more effective for patiently waiting with daggers at the ready rather than trying to storm the easily overrun hospital. I even enjoyed the main villain’s motivation and speechifying throughout the film as it lends that sort of desperate insanity that you want from a Lovecraftian story.
I also love the trope of the skeleton crew in the middle of a move just like another Carpenter classic Assault on Precinct 13. It gives you all this wide open space that should be filled and busy and that emptiness adds to the overall creepy environment of the movie. For a film made in 2016, I was kind of sad we didn’t see even a nod to someone trying to use a cell phone and it not working. I don’t overly mind it but it does mean there are going to be points where you are mentally yelling at characters to just call someone.
The acting and pacing and everything works as, even when things become extremely ridiculous, they all commit entirely to the scene. I have to say, everything about this was a pleasant surprise and this turned out to be a really fun movie to watch.
Rating: 5 out of 5