Filmmakers keep shambling back to H.P. Lovecraft for inspiration, despite the fact that the author’s signature half-glimpsed, unimaginably vast sense of scale doesn’t easily translate to the screen. The best adaptations, such as Stuart Gordon’s hallucinatory From Beyond, seem to be the ones that realize that mood can only go so far, before putting the pedal to the splatter metal.

The partially crowd-sourced horror movie The Void does a commendable job in balancing overt scares with tantalizing hints of large-scale Otherworldliness. While it handles the close-up grody tentacled stuff with aplomb, its best trick is in creating and sustaining the mounting feeling that something Great and Cosmically Terrible is lurking just outside the frame.

Beginning with a rather grisly home invasion, the plot follows a rural cop (Aaron Poole) who stumbles across a mysteriously injured man in the woods. After delivering the comatose victim to a remote hospital, he and the swiftly dwindling skeleton crew must deal with a mob of armed cultists gathering outside, as well as the growing signs that there’s something Not Right down in the basement. That last bit is an understatement, really.

The writing/directing team of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski (both special effects veterans) wear their influences on their gloppy sleeves throughout, drawing from

Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, the turned-on and inside-out folks of Clive Barker, and especially the fantastically metaphysical hooey of John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

What keeps their film from mere homage, thankfully, is both the refusal to ever wink at the audience, and the acknowledgment that some things should be allowed to remain (mostly) unseen. The Void’s ambitions may not be able to entirely transcend the limitations of its budget, but its final macro moments bode extremely well for future projects. The universe, not so much, maybe. recommended