The Quantum Terror review

By David Dent

The works of H P Lovecraft, often deemed unfilmable, have over the years inspired scores of moviemakers, working with a variety of budgets, to convey something of the Providence, Rhode Island writer’s terrifying imagination with, it should be mentioned, varying degrees of success.

Christopher Cooksey’s debut feature has added to that canon with a self-penned story inspired by Lovecraft’s literary creations. Cooksey’s limited budget means that his setting is a storm drain. Yep, a storm drain. So we meet Sam (Kristin Cochell) whose twin sister Sylvia has disappeared while researching some arcane tomes owned by her shady boyfriend Jacob (Matt Blackwell). Sam’s ex Lucy (Paula Marcenaro Solinger) and her boyfriend Noah (Jordan Michael Brinkman) visit to provide support while Sam looks for sis. Via some weird phone footage the group work out that Sylvia was last seen hanging around the entrance to a drain over the road from Jacob and Sam’s place. The obvious thing to do is investigate: big mistake.

The setup as described is the jumping off point for the movie’s melon twisting visuals and high-end concepts involving, as the title suggests, quantum physics, Schrödinger’s Cat theories, and a lot of tentacles. The group appear to be locked in a space/time vortex that sees them exiting from the drain into their living room and back again. People start to mutate; the score gets deafening; we all scratch our heads. There’s no doubting the clever nature and downright weirdness of some of the visuals (apparently staff of top FX team Amalgamated Dynamics were roped in to help), and some of the feeling of Lovecraft is achieved (definitely ‘Color Out of Space’ and ‘From Beyond’ were influences) but the cast are pretty wooden, and it feels like the whole thing lurches into an FX fest a little too quickly. 

Cooksey’s ambition is to be celebrated, but I’d have liked to have seen the often impressive visuals used in a story with a little more depth. Worth seeing for what can be done with a $10,000 budget though.

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