I heard about The Void from someone I know that loves horror movies. I believe she described it as “banaaaannnaasssss!” Yeah, that’s a quote. And you know what? I’m not going to argue with that assessment. The Void is like some crazy 80’s throwback horror film with practical effects galore and atmosphere of dread.
A local police officer brings in some guy that is clearly not well into an understaffed hospital and those inside soon find themselves trapped there by a group of strange hooded figures. Things go from bad to worse as the hospital appears to be the center of something seriously evil.
There are definitely some similarities to the Lovecraftian Cthulu mythos going on here, even though it’s not clearly referred to as such. But that’s fine, it actually makes it more disquieting because it’s not defined. And it has all the ingredients of a great horror film: a creepy, near empty hospital, a cult of mysterious hooded figures, a power-hungry crazy person, and lots of insane practical creature effects.
The Void has elements of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions, and, well, the whole feel of early 80’s horror movies. If the Netflix show Stranger Things inspires some films with this feel, I’m ok with that. The Void is creepy, hallucinatory, and the use of practical effects is great. There are some inventive, yet nostalgically familiar visuals here that are worth the ride.
The one thing I night say is that the effects are a bit low-budget. It’s clear there isn’t a ton of money behind this but they do a lot with a little. They also use darker, more atmospheric lighting and creative editing to help sell the nightmarish creatures. Would it be nice to have seen a bit more advanced effects? Sure. But joint writers/directors Jeremy GIllespie and Steven Kostanski (an asst. art director and a make-up effects artist, respectively) keep things interesting enough to make The Void a fun, creepy, fucked-up, unique horror romp that any fan of the genre should check out.
A solid cast of mostly Canadian actors – and a face or two that may be more familiar – they sell their roles. Not a bad performance in the lot. The cast includes Aaron Poole (Strange Empire), Kenneth Walsh (too many to list – you’ll recognize him from something), Daniel Fathers (lots, including Dark Matter), Kathleen Munroe (SGU Stargate Universe, Haven, Alphas), Ellen Wong (Dark Matter, Scott Pilgrim vs the World), and Mik Byskov.
The Void is worth the watch. There are some great, messed-up, bloody scenes here to feed your horror fix, so it’s not for the tame. But this is a fine little horror gem. A solid three and a half kittenhands!
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, finding some good stuff in the small independent film arena lately.