Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
This October I decided to watch and review some of those great horror movies (31 to be exact) that I missed on their initial release. And for Part 17 of my series of the 31 OF THE BEST HORROR MOVIES YOU (MAY HAVE) MISSED we will be checking out gory throwback flick The Void. Let’s get to it:
Day 18 of 31: The Void (2016)
Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers
IMDb Trivia: Hardly anything in the film is CGI. All of the monsters, gore, et cetera are real effects created by the team behind the movie.
Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.
Review: Most of the horror movies I’ve covered for this October have been reliant on character development and atmosphere to deliver the chills. The Void is one of those movies that doesn’t give much weight to its characters. Instead it’s all about the visuals and with imagery that would make H.P Lovecraft cream his pantaloons; this is a horror movie that sets out to leave you asking the question “What the hell is this?!”
The first kudos I’m giving here is to the pacing. From the opening shot of a man and a woman fleeing from a farmhouse only to see the woman shot, doused in gasoline and set ablaze, the film wastes little time dropping us smack dab into the insanity of this town and the people who inhabit it. Most of the story is set in the hospital though and things devolve from bad to weird to Cronenberg as we are sucked into The Void.
If I had to compare this movie to any other it would be Hellraiser. The cinematography, visuals and practical effects, as well as the themes of people trying to conquer death, and in doing so, unlock a doorway into a terrifying and confusing NetherRealm, all made me think of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, as well as John Carpenter’s The Thing. If I had to tell you what this movie is actually about I couldn’t. The story itself is a bit of a mess (or maybe I’m just not that smart) and the characters as I mentioned before are glossed over to the point I never really connected with any of them. That’s not to say the acting is bad or anything; I just didn’t find enough weight to anyone personality-wise to care about their survival. The cinematography also suffers a bit due to budget constraints, but the practical effects are some of the best I’ve seen and you could tell a lot of time and effort went into making them memorable.
So why should you bother with this middle-of-the-road horror movie? Well, even with its flaws The Void is one of those movies that delivers such interesting visuals and gruesome gory kills, you can easily enjoy it on this level alone. The Lovecraftian stuff is effective and goes a long way in upping the creepiness here and, most importantly, I didn’t find myself bored with any of it. The story itself may not be overly complex but considering the small budget this film looks amazing and is worth checking out just for that alone. A nice throwback to the wonderful practical effects heavy movies of the 80s this is one void I wouldn’t mind getting sucked into, at least for the Halloween season.
Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10
You can check out Part 17 of my 31 Days List and faux documentary The Blackwell Ghost below together with reviews of Lovecraftian horror Color Out of Space and horror comedy Jakob’s Wife:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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