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The Void Movie Review

Film
The Void

Year
2016

Starring
Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong

Directed by
Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie

Tagline
A new dimension in evil.

Synopsis

A group of people finds themselves trapped inside a hospital with grotesque creatures, their escape blocked by a mysterious cult and their terrible will.

Review

The Void is a call back to the low budget horror movies of the 1980’s with an emphasis on utilizing practical effects and putting them in the spotlight. The film was funded by an Indiegogo campaign, a situation I’m always cautious of after watching a similarly funded horror movie by the name of Harbinger Down, an experience I found most painful. While the movie doesn’t live up to the hype it had enjoyed prior to its release, there are things to enjoy about this piece of nostalgic filmmaking.
From the first time a monster hits the screen, its made very apparent that the directors were proud of the work their special effects team dreamt up. While most horror films hide their big bads until the big reveal at the end of the movie, The Void goes out of its way to show off their creatures as much as possible. Horror fans that champion the use of practical effects will be pleased here as the majority of the effects work is all practical. That being said, it sometimes felt like a movie was built around their effects rather than the effects being used to enhance the plot.
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This is where most of my problems with the film stem from. The narrative is messy and lacks an emotional through line. We are introduced to several people at the hospital only to find that most of them struggle to remain relevant to the central plot. It can be challenging to make an audience care about a group of people, especially when juggling multiple subplots. However, I didn’t feel a real connection with any of the characters and that’s a problem. Without being engaged emotionally, not even on a visceral level, I soon found myself bored. That’s a big problem when your movie only has a 90-minute runtime.
I also found the narrative to be disjointed with an almost dream-like logic that didn’t really work. It was as if all of John Carpenter’s horror filmography got together to have a really messy orgy while high on LSD. While that might sound like a nightmare made in heaven on paper, I assure you it’s not. The audience is told the why and you can kind of infer the how, but in the end, without being emotionally engaged I just didn’t care. Although I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I would have liked to, I admire the fact that these filmmakers were successful in making the movie they wanted to make on their own terms. I probably won’t be returning to this movie ever again, but I’m glad I watched it.
Void

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