Review: THE VOID, Grim, No-Nonsense Horror

Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, THE VOID draws inspiration from potent horror influences, then forges its own path.

Associate Editor; New England
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Review: THE VOID, Grim, No-Nonsense Horror

Following its Frontieres market pitch a few years ago and a successful Indigogo campaign, The Void shot in Canada last year with Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, Ellen Wong, and Art Hindle. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest 2016 in Austin to a packed house, with producer Casey Walker and directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski in attendance.

The Void draws inspiration from a number of horror influences, including HellraiserThe Beyond, H.P. Lovecraft, and Lucio Fulci. 
 
Those expecting the absurd comedic touches of Aston-6 (the filmmaking collaborative of which Gillespie and Kostanski are part) are in for a surprise, because The Void is grim. However, those who have been paying attention know not to expect any funny business here, unless your idea of laughs is a Rob Bottin-masterminded hand basket to hell as designed by Lucio Fulci by way of Assault on Precinct 13.
 
The practical special effects really steal the show from the characters as the story evolves from a bad night into all hell literally breaking loose. The set pieces and gags are simply fantastic and it's fun to see what what happens next as the next funhouse door yawns open. There are some spectacular creatures that pop up to roam the halls and will probably haunt your nightmares. Fans of practical effects will relish this film.
 
Aaron Poole plays Officer Daniel Carter, a cop who stumbles upon a man crawling in the forest in need of help. A trip to a nearly closed rural hospital kicks off the beginning of the end for several characters unlucky enough to be in the hospital at the time.
 
Carter's estranged wife Allison (Munroe) is the head nurse, who, along with Dr. Powell (Welsh), are the two in charge at the desolate hospital when Carter brings the drifter in. A father and son tracking the drifter burst onto the scene to demand that the man be given over to them.
 
Also, there's a dangerous cult in white robes following the pair and everyone barricades themselves in. The trick is to survive the night and the monsters. To any horror fan who knows the work of Fulci, many scenes will feel familiar, particularly the homages to The Beyond.
 
Review originally published during Fantastic Fest in September 2016. The film opens in select theaters in the U.S. on Friday, April 7. Visit the official site for more information.
 
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Aaron PooleArt HindleEllen WongJeremy GillespieKathleen MunroeKenneth WelshSteven Kostanski

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  • Mehliens

    The Void is a film that seems to blatantly copy some ideas from the classics of the 70-80s horror films (mostly Carpenter and Fulci) but executed like the shitty examples of those decades. Poor craftsmanship everywhere, not even the practical effects were holding a candle to the ones from the 70's and 80's. The film is an utter mess.

  • Not bad at all, but nothing special. Carpenter? Yes. Lovecraft? Yes. Fulci? Yes. But also Baskin. Not a new classic, but a decent movie made with the right spirit of the past.

  • Sylvestre Matuschka

    Not a great film but not a bad one either. I disagree with the poster below who says the practical effects are poor in this movie. Are they as good as The Thing? Of course not, but what in the last 35 years is? The effects in The Void are as decent as countless horror films I watched in the late 70's and 80's and work fine in this movie, and I'd much rather see this kind of stuff than the endless stream of overly slick and homogenized megaplex horror films of the last 20 years. My issue with the film is that by so obviously wearing it's influences on it's sleeve that it never establishes it's own identity and thus never becomes more than a fun homage to those classic films. Not a classic movie, but not a failure by any means either, and I certainly appreciate the obvious spirit with which it was made.

  • micky g

    i think the " spirit in which it was made " is really the only positives about this movie. as a watch, for me it simply didn't entertain. regarding the practical effects? i guess i was perhaps a bit harsh to say they were poor. some parts were done well but my main issue i think was with the creature design and the way they animated them. for me, they just didn't look good. like some other poster mentioned. the creatures looked like they were designed and animated 20-30 years ago. even without employing any expensive hydraulic robotic/puppetry techniques there must be ways of doings things like this a bit better nowadays? and the creature at the end reminded me ( design wise ) of the stupid beast at the end of alien resurrection, which didn't help matters.. this film though was certainly a lot better in terms of production than say " harbinger down " at least..

  • Ard Vijn

    I would have liked to have seen a tad more mythology. But as it is, it's a very decent mixture of John Carpenter's PRINCE OF DARKNESS, Paul Anderson's EVENT HORIZON and Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND, by way of Clive Barker's HELLRAISER. It doesn't quite transcend them though, which is a pity. Still: fun was had!

  • micky g

    personally, i thought it was a grade above awful. thats coming from a horror/effects enthusiast with 100+ viewings of THE THING under my belt. after watching this you will appreciate how good movies like the thing/event horizon/from beyond etc actually were, even made 30 years ago some of them. the practical effects in this are poor, i hate to be negative and was excited about this movie pre viewing but alas....

  • B CH

    Well, thank god you have 100+ viewings of The Thing. Otherwise people might not care what you think about this movie. By the way, Event Horizon sucked.

  • micky g

    Ha. I think I was being conservative on my viewings of THE THING, nearer 200+.. yeah event horizon was flawed, but the concept was great ( unlike the void ) and could have been awesome in the hands of a better director. I mention it as I felt this movie borrowed from it heavily, among many others mentioned. I could discuss the nuances of why I think the void is so terrible, but I don't want to talk spoilers. It's enough I guess to state my negative opinion on it. I don't normally slate movies so badly. I guess I was so fed up this time by yet more hype and build up . I was really looking forward to this coming out.

  • ManateeAdvocate

    This one's at the top of my list currently. PRACTICAL EFFECTS!

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