This Canadian horror film may entice John Carpenter fans into watching its beautifully disgusting practical affects and survival horror-esque set up, but “The Void’s” suicidal storytelling and terrible character dynamics annihilates any chance of entertainment value.
Directed and written by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, the film is advertised as this: Cloaked, cult-like figures trap a policer officer (Aaron Poole) and several patients in a noticeably understaffed hospital inhabited by grotesque creatures.
Mysterious cult, gore, and monsters—the plot sounds like every horror fans’ wet dream. Unfortunately, “The Void” only shines visually. Unlike John Carpenter’s classic “The Thing,” this film lacks an engrossing story to compliment the raging gushes of guts, blood and deformities. While it does offer a blast of nostalgia to 1980s horror fans, it slowly kills itself by not providing any coherent exposition. By the time the movie is over, many will question what they spent an hour and a half of their lives watching.
The characters are as transparent as a piece of scratch paper. The film tries to set up emotional attachments between Aaron Poole’s character and Allison Fraser (Kathleen Munroe), but the dialogue never makes it far, avoiding the needed exposition to make people actually care about them.
The sinister cult figures are the most disappointing aspects of the film. When they show up on screen, they serve their purpose. They are beyond frightening. Their white cloaks with blank triangle on them give off the presence of something inhuman—something beyond the realm of mankind. However, they are wasted potential. While the film centers on a fragmented storyline and disinteresting characters, the hooded figures are waiting off-screen.
As for the other characters, they served as nothing more than cannon fodder, used to showcase the “goregasmic” practical affects as they die in squeamish ways.
Speaking of practical effects, “The Void” lives up to its promise, giving gore enthusiasts a joyride of missing anatomical parts and bloody violence. Any source of entertainment is found in the film’s refreshing 1980s depiction of horror.
Nevertheless, “The Void” is a messy piece of work—no pun intended. The story is boring. You do not care about the people, not even those you should feel sympathetic towards. The characters that carried value were expendable in the eyes of the movie. The ending is disappointing. It was terrible—leaving no questions answered. The worse part about it was its lackluster attempt to set up for a sequel, one I will not being seeing.
“The Void” is a disappointment. Those who are able to ignore its awkward and dry dialogue, frustratingly boring storyline, and ghostly characters can appreciate the film’s bloody good practical effects.
I will say that “The Void” is a forgettable black hole of wasted potential and is not worth your time.