The Void

The Void

 

The Void

2017.  Directed by Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie 

By Brian Wallinger 

This low budget supernatural bloodbath proves that you don't always need millions of dollars to make an entertaining film. While it doesn't exactly re-invent the genre or add any new substance, The Void does provide a solid homage to the classic midnight movie fare from the 1980's.

Things begin with a screaming woman running out of a house when she is suddenly shot and set on fire by two unknown men.   Another man was able to escape the scene and is discovered by one of the town's police officers, who decides to take him to the hospital where his estranged wife works.  Suddenly another bizarre, unexplained murder takes place in the hospital and the officer, his wife, and several others find themselves trapped by unknown forces from an alternate dimension.

Filled with top notch practical effects and moments of well placed shock value, The Void manages to deliver an above average film despite it's flaws and mysterious story.  By the final act I found myself filled with questions I'm not sure even after a rewatch I'll find the answers to. The plot feels unfinished and doesn't fully accomplish what it sets out to do. The acting is strong yet at times feels unbalanced and lacks consistency. The direction feels confusing and unsure of itself. The camerawork does feel very low budget and grainy, even shaky during some pivotal moments. Most of the film is shot in the interior of the hospital and because of that it doesn't give itself the room it so heavily deserves to grow.  Despite this, there is a rare uniqueness to the quality of the film in some of its hallucinatory sequences and its heavy handed approach to gore that is impressive, considering the film's meager budget.  

The finished product ultimately is an independent horror film that borrows elements from 80's cult hits and repackages them to produce an experience that is more entertaining and engaging than it has any right to be. Even if the acting is thin and the plot is all over the place, it is a fun time that reminds us that some films don't have to be critically acclaimed to be good, they just need to be fun and convincing. The Void certainly does what it was created to do: Put us through a nightmarish journey and make us question what did we just see, what did we go through, and was any of this even real?  That alone makes The Void worth the price of admission.  .  

☆☆ 1/2

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