Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror feature THE VOID by writers/directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski. To best describe the story, I will use my own plot summary:
“A hospital is besieged by a strange cult and the people inside start turning into monsters. A police officer leads the survivors deep into the depths of the hospital, where an evil portal has opened.”
Anyone who read that description can probably already tell that there is a lot happening in this story. With so much going on in a ninety minute runtime, it could easily have been overwhelming, but they managed to keep the focus firmly within the boundaries of the hospital. This proves a gigantic relief as more happens than my description even beings to hint at, so the singular setting proved incredibly important to keeping things accessible.
Now, even though the singular setting helped to streamline the plot, it is not perfect. There were a few emotional beats that got lost along the way due to the quick pacing of the film. This could have been solved with a bit more of a breather, but it would have also sacrificed some of the forward motion. Since one of these moments plays heavily into the finale, I wish they had a bit more time to really give that moment some extra punch.
The ending itself also might leave some people scratching their heads. It took me a few minutes to process what I had seen and justify it against the implied mythology, so it is definitely a movie that seeks to engage the audience instead of force feed information. I liked this approach personally as it allowed us just enough knowledge to understand the horror, while still keeping the story moving along at a good clip.
Okay, we should probably address the one thing that most people want to know about this piece; the creature effects. These things are fantastically created and have a real tangibility about them that made them imposing. From each gooey dripping maw to the scarred body of one of the actors, there was something so physically invigorating about the effects that I just wanted to see more.
As far as monster movie fare, I have to admit that the acting was pretty darn good. I found the standout to be Grace Munro as Maggie who had one of the more interesting character arcs throughout the course of the film and had the acting chops to back it up. For the most part, the characters are similar to many types we have seen in this genre, but the actors elevated these stereotypical roles with their distinctive performances.
All in all, this is a solid creature feature outing with a great Lovecraftian vibe. While some of the emotional beats feel a bit rushed, the good performances, fantastic effects, and deep mythology are sure to keep audiences entertained. Fans of the video game series “Dead Space” (2008 – 2013) or the vibe of EVENT HORIZON (1997) will feel right at home.
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