The Void is a Canadian horror film written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, released wide in early 2017. It follows a small group of people in a hospital who experience strange and violent occurrences involving a mysterious cult: basically a normal day in Canada I assume.
What I immediately took away from this movie was just how intense and unsettling it is. This is a horror movie through and through, and quite reminiscent of classic 80’s horror flicks. I’ve loved horror movies for a long time now, I love the themes and images they convey, but recently I’ve been feeling a bit of a horror burnout. I’ve grown weary of the generic and uninspired films that big studios keep throwing their support behind; oftentimes these films follow a tired formula and do nothing to scare or even surprise the audience (See Rings, The Boy, The Forest, etc.). The Void was like the ultimate breath of fresh air; it’s an original horror film with truly scary moments. Very few jumpscares actually occur, but during several scenes I found myself leaning forward in my seat, heart racing, anxious to see what happens.
The majority of The Void’s scary moments come from the use of body horror. It’s evident that The Thing and The Fly were large inspirations for this film. We see all sorts of human bodies grotesquely mutated into something straight out of an H. P. Lovecraft story, which also seemed to be a big inspiration. Blood and other bodily fluids coat the walls as we see various creatures being dismembered in various ways, and it’s both satisfying and terrifying. One such scene that will certainly stay with me for a while involves a human-like creature slamming its head into a metal rod several times until all that remains is a round mass of flesh with a gaping hole in the middle. These scenes all feel too real because for the most part, they are. There is practically no CGI in this movie whatsoever, and most of these mutated horrors are made up of prosthetics that are then blown apart on screen. Clever camera angles are utilized to show us just enough of the creature, while still letting our imaginations fill in the rest. It’s so refreshing to see so much attention to detail when many movies simply leave it to the animators to composite a scary looking monster.
This movie is not flawless, however. In between an exciting opening and a mind-boggling conclusion is the second act, which feels a lot longer and more boring than it should. This movie is paced in such an odd way that, at times, this short 90-minute movie can feel too long as it drags in the middle. The script is serviceable, and it doesn’t stand out in any meaningful good or bad way.
The story is a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I really enjoyed the simple premise as it harkened back to the classic Lovecraft stories that I have grown to love. That being said, the plot can often be twisting and confusing, and the ending will certainly leave everyone scratching their heads. I enjoyed the story overall, but I can see why some would not, especially those who hate ambiguity.
While The Void is certainly not flawless, it is a fun, intense, horrifying thrill ride that will impress any real horror fans. Blood and gore mixed with supernatural elements and science-fiction creatures is a blend that would satisfy a lot of people. I would definitely recommend it, and this one isn’t hard to find at all. It’s on Netflix guys. You don’t even have to work for it.
My rating doesn’t matter, but I’ll give it anyways, just because I can.