The void is a 2016 Canadian Horror film, which was original crowdfunded and after several festival screenings, got a limited theatrical run in April 2017. From these unassuming beginnings I was hit by an incredibly enticing series of trailers and the ever growing whispers from the online community, that this film was going to be incredible. I was immensely looking forward to seeing The Void, and never did it cross my mind that I would be dissapointed with it. Unfortunately, I was.
First and foremost, The Void is not a bad film by any means. I actually enjoyed it and am happy to place it with those films that I am likely to watch again. But despite liking it, I didn’t love it, and for that reason It dissapointed me because I was expecting much more. It is fair to say that perhaps I built the film up to much in my anticipation. Indeed perhaps it was unfair to expect so much. But expect I did, and The Void did not deliver for me.
The Void takes place almost entirely in a semi abandoned hospital over the course of one night. Deputy Carter takes a wounded and unconscious man to the hospital as the closest place of care. After some very unexpected (and graphic) violence, Deputy Carter discovers that the hospital has been surrounded by a legion of triangle worshipping cultists. Deputy Carter then leads the gang of friends and enemies who are trapped in the hospital, against reanimated corpses, Lovecraftian abominations and nightmarish visions to try and survive the night.
There in a nutshell is the premise of the film. Nothing revolutionary, and I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be. But, what I was expecting was a development of themes and ideas or at least just a beautiful homage to the work of H P Lovecraft, Clive Barker and John Carpenter, whose influences here are all too obvious.
My biggest gripes were the special effects of the two main abominations, which without giving too much away seemed far too mechanical, which no amount of poor lighting could hide. I also found the plot to be confused. But my biggest criticism comes from the character development. I just did not care what happened to them. And for any film, especially a horror film, that is a big mistake.
That said however, I will repeat, I did enjoy the film and there is much to be applauded. For a crowdfunded, independent film – I thought the rest of the special effects were excellent. I thought the acting was very very good, particular that of Deputy Carter, and I absolutely loved the cultists. They provided a second source of more human threat from the insanity taking place within the hospital. Another high point was there was no waiting around for the horror to begin. When it happens early on int he film, it is completely unexpected and that I loved.
The Void is essentially, Hellraiser combined with The Thing. Unfortunately it improves on neither film (which are 2 of finest horror films in the first place), nor does it do justice to their legacy. And for me, in expecting that The Void would do one of those things, perhaps unfairly, is why the bar was set too high. It is definitely worth a watch, but in those regards at least, The Void just didn’t deliver.
3 out 5 stars.