arthouse

[Movie Review] The Void (2016) ★★★★★

The Void

The Void is a masterfully mashup of mayhem and cosmic horrors. 


The Void is a supernatural cosmic horror film that makes a tribute to the eighties films and especially to the Apocalypse Trilogy by John Carpenter. It mixes body horror with mystery, suspense, occultism, cosmic horror, a cult, a mad scientist and otherworldly monsters into a genre mashup that revels in gore, thrills and brilliantly made practical effects. But although it feels like a film that could have been made over 30 years ago, the storyline and storytelling feels fresh and original with an authentic voice that will for sure once will become a cult film.


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Plot

When police officer Daniel Carter finds a wounded man along side the road, he brings him to the nearest hospital where also his ex-wife Allison works as a nurse. Mercy County is about to be closed down and all the patients are already transferred to the new hospital except for a pregnant girl Maggie who’s about to give birth, her grandfather Ben, Doctor Powell, nurses Beverly and Kim and soon also sheriff Mitchell arrives. But there’s something wrong with Daniel’s patient and when two frightened men show up and the hospital gets surrounded by cloaked cult members, things are about to get really weird.


Why you should watch it

The Void is a brilliant mashup of genres, styles and atmospheres. It organically flows from a mystery into an action film, into dreadful events with a cult, which spirals completely out of control in the best way possible. With visions, cosmic hell creatures, a hell dimension in the basement and a sinister plan, this film has a lot of twists to keep you intrigued. 

But it also looks amazing. The practical effects that lift this film to an even higher level, are wonderfully done and create an authentic atmosphere that feels familiar but is completely fresh. The fine line between campy gore, a weird plot and great suspense is excellently guarded and results in an amazing style that shows its love for the eighties and early nineties films. It mostly reminds of the Apocalypse Trilogy by John Carpenter. The monstrous body horror from The Thing (1982), the occultism and cult vibes from Prince of Darkness (1987) and finally the complete and utter madness and cosmic horror of In the Mouth of Madness (1995). It’s all combined in a wonderful amazing film that is entertaining, scary and intriguing and will also satisfy the gore hounds. 

The structure is well-crafted and keeps you wandering what’s going on, holding its cards tight to its chest, only to reveal it with a theatrical brilliant over the top climax. But the road to the finale is a trip through the limbo of hell. It’s hallucinatory, it’s psychedelic, it’s a surreal nightmare come to life. It’s a rollercoaster of events. A ride that slowly ascends and then rushes down the hill real fast taking turns, never spinning out of control. It’s controlled chaos and mayhem that forms a fantastic thrilling and scary ride from beginning till the end. 

But the characters aren’t there, just to be slaughtered. There’s a plan behind it and there’s also paid attention to the relationship between Daniel and Allison and the loss of their son. That particular element isn’t just thrown in to flesh out the characters or to bring in some drama, but it is also a part of the overall theme and connects with the sinister plot. It all has to do with grief and loss and how to cope with that loss. Resulting in some pretty mad ploys and visions. 

The way the film is shot, mixing body horror with practical effects, a stroboscope and surreal visions that all look really amazing, is a feast for the eyes. It creates a thrilling ride, full of mystery and adrenaline. In contrast are the cult member standing outside, doing nothing but being very ominous and creating a very creepy feel of terror and dread. Being locked up in the hospital with nowhere to go but hell, ensures a claustrophobic feel and keeps the tension relentless high. It’s a masterfully spun web of horror madness.


My favorite part

I really love this film, from beginning till the ending. It’s such a wonderful ride and while watching you have absolutely no idea where it is going at all. It could be anything. But the final reveal is so brilliant especially for those who love the eighties films. The way it is created is so imaginative and original and this film is a real favorite of mine. I can’t say much more about it, because I don’t want to spoil anything. The whole trip to unravel the mystery is part of the fun. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Gore factor: ★★★★★

Thrill factor: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★★★☆

Surreal factor: ★★★★★

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Cast and crew

The Void is directed and written by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. It stars Aaron Poole (Daniel Carter), Kenneth Welsh (Dr. Richard Powell), Daniel Fathers (The Father), Kathleen Munroe (Allison Fraser), Ellen Wong (Kim), Mik Byskov (The Son), Art Hindle (Mitchell), James Millington (Ben), Stephanie Belding (Beverly), Evan Stern (James) and Grace Munro (Maggie).

Duration: 90 minutes. Music: Blitz//Berlin, Joseph Murray, Menalon Music, Lodewijk Vos. Cinematography: Samy Inayeh. Edited by: Cam McLauchlin. Produced by: Jonathan Bronfman, Casey Walker. Production company: JoBro Productions & Film Finane. Distributed by: Screen Media Films.


Check the trailer below


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