The Void, written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, is a film that is clearly inspired by, and attempts to be like, the low-budget horror films that were so prevalent in the 80’s. Now while it does achieve some of the elements, it sadly isn’t really able to capture the charm or the fun that made those types of film so popular and memorable. There is just something missing; something that unfortunately leaves the film unable to make an impact. But let’s move into the full review and breakdown what it is that doesn’t work in The Void.
Officer Daniel Carter – played by Aaron Poole – brings in an injured man to the understaffed and soon to be closed local hospital. It is there that a night of horrors begins to occur, as a strange hooded cult prevents them from escaping. At the same time grotesque monsters and dangerous individuals threaten everyone who is trapped in the hospital. The night is only going to get worse before it has the chance to get better.
I was really excited to see The Void. The trailer made it seem like a mad, grotesque horror film. Unfortunately what I got was a film that never really resulted in much. At no point was I scared, I never became engaged or interested by what was happening, and nothing ever fully grabbed my attention and demanded I take notice of it.
It’s clear that writer, directors, Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski were inspired by the classic horror films of the 80’s. The aesthetic, the tone; much of the film is geared towards trying to offer a new, up-to-date film that still has the hallmarks that made the films and the genre so popular in the 80’s
Unfortunately, The Void just never really achieves that. There are certainly 1, maybe 2 elements that standout and are deserving of some praise (and I’ll get to those in a moment). But most of what you get in the film fizzles out early on, and never really goes beyond the mundane; yes there are some shocking horror moments, but the times in-between those moments are an uninteresting slog.
The characters are a perfect example of this. They are all either unlikeable or lacking in any hint of development. There was no one worth rooting for; there wasn’t anybody that made their presence known. Everyone is very one note; no defining characteristics that stand out, no one-liners that make you chuckle, not even a satisfying crescendo moment where someone wipes out a bad guy. It’s all very slow, and never results in anything that makes you want to recoil or scream at the screen.
The lack of exploration of any of the characters also leaves you constantly wondering as to what anyone’s motivation is. The film does offer some, but it’s never clearly defined, nor powerful enough to spark interest from the audience. The characters end up being as much of a mystery to you, as the intentionally mysterious story itself. There are attempts to have redeeming moments, or moments where characters are given a little more background, but it comes too late. By the time we are given some context, the film is already too far in for you to then begin caring, or for it to work within the rest of the chaos that is now going on.
Beyond the characters, there is an attempt at a larger more mysterious plot. But most of the exploration of it is relegated to a single character’s monologue. Again, there was no moment, no revelation that had me shocked or intrigued to learn more. This film left me in a constant state of disinterest, which is never what you want from a film – especially a horror film.
Perhaps the only hint of joy that can be had with the film is with the wonderful practical effects and some of the set-design. It is clear that both money and time was spent on making and inserting some practical, detailed monsters. Not only do they look great, but for me as a lover of hunking, grotesque horror movie monsters, there are some really incredible looking creatures on show. With some creepy puppeteering and some unsettling, juicy details, The Void certainly had some fun monsters trudging their way around its creepy sets. It’s a shame there wasn’t more of them, but I do understand why there wasn’t (budgetary constraints being the primary reason).
In the end, you don’t really have much to keep you engaged with the film, nor does any of it stick around in your head after it’s done. I appreciate what was attempted, but I’m saddened that it wasn’t more effective.
And so with all that being said, I will not be recommending The Void. It lacks the charm or the magic of the films it is trying to be like, and it fails to offer anything that truly stands out and commands your attention. What I will say is that I’m interested to see what, writer and directors, Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski do next, as I see some real potential in the two of them – despite not being that enamoured with The Void.
I’d live to hear what you thought of the film, or my review. So please feel free to leave any thoughts or feedback in the comments down below. If you’re interested, you can follow my blog directly, or follow me over on Twitter – @GavinsRamblings, that way you’ll always know when I post something new. And so all that is left to say is thank you. Thank you for reading my work and I hope you return.