Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

The Void

By Steve Anderson
July 1st, 2017

The VoidThe Void
**
DVD
Directors: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Writers: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Stars: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers
2016
NR
90 mins

Eager for a bit of a throwback? Congratulations, because you've got one to consider this time around with The Void, a movie that shows us sometimes all you need for horror is a monster and a mostly-abandoned building. That and a complete and utter disregard for rational thought.

The Void follows a police officer who's unexpectedly walked into a problem much greater than he ever expected. After finding a man wandering a deserted road, covered in blood that may or may not be his own, our officer--Daniel Carter by name--takes our wanderer off to a local hospital that's woefully understaffed by even small town hospital standards. It's especially understaffed for what it's about to go through, by way of a legion of hooded figures that are having an unusual effect on the hospital's denizens. Now, Carter's got to keep everybody in line while the hospital falls apart, and an unexpected twist in the hospital's basement may be about to tear the planet itself apart.

A clever notion, but one that takes its sweet time to get going. A movie that's as dialogue-heavy as this one's first 15 minutes or so are really needs subtitles, and it's a shame this one doesn't have any. I'll express my disaste properly in the special features, as normal.

However, I do give it credit for ramping up in short order. The early going is a bit of a kludge, but man, are they going to bring out the creepy elements and the siege elements quickly, and pretty soundly as well. Some have made comparisons between this and eighties horror like The Fly, or even potentially Night of the Comet. There's good reason for this, particularly the farther along in The Void we get and the more we discover its thoroughly monster-movie elements.

In fact, watching this gives me shades of Silent Hill and various entries in the Lovecraft field, a development that's both awesome and terrifying. Admittedly, I was not a hundred percent sure what was going on through most of this--some kind of cult built around a doctor?--and the ending won't help matters much, but it's still something to see.

The ending is pretty much all the creepy of the entire film condensed into a roughly 15 minute space, so strap in and enjoy it, because it's going to be one weird, wild, and mostly incomprehensible ride.

Special features include audio options, a director's commentary track--but no subtitles, a point that really annoys me--and trailers for The Void, Darling and Sugar Mountain.

Honestly, I don't know what to make of The Void. Creepy as all get out but only vaguely resembling an actual plot, it's the kind of thing that will likely catch and hold some interest, if for no other reason than its sheer outlandishness. This movie is bonkers. Proceed accordingly.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to thevideostoreguy@columnist.com with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at thevideostoreguy@columnist.com




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