It is Never Safe or Good to Enter “The Void,” A Movie Review

The Void

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild Spoiler Alert

Nearly everything I ever wanted to see in an H.P. Lovecraft inspired film can be seen filling The Void. This indie Canadian horror movie made its world premiere in 2016 at Fantastic Fest, and six months later (set to release April 7th), it is getting limited theatrical distribution in the United States (showtimes can be found on Screen Media films website) and is now available worldwide via VOD on outlets like iTunes.

This movie produced by Casey Walker (A Little Bit Zombie, one of many people involved) and written/directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie (who are also part of the maverick horror company Astron-6) show several heads are better than one to create a movie about cults on the loose and serving a greater cosmic force — or they have watched one too many Re-animator movies. I see a bit of Clive Barker influence with their editing style and visual direction (their use of real prosthetics is to be commended) for this film. When it comes to crafting a tale involving surviving a night at a ward, perhaps the familiar idea of taking the fight to a hospital from Hellraiser II is not needed. Technically, these filmmakers are paying homage to the horror movies they loved from their childhood (the 80’s), like John Carpenter’s The Thing, but sometimes I wonder if coming up with a new idea is even possible these days without conjuring up recollections of past products.

The Void

Mad doctors are always fun to watch, but to wait for Dr Richard Powell (Kenneth Welsh, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) to get there requires wading through the film. There’s some development with the hodge-podge of characters police officer Carter (Aaron Poole, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh) meets when he delivers a wounded man to the emergency ward, but I could not find myself interested in the supporting cast too much. The leads are very good in their roles, as they are no strangers to being in a horror film. They helped guide viewers like me into the glorious chaos of how the night is going to get worse, The Cabin in the Woods-style (minus all the comedy that is sometimes seen in Astron-6’s works).

When two gun-toting yahoos Vincent (Daniel Fathers) and Simon (Mik Byskov) break into the emergency room, looking for the people they tried to slaughter from the opening act, the proverbial phrase going to hell in a handbasket is not enough to describe how the movie went. This film is certainly worth watching a few more times to catch all the quickly moving visuals and gory bits (some scenes were on the dark side, so a pause button is needed) and have them etched into your brain. The nightmarish visuals and haunting soundtrack certainly grabs you, but when you have other characters you can’t quite come to like right away, perhaps another meeting or two will help so I can get to know them better.

Although the tale seems to focus on Carter, I get the feeling the real star is with Simon. If he ever comes around to say, “Get the {expletive censored} out of here!” just do it!

3½ Stars out of 5

Postscript: The dark world introduced in this movie begs further expansion given the outcome. When considering this film began as an Indiegogo campaign, the chances of a sequel is going to be highly unlikely. The triangle/pyramid motif has the Ancient Egypt enthusiast in me salivating. If the creators were to team with the creative minds behind The Pyramid (Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon wrote this film on spec than with the intension of seeing it spawn a franchise), I can see the beginnings of a shared universe — a nightmarish zombie-type world (an awakened mummy is technically a zombie after all) modelled after how the living has to deal with the forces represented by Apophis. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, if a soul is deemed unworthy for a happy afterlife, they are devoured by a chimera-like monster and become non-existent. They are literally made null and void!

The Void

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

Leave a Reply