This film is suspenseful, intriguing, and the gore is satisfying, but the narrative void is never truly filled.
The Void was directed by former Winnipeggers Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, known for their campy, 80’s style horror films as part of the Winnipeg-based production company Astron-6.
Departing from their usual style, The Void puts less emphasis on camp and more emphasis on horror. Within the first couple minutes of the film, someone is burned alive and one in the theatre was laughing.
The Void is about Daniel, a small town deputy sheriff, and several other characters, including his ex-wife, a nursing student, a pregnant woman, a doctor, a drug addict, and two mystery men, trapped in a soon-to-be-shut-down hospital by a cult of people in white robes with black triangles on their masks. Inside the hospital, a grotesque creature threatens to devour them all.
What’s the purpose of the cult? What’s up with all the triangles? How does that creature work? Who can we trust?
The Void keeps viewers guessing, which adds to the suspense quite well. Also, the twists usually just make more questions.
The characters’ reactions to the surreal bursts of violence actually seem reasonable, which makes them relatable. Of course, people go places they are specifically told not to and other predictable behaviors, but at least other characters seem to realize the absurdity.
Later in the film, the flashbacks and visions of the abyss (AKA the void but they have the decency not to title drop) get a bit repetitive. Somewhat tritely, the evil puppet master uses the characters’ emotional baggage to manipulate them.
As the plot wanders toward an ambiguous cliff, the imagery gets gloriously gory. The creatures aren’t your typically zombies, aliens or rage monsters, so they’re less predictable and more terrifying. One second they’re bashing holes in their own heads and another they’re trying to latch onto someone like a parasite.
Kostanski and Gillespie have both worked in the art department for blockbusters, like Suicide Squad, so this film allows them to show off their skills with blood and guts aplenty.
However, while gripping the edge of your seat because tentacles are sprouting out of people, you’ll probably find yourself wondering, “Where is this going?”
Ultimately, the void represents the unknown, which is a great symbol for a horror movie, but makes for an unsatisfying conclusion.
A stand out line of the film is, “You’d be surprised at the things you find when you go looking.” It summarizes the fear of the unknown and alludes to it as a reoccurring problem in our society. There are a lot of possibilities if you start looking into the logic of The Void, but none are certain. Whether this is disappointing or intriguing depends on the viewer, but journey certainly is a good ride.
Thanks for reading! Here’s the trailer below and a few alternative posters I thought were cool: