I think due to the very nature of social media, most films that start promoting and marketing become overhyped. Even before the screener drops there are hundreds of suspicious catchy one-liners to describe the film. It’s like when the promoters would hire girls to scream at the airport when the Beatles first came to America. Create the hype and then let the film make some money based on that hype. Sure, this is a shortsighted marketing strategy and tons of films have huge drop-offs after their opening weekends, but a lot of films make decent money this way.
That is why I was skeptical when I first started reading about The Void. This film was being touted as the best film since Carpenter’s The Thing, and was also already being called one of the best films of the year. It is only April, people!!! So when I saw The Void pop up on Vudu, I rented it and watched it.
All the hype over The Void is absolutely spot on. This film is like Carpenter’s The Thing and HP Lovecraft have a baby, and Clive Barker baptized that baby in blood. From the opening scene to the cosmic ending, The Void grabbed me by the balls and never let go. The story is a pretty simple one. A bloodied and beaten looking man is found on the side of the road and is brought to an understaffed hospital. The hospital isn’t running at full capacity in neither patients nor staff due to a pretty bad fire that tore through sections of it. Once the bloodied patient is brought to the hospital, strange things start happening. I’m not talking about lights flickering and objects moving around the place. Oh, hell no. I’m talking about some pretty weird s**t that would scare the crap out of Stephen King himself.
Daniel (Aaron Poole) is the cop on duty that night and embodies the phrase, “at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Not long after the patient is brough in, one of the long time nurses killed a bedridden patient by …. well, you’re just going to have to see it for yourself (think the original Halloween II). After this experience, things only get weirder and more deadly. Soon after the first death, a group of very creepy dressed cult members appear and won’t let any of the patients, nurses, or cops out of the hospital, and they are very persuasive.
Some reviewers might lead you to believe that the people inside the hospital find and go through a portal to Hell, but this is very misleading. What is happening in The Void isn’t Hell, it is Lovecraft. That’s right, this is a modern day version of Lovecraft’s Cosmic Horror, and even though we may not get Cthulhu, we get some of the best looking creatures since Carpenter’s The Thing. Not since Carpenter’s classic 1982 film have filmmakers disregarded any preconceived notion of what a creature should look like. Writer-directers Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski give special f/x artist Stefano Beninati and his crew free reign, and they take full advantage of it.
I loved everything about The Void from the acting to the tone of the film, which is heavy with a creepy atmosphere, to the limited yet effective soundtrack to the editing. The only, and I mean only, negative thing I can say about The Void is that there are times when the film becomes so dark that you can barely see the creatures. But brace yourselves for a wild ride that you will watch over and again to make sure you caught everything.
For those viewers who need every piece of the plot spoon-fed to them, you may have trouble with the ending. We get a very Lovecraftian ending that is far from happy and far from resolved. What do you expect? You can’t expect to f**k with Eternal evil and have things end all well and good!! But for those of you who love your films tense, your creatures gooey, and your plots Lovecraftian, you are going to love The Void. You’ll definitely be seeing this one in my top ten best films of the year.
Directors: Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski (& writers)
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott (Anything Horror) Shoyer