Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Film Review: The Void (2016)

The Void (Review)
Canada/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...the visuals are this film's main attraction."

After delivering a patient to a rural hospital, a police officer and the staff experience surreal events that appear to be linked to a group of hooded figures surrounding the building...

The Void features a plot that is both simple and complex—often for the wrong reasons. The plot follows Officer Carter (Aaron Poole), who springs into action when an injured man stumbles in front of him on a vacant road. He takes the injured man to the closest hospital—a hospital which happens to be closing down very soon. Things are normal until a nurse kills another patient and starts mutilating her own face. This leads to a shooting accident. Before Carter can call it in, he's attacked by a person in a white hood. So, he runs back to the hospital and finds that the entire building is surrounded by the hooded people. Worst of all, there appears to be a creature inside of the hospital. Anyway, Carter and the rest of the survivors in the hospital fight for survival and try to find out what's going on. That's basically your plot. It has a few twists and turns, but they didn't really work here. The ending was enigmatic, definitely something to talk about, but it didn't leave an impression. All in all, the plot appears to be aiming for something larger, but it ultimately feels like just another creature feature.


The Void isn't a bad film, though. The plot has its shortcomings, like its disjointed storytelling and inconsistent pacing, but it's also interesting. Although I wasn't a big fan of certain plot points, I was engaged from beginning to end. Some of it was predictable, some of it was bizarre, all of it was engaging. It sort of reminded me of films like Baskin and Last Shift. It's like Assault on Precinct 13 in a hospital with monsters—kind of. You won't really be watching The Void for its plot, though. That's a bit of a disappointment, remember? No, the visuals are this film's main attraction. This is a gory tribute to 70s/80s horror films like The Thing—with less suspense. Still, the creatures are nasty and violent. They are utilized very well throughout the film, especially towards the second half. They don't pose the biggest threat, but they're amazing to look at.

The acting was good, too. Aaron Poole performs well as the leading man. Ellen Wong was also great. The cast inject some humor into the film through their performances. The film was shot well. There are a few moments where it's just too dark, though. The music was good, too. The special effects were great. Fans of practical effects will love this film. The Void was written and directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie. The writing could use some work. It often felt like it was shooting at a moving target. Some of the plot points come off as unnatural and forced. (And, yes, there are characters that do stupid things in the film just to push the plot forward.) The pacing is lopsided, too. It starts fast, slows down, then ends quickly. The direction fares better, creating a very immersive experience through an 80s atmosphere and stellar visuals.

Overall, The Void is a good movie. I didn't fall in love with the plot, though. I liked it, but it wasn't amazing. I can, however, see the plot growing on me if I were to watch this movie again. The film's visual presentation is good, though. If you're a fan of gory creature features, you'll like this film.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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