‘The Void,’ while never amounting to a particularly great movie, is a loving homage to the horror genre. Writer-directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanksi, experienced art directors and make-up and special effects artists, clearly have a love for horror flicks, particularly of decades gone by, and their passion shows.
Their previous experience in the visual wizardry of movie making can be put into the plus and negative column of ‘The Void.’ The movie is merely an exercise in style, effectively done up to a point, but the screenplay is simply too thin to sustain a mere 90 minute runtime. Aesthetics can only carry a movie so far.
As most movies of the same ilk do, ‘The Void’ begins one dark night when Officer Daniel (Aaron Poole) rescues an injured man on the side of the road. He brings him to the closest hospital, which is essentially out of Horror Movie Hospitals 101: dimly lit, marginally populated and seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
The cast of characters includes Maggie (Grace Munro), who is about to give birth, her grandfather (James Millington), a nurse-in-training (Ellen Wong) and a grizzled state trooper (Art Hindle). They are all at the hospital for their specific reasons when something strange outside starts to happen. The building becomes surrounded by mysterious knife-wielding figures, decked out in hoods with black triangles over their face.
It only gets more bizarre – but not any better.
The first third, or so, of ‘The Void’ really nail an uncomfortable and unsettling atmosphere. Gillespie and Kostanski know how to ratchet up the tension quickly and even-handedly, making each frame just a bit more eerie than the last. ‘The Void’ feels like something great for a while before it all unravels.
The last half of the film, which I wouldn’t dare spoil, turns into pure schlock and everything the directors worked so hard to achieve at the beginning vanishes away.
‘The Void’ is a solid outing for diehard midnight movie fans but ultimately there’s just a feeling of wasted potential, when the directors had an opportunity to leave us rattled. That’s what is most disappointing about ‘The Void.’