Let me start this The Void review off with a highly politicized topic: global climate change. Yes, the nefarious “scientists” and “intelligent people” of the world used to call it global warming, but suddenly they want us to call it something different. Probably because they’re perpetrating some silver-tongued con game on the populace just to get some of that sweet, sweet research grant money they’re all getting rich off of. Whatever the reason, it’s certainly not because they were tired of trying to explain to dummies why it still snows if the Earth truly is warming. Global average temperatures have been on the rise and things are changing. Even right here in North America, we have insects typically found in the southern part of the continent moving their way north. Similarly, we have great horror moving north. Now, I’m not saying it’s because of global climate change… but I’m not not saying that either. I’m also not trying to say that good horror is new to Canada. In fact, Canada has been making some solid horror forever. It just seems like horror fans are seeing more and more good stuff coming out of the frozen tundra land of poutine and titular geese. So, does The Void add to this trend or buck it? Let’s get into it, shall we?
Officer Carter encounters a bloody man on a desolate road and brings him to the nearest hospital. Only problem is that the hospital is in the process of being shut down after a recent fire and most of their services have transferred to a nearby town. On top of that, Carter’s ex-wife is part of the skeleton crew there and they have some baggage between them. Carter sees the man into the hands of the hospital staff and leaves. That’s when things go from weird night to supremely shitty night. In the hospital parking lot he encounters a robed/hooded figure who stabs him. And that creep has friends. A lot of them. So Carter runs back into the hospital where he finds that communications are cut off and Cronenbergian flesh monsters are now real. Things do not go smoothly for the cop and his fellow hospital occupants.
This is yet another film that wears its influences on its sleeve. In this case, several sources are in play, from (and maybe most obviously) John Carpenter’s The Thing to Hellraiser II: Hellbound (i think i have that backwards) to Cronenberg’s The Fly to Rosemary’s Baby to “Silent Hill” (VG) to… Well, you get the point. It’s rather impressive simply for the scope of the pastiche. But – somehow – all of its varied parts add up to a terrifying and intense cohesive sum. All the more impressive knowing that the film was crowdfunded, given the performance of the majority of crowdfunded projects. Harbinger Down is a perfect example. It too was funded on the “practical effects are rad” platform. But despite the practical and creature effects, it never quite delivered on its promise to old school horror fans. (i really not trying to shit on Harbinger, it’s just the most direct analogy i can come up with) The Void delivers. It is awash in slime and blood and flesh. And the mysterious cult, garbed in white with black triangles over their faces, bring a whole other layer of horror to the fight-for-life struggles the folks in this story are experiencing. Sure, the acting isn’t always Oscar-worthy. And the the semi-abandoned hospital situation shouldn’t be scrutinized too closely. But, goddamn it! This is pure, old-school indie horror madness! Complete with all of the elements of your favorite horror movies of yesterday, blended together like a delicious nightmare smoothie. Thank you, Canada. And thank you, global climate change!
The Final Cut: The Void is a terrifying throwback to many a horror fan’s favorite films of the past few decades. It’s a fast-paced gut punch of practical effects, cult creeps, body horror, and gore.