Whenever a smaller budget genre movie comes out, I’m always intrigued. The Invitation, Coherence and one of my favorite movies ever, The Guest, have all proven to be really well made, investing pictures without having the benefit of budgets going over 10 million. So, when I first saw the trailer for The Void, I was immediately anticipating it’s release but like many low budget films, it more likely then not doesn’t reach a theater near me and I’m forced to wait until Netflix or Blu-Ray. Fortunately, I was randomly scrolling through On-Demand the other day and saw this film under the in theaters section for a $7 rental and I made a night out of finally seeing this movie and oh boy am I glad I did.
The Void tells the story of Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole), an officer who comes into contact what he believes to be a drunken college student and takes him to the closest hospital which only has one patient and a skeleton crew due to there recently being a devastating fire. When Daniel notices that shadowy and robed cult-like figures surrounding the hospital, all hell breaks loose and we have ourselves a awesome throwback to 80’s style horror with some of the coolest prosthetics and make-up work that I’ve seen in a low budget horror in quite some time. To go further into the story would ruin some of the fun because the film slowly peels back each layer which was one of my favorite parts of the film.
As each of the characters slowly realize what is happening inside this hospital, we as the audience learn with them which I love when a movie instead of having the viewers know what is happening before the characters, reveals things to the characters while also informing the viewer, making them feel like they’re on this journey with said characters.
I couldn’t talk about this movie without mentioning how good the effects work is. Being a horror fan, body horror is the thing that effects me the most. Seeing a foreign entity craw or break it’s way out of the a poor person’s body makes me feel so uneasy. The chestburster scene from the original Alien to this day still messes with me. To see these creatures was a very gruesome and wonderful sight as I couldn’t praise how well done the effects work is. The fact that save late in the film, CGI is nowhere to be found and I couldn’t be happier. I love CGI and think it is a very useful tool to enhancing films, but it doesn’t get better then seeing a film put so much effort into practical monster work and for that alone, this film is worth seeing.
It’s not a perfect film, however. The characters, while well acted aren’t necessarily anything special. But, while that may be the case, if you go back and watch any 80’s movie, most characters were indeed like this. I did however appreciate that there wasn’t really a badass, macho character but instead when stuff gets weird and scary, these characters react the way I’d like to think I would. Originally I had an issue with the ending. I felt it was rather too ambiguous and left a lot to be desired. However, as I write this I find myself leaning more towards liking it. I spent a lot of last night researching and investigating all the theories of what the movie means and what the ending meant. Is it a perfect ending? No. But, with any ambitious ending, it’s up to your interpretation and now that I am starting to find what I think about the ending to make sense. I enjoy and think the ending makes a lot of sense.
The Void is a perfect film for anyone who enjoys 80’s horror or good horror, for that matter. As a film fan and an aspiring filmmaker, anytime a filmmaker takes little to no budget and can make something this well shot and interesting with effects work as good as this, I gotta tip my hat. Please go rent this movie off of whatever rental service you use, It’s $7 and will be well worth the money.