Sometimes being bad isn’t the worst thing a movie can be. These days bad movies wear their lack of quality like a badge of honour. However, worse than bad can be simply forgettable, the movies that you might enjoy while watching, but which won’t linger in the mind or inspire rewatches. Such is, unfortunately, the case with latest indie horror The Void.
Small town cop dealing with some personal tragedies, Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) finds an injured man at the side of the road. He takes the man to a nearby, soon to close, hospital, one where his estranged wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe) works. Things are clearly not what they seem as dangerous cloaked figures surround the hospital, trapping the small group of people inside. However, staying inside might not be the safest option as strange and unspeakable horrors make their presence known.
We are all the sum of our influences in many ways, more so for those who create. The Void’s influences range from the works of H.P Lovecraft, John Carpenter’s 80s work, particularly The Thing and Prince of Darkness with some Assault on Precinct 13 thrown in, Clive Barker, The Shining, and others. Filmmakers Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski clearly love all these things and it really shines through. However, whilst The Void starts strong by the end of the movie you’re left wondering why you shouldn’t just watch one of those movies, especially when some of them are so much scarier than this one. I feel bad for saying this because the filmmakers are clearly talented and I think could go on to some great work, but this isn’t it yet.
The cast are all solid, particularly Kenneth Walsh as Dr Powell. It’s also nice to see Scott Pilgrim vs the World's Ellen Wong, here playing terrified young trainee Kim. Potential future Scream Queen? There’s also some really good technical work too, they do a good job of making the semi-abandoned hospital look foreboding. The plot does have a couple of decent twists and turns to it, although there’s one that you’ll probably see coming a mile away.
The highlight of the film is its practical effects, unsurprising when Gillespie and Kostanski previously worked in special effects. That is also where the money raised by the film’s Kickstarter campaign went, which really shows onscreen. We see these horrific, twisted, bloody creations of Hell (or maybe it’s something worse than Hell) with a lot of great visual detail. I’d actually be super on board to see these guys do a Silent Hill movie someday.
The Void has a lot of the right elements for a really entertaining horror movie. However, it lacks scares and that little extra something to make it truly great.
Signature Entertainment presents The Void at UK cinemas from 31st March on Digital 7th April and DVD & Blu-ray on 24th April