Saturday, April 29, 2017

[Review] The Void

Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie's The Void is a buzzing VOD horror flick that has a lot going on. It's part monster movie, part body horror, part cult mystery, part sci-fi. It isn't exactly my preferred style when it comes to the horror genre, but I know there certain are fans out there that'll eat this up.

One night, a slacker police officer (Aaron Poole) happens upon a badly injured man in the woods. After transporting him to an understaffed hospital, he begins to witness gruesome events inside and outside the quarters. As if the crazy monster running through the halls wasn't bad enough, the hospital is surrounded by mysterious hooded figures. Let's just say things get really, really weird.

Sound like an interesting premise? It is. Does the movie deliver on it? Well, sort of. It starts off solid enough, but eventually warps into a mess--like an experimental Frankenstein hodgepodge of genres and ideas that never quite mash. There are some gnarly sequences though, featuring grisly bouts of gore and gross-out imagery. The film frequently uses disorienting flashing lights, and the '80s inspiration is really strong. It's a little bit The Thing. A little bit Hellraiser.

But it can't help but feel haphazard, with its lack of narrative explanations, jarring shifts, and as many plot holes as puncture wounds. And it never really captures the scary, look-over-your-shoulder, flip-on-the-light-switch eeriness of similar low-budget horrors, like, say, the recent (and underrated) Last Shift (which is on Netflix, if you're wondering). Still, I give The Void credit for its swinging ambition and stellar use of both practical and special effects. I'll be keeping an eye on these directors.

( 7/10 )

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