The Void (2016 film)
"There is a hell. This is worse." A police officer's routine patrol of a deserted highway is interrupted by a blood-soaked, limping figure of a young man and the disturbing mysteries of the hospital the officer takes him to.
- Release Date: 2016
- Country/Language: Canada, English
- Genres/Technical: Horror, Art/Experimental
- Setting: 1980s small-town Canada (?)
- Runtime: 1 hr 30 min
- Starring: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Stephanie Belding
- Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
- Writer: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
- Producer/Production Co: Cave Painting Pictures, JoBro Productions & Film Finance
- Official Site: (link)
- View Trailers: (link)(link)(link)
- TVTropes page: (link)
- IMDB page: (link)
- Rated: (not rated) (I would expect at least some Violence, Profanity, and perhaps Adult Content)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)
Some viewers may find the dreamlike location and atmosphere suggestive of Lovecraft's work (an "Eldritch Location" film), there are weird Deadite cultists and Tentacle Monsters, and a couple references to Lovecraftian names (like "Carter in Marsh County"). The film appears to be a deliberate homage to the work of John Carpenter, resembling films such as The Fog (1980 film), The Thing (1982 film), and In the Mouth of Madness (1994 film)...
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Jay Clarke at The Horror Section (link) - "If I had one criticism though, it was that the creature effects were so good that they overshadowed everything else. Though I had no real problems with the performances and story, I was always waiting for the next set piece."
- Michele Galgana at Screen Anarchy (link) - "The practical special effects really steal the show from the characters..."
- Sean Kelly at Sean Kelly On Movies (link) - "This film goes for a very dark and serious tone, as it unleashes a Lovecraftian nightmare in the depths of this hospital. ...admittedly The Void's early plot set-up isn't the strongest, when all hell finally lets loose, the film greatly makes up for its early weaknesses."
- Shahbaz Khayambashi at Wylie Writes Film Reviews (link) - "The Void is ruined, or at least lessened, by its plot which is a convoluted mess with undercooked characters and very little payoff."
- Meagan Navarro at ModernHorrors dotcom (link) - "On the one hand, it hits me in my monster loving feels, and I revel in it’s unabashed adoration of ’80s horror. It fills a gaping hole in horror that I’ve missed. On the other hand, however, the film doesn’t feel like anything more than a series of beloved homages. ... Unfortunately, that means that the film loses any sense of true originality as a result."
- Ren Zelen at Attack from Planet B (link) - "The Void avoids jump scares, but instead suffuses the film with dread, heightened by grotesque monster effects..."
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
The villain, Doctor Powell, lost his daughter in the film's backstory, and, prompted by her death, went a little mad, trying to solve the mysteries of life and death through his own occult research, killing people and bringing them back from the dead - a project which, predictably for the genre, goes sour because they all "come back wrong" as Lovecraftian tentacle-monster horrors, and the things in the white robes. The doctor, who considers his occult work altruistic, justifies this wrongness by comparing people to moths which look one way before going into the cocoon of death, and become something else on the other side (of course, in Call of Cthulhu terms the doctor is simply just a mad servant of the Mythos, making unreliable-narrator excuses for the awful work he's compelled to pursue)....
As the film begins, two men, an angry father and his son, have broken into Dr. Powell's house to destroy Powell's cult.
Doctor_TOC: "...The angry father and the mute son are clearly in the role of [investigator] PCs - they're hunting down the remainders of the evil cult they've wiped out after having their families murdered. For them, this is the last reel of the picture. For everyone else (and us) it's the beginning of the story...."
Meanwhile, officer Carter and (Doctor? Nurse?) Allison were happily married until she lost her daughter in a freak accident of birth; they took the death very hard, and eventually divorced. Carter, at the end of a late shift of his routine patrol of a dark, lonely stretch of highway near the Doctor's house, comes across one of the victim's of the secret raid on the house, a drug addict who happened to have stopped by the house for drugs and fled when the violence began, stumbling onto the highway bloody and traumatized. Faced with a rare emergency in the seemingly quiet town, he rushes the man to the nearest hospital, which had partially burned down at some point before the film began (apparently at the hands of the father and son who raided the farmhouse), and is in the process of being moved to a new location, leaving only a skeleton crew to staff it.
It soon becomes clear that not all is right at the hospital, as Powell's followers, resurrected by the Doctor, begin turning into killers and monsters. The hospital is soon isolated when radio and telephone and all other contact with the outside world is cut off, and a group of strangely-robed deadite cultists surround the hospital and tentacle-monsters invade the hospital from the portal its basement. The doctor gets killed partway through the film, but comes back from The Void through the portal in the hospital's basement, to continue his work for the film's second half: bringing his a monster in the form of his "daughter" back from the Void as well....
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
- See also the discussion at the (YSDC Forums) about this film.
Associated Mythos Elements
- race: Tentacle Monsters
- race: Deadites
- race: Human Cultists
- location: The Void
- "name-dropping": "This is Sherriff Carter in Marsh County...."
- film: the work of John Carpenter, resembling films such as:
- film: the director's own "Insanophenia (2007 short)"