The Void (2016) Review

"The Void is a mind-bending journey to madness"

by C. Rachel Katz

Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie didn't want to crowdfund The Void, but they had to else the film wouldn't get made. So they came up with a good hook: help fund the monsters. And it worked. People emptied their pockets for practical creature effects.

We live in a strange time; everyone wants to see practical effects but studios seem to think they're too expensive. Instead of committing to, or following through on their commitment to real, rubber and latex monsters, major studios pay for teams of people across the country and around the world to create digital creatures. Often this process ends up taking longer and costing more than it would have to just go practical. Luckily, we have indie filmmakers who're still carrying the torch for real monsters, and right now that light shines brightly on The Void.

The key to working with practical creatures, Kostanski and Gillespie explain the After Dark audience, is to shoot the monsters in shadow—tease them out and only show parts of the whole. Otherwise, it won't look scary. And it works. Perhaps a little to well, because I never really got to see any of the monsters in full and I so desperately wanted to.

The Void
Directed by
Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie
Cast
Aaron Poole, Kenneth Walsh, Daniel Fathers, Grace Munro
Release Date
22 September 2016
Rachel's Grade: A


The Void is full of monsters, some more or less human-shaped, others just straight up things from your nightmares, and they all terrorize the people who're trapped inside an old hospital. Part siege movie, part creature feature, The Void is a mind-bending journey to madness. The film wears its influences on its sleeve, and that's okay. Kostanski and Gillespie channel the best parts of Lovecraft, Ligotti, John Carpenter, Hellraiser, and The Keep.

Isolated inside a small hospital that's just days from closing, a small group of townsfolk are besieged by a veritable army of cloaked cultists. Unbeknownst to them, one of their own is the cult leader and he has a plan for everyone trapped inside with him on this very special night. What follows is an agonizing descent into hell for the survivors.

“I'm glad that was good,” said my friends as we watched the credits roll. They had contributed to the film's Indiegogo campaign. So had I. Not only was it rewarding to see the return on that investment, but it was a relief as well. The Void played well, even if not everyone fully understood what they saw. (One of the questions during the Q&A was, “What's with the triangle?”, the triangle being an important symbol in the film). They story was good, the monsters were great, and the whole thing was a satisfyingly suspenseful and shocking experience.

We were promised at conclusion of the Q&A The Void would get a wide release. Here's hoping that's the case because not only should indie Canadian horror get more exposure within Canada, but monster lovers everywhere should have a chance to peer into The Void.

The Void was preceded by WW2 Bluatsauger: Crypt of Doom, a charming claymation film about an German and an American soldier who're trapped inside a vampire's crypt

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