The Void movie
When police officer Carter (Aaron Poole) discovers a blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road, he rushes him to a local hospital with a barebones, night shift staff. As cloaked, cult-like figures surround the building, the patients and staff inside start to turn ravenously insane. Trying to protect the survivors, Carter leads them into the depths of the hospital where they discover a gateway to immense evil.
The Void wiki
Drug fiend James, flees from a farmhouse and escapes into the woods. A screaming woman tries to follow, but she is shot and set on fire by Vincent and his son Simon. Deputy Daniel Carter finds James crawling in the road and takes him to a Hospital where his estranged wife Alison Fraser, works as a nurse. At the hospital is Dr. Richard Powell, nurse Beverly, intern Kim, pregnant girl Maggie, her grandfather Ben, and patient Cliff. Daniel discovers an entranced Beverly murdering Cliff with her skin removed from her face. Beverly moves toward Daniel who shoots her dead. Daniel collapses due to a seizure and experiences a strange vision.
While everyone struggles to figure out what happened with Beverly, state trooper Mitchell enters the hospital to collect James after discovering a bloody scene at the farmhouse. Daniel goes outside to call in Beverly’s death, from his patrol car and is confronted by robed cultists who wound him. He manages to return to the hospital as cultists surround the building. Daniel and Mitchell rush into James’ room when they hear him screaming. They find Beverly’s corpse has transformed into a tentacled creature as Daniel and Mitchell rescue James and lock Beverly in the room. In the lobby, Vincent and Simon enter and hold the group at gunpoint, demanding to get to James. James takes Maggie hostage to protect himself and stabs Powell, who falls to the floor. The creature emerges from Beverly’s room and devours Mitchell. Vincent and Simon kill the creature and regroup with the others in the lobby. Vincent and Simon accompany Daniel to retrieve a shotgun from a patrol car, while Alison ventures into the basement to collect medical supplies for delivering Maggie’s baby. Powell rises from the ground and captures Alison. On discovering that Alison is missing, Daniel and Vincent search for her and find photographs and files indicating Powell was the cult’s leader. Powell phones Daniel, taunting him and mentions the vision he experienced while unconscious.
Kim and Ben stay with Maggie while Daniel, Vincent, and Simon interrogate James. James explains that Powell has the power to transform people. The three men force James to come with them downstairs. Alison regains consciousness on an operating table where Powell explains he has found a way to defy death after the loss of his daughter Sarah. Having cut off his face, Powell shows Alison that something now grows inside her. Daniel, Vincent, Simon, and James find a hidden area in the basement and end up surrounded by deformed corpses brought back to life. One of the creatures kills James as the other three men get separated.
As Maggie enters labor, Kim hesitates to perform a C-section. As Ben pleads with Kim, Maggie stands and slits his throat, revealing she is carrying Dr. Powell’s child. Kim hides as cultists enter the building and Maggie leaves. Daniel finds Alison in the operating room pregnant. Looking again at Alison, he sees a creature, with tentacles extending from her body. Powell’s voice speaks to Daniel who finally attacks his wife’s mutated remains with an ax. Daniel is transported to a morgue room with a glowing triangle on the wall. Powell’s voice tells Daniel that he found the ability to conquer life and death. Powell promises that Daniel can have his child back if he is willing to die first.
Maggie appears and stabs Daniel. Powell appears without any skin in front of the triangle as Maggie kneels before him. Powell recites an incantation before the triangle as a now frightened Maggie’s torso explodes, as she births the reborn Sarah. Vincent and Simon arrive and battle the beast. The creature envelops Vincent, but he covers it in gasoline, allowing Simon to kill them both with a flare. As Powell begins transforming, he tells Daniel he can be with Alison if he gives himself to the abyss. Daniel refuses and tackles him, leading both men to tumble into the void. Meanwhile, the creature pursues Simon who escapes back to the hospital and reunites safely with Kim. Daniel and Alison are shown in the netherworld holding hands beneath a black pyramid.
- Aaron Poole as Daniel Carter
- Kenneth Welsh as Dr. Richard Powell
- Daniel Fathers as The Father / Vincent
- Kathleen Munroe as Allison Fraser
- Ellen Wong as Kim
- Mik Byskov as The Son / Simon
- Grace Munro as Maggie
- Evan Stern as James
- James Millington as Ben
- Art Hindle as Mitchell
- Stephanie Belding as Beverly
- Matt Kennedy as Cliff Robertson
The Void review
On the effects and style end, The Void is an example to all of those filmmakers who say “fix it in post” and want to only use CGI blood instead of actual syrup mixed with whatever. It’s an often grotesque display of what can be done with rubber and latex and some imagination. Is it the *most* imaginative use of practical effects? Perhaps not, but it’s a lot of the time in the designs, and that the lighting is often cued to make us see the creatures and monsters and tentacles so that it’s just real enough without becoming fake. And there are some unsettling choices in direction and atmosphere – how we first are introduced to the mind-control aspect involving a nurse with a scalpel and a face as revealed to be pretty much (gulp) torn off is exciting and disgusting. These directors weren’t lazy when it came to effects, but unfortunately they became lazy when it came time to do the *work* of a movie script.
These characters and the plot that are cooked up for The Void are half-baked, and the actors, while not necessarily bad, are not given enough to rise up to a challenge of doing something more than what their one (or simply half) dimensional characters require them to do. The set-up is The Thing with a bit of Night of the Living Dead and then there’s I’m sure a butt-load of Lovecraft there too, as a small town cop and a few locals (including the cop’s pregnant wife, who we don’t find out is so until later on) are trapped in a hospital as strange, white hooded figures (no KKK component with that, by the way, they’re more like evil monks one sees in horror with cult scnarios) with some powers that sometimes get sort of explained, and other time (mostly) do not. It’s a siege movie where people walk slowly in dark hallways and down to dark cellars, and one of the stakes is that the pregnant girl may give birth at any moment. Plus, there may be a… inter-dimensional portal of some kind?
This is a movie made by people who clearly (nakedly) love their influences (and maybe smoked a good amount of weed possibly before the script writing process, maybe during too), but they didn’t put in what has to be done to make us care about the characters. This is a story where people keep acting mean and obnoxious to one another because, well, DANGER! But one of the aspects of a movie like Carpenter’s The Thing is that we get to know and like the characters, and while they’re types the actors do a lot of good work to help flesh out the characters too. In here, the actors often have one expression planted on their faces, and it stays there whether it’s panic or mean consternation or… more panic. And while I mention that the movie has some good atmosphere, it’s not directed with a distinguishing vision that would set it as something unique: a lot of hand-held when it has to get intense, a music cue that comes in when a character does a surprise move into a room or reveal in a shot (and music that becomes extremely loud and *TELLING YOU THIS IS SCARY TIME*-like during some of the more gruesome scenes).
But more than with the characters, I don’t think the writers/directors did a good job selling us on what the mythology is supposed to be. There’s a lot of symbolism involving these triangles and shots of dark-ominous clouds rolling in the sky, and, obviously, there is some fantastical/outer-space/interdimensional things going on. Although we do eventually get two scenes where separate villainous characters monologue to other characters – one being someone who is curiously strapped down with some scary medical things about to happen, and the reveal is a good troubling sight, while the other fills in only the slightest gaps in logic and this by the climax – I wanted to know more about the rules here.
There’s mind-control and there’s sometimes scenes where this world of ‘The Void’ or what have you shows characters some of their dreams and tries to trick them with fulfilling their desires, and yet it’s also not clear how they can do this and why it’s only done to some of the characters. And moreover, if they could do mind-control, why doesn’t the ultimate main Bad-Baddie get the pregnant woman to him sooner for what is ultimately an impregnation-incubus sort of plot? This is a lot of style that can often work though mostly in the use of practical effects, and I must emphasize that whoever did the effects deserves a free bar for a year for the amount of work put in here (though some of that reaction may be like a guy coming in from being in the CGI desert for so long, whether some of that is derivative too I’m not sure right after seeing it), and at the same time it’s sizzle-no-steak.
I didn’t go with high or low expectations since I didn’t know much about the film, but that’s usually a good thing I think: show me what you got and try to impress me with a vision that isn’t encumbered by a franchise or a major studio breathing down your necks. The Void has its moments, but a lot of it is humorless and without charm (this really could’ve used, if one is going to go for the ‘but its homaging Carpenter and Romero etc’ argument like a Ken Foree or Kurt Russell or something, someone who can make me feel some concern for these people), and at worst it may be all too impressed with its own half-baked imagery and context.