After what appears to be a brutal murder takes place in a small town, a local police officer finds an injured survivor and takes him to the nearest hospital. As it turns out, the hospital has been fire damaged and there is only a skeleton crew there to take of the victim. Things quickly escalate as white robed figures appear, heralding strange transformations in the staff. As the boundaries of reality begin to crumble, the gun wielding murderers invade the scene and the players in this nightmare soon find that the horror is even deeper and more widespread than they imagined.
There are solid performances from the entire cast as they plunge into the nightmare world but the true stars of the movie are the practical effects. The technical prowess and effectiveness of the gore and creature effects is top notch, with dozens of gallons of blood being spilled, and latex monstrosities that hearken back to the best effects of the 80s and 90s. Gorehounds and practical effects junkies who are tired of lifeless CGI monstrosities would do well to seek out The Void when it plays at a theater near you/VOD/or Blu-Ray. In addition to the gorey monstrosities, there are also some fantastic optical effects on display. The scenes of the titular Void are also stunning, despite the modest budget the filmmakers had to play with.
While watching the film, I was taken back to the days of discovering random horror movies at rental stores and being surprised when something unexpectedly hit home in a major way. The nods to The Thing, The Beyond, Clive Barker, Phantasm, etc are clearly on display but there are enough cool twists and turns to keep die-hard horror fans engaged. It has touchtones to movies that horror fans know and love without being a complete rehash and is all the better for it. If I had rented this movie during the height of my horror days, you can bet I would be telling all my friends about it the next possible chance I got. I would LOVE to host a back to back screening of Phantasm and The Void!
Fantastic Fest is always a good place to find new horror films, and The Void is certainly a pleasant opener to the festivities. I also recommend the Jeremy Gillespie and Steve Kostanski’s MANBORG which previously played at Fantastic Fest. They really know how to hit on things that are familiar and spin them into new joyous insanity.