The Void is a 2016 horror film about a small group of people who spend their night trapped in a hospital. They struggle to survive as the threat of a creepy cult keeps them trapped inside, while gripping paranoia and otherworldly monsters attack them from within.
The horror classics this movie models itself after tend to have an iconic villain, something Hollywood typically uses to create a franchise off of. Movies like Hellraiser, Evil Dead, Elm Street, and Friday the 13th all have villains that are memorable and iconic. With The Void, the villain is bland, has no personality, and does nothing to distinguish himself. Up until the last fifteen minutes of the film it’s not even clear that he’s the villain. There’s also the cult members which are essentially pointless for this movie. For the majority of the movie they literally just stand there and look menacingly. Only one cult member actually did something, he stabbed a cop in the shoulder, causing him to black out from blood loss. It was all for naught, as the cop was up and running around as though it were only a scratch just moments later.
The story was all over the place and the pacing was inconsistent. Things happen at breakneck speeds, then slow down to a crawl all the while still being extremely confusing and with zero explanation. For instance, multiple times throughout the film the cop has these weird visions of what looks to be another planet that has a floating black pyramid and strange black pyres jutting from the ground. The movie never even attempts to explain why he’s the only one having these visions or what the point is to them. He doesn’t even bring them up to other characters, so they serve no purpose in the narrative other than to confuse the viewer. Another example is when a completely normal character turns into a psycho murderer and is put down, with no explanation whatsoever this character comes back to life as a disgusting tentacle monster. Things like these tend to take you out of the movie and have you questioning scenes when you could be enjoying them.
One thing I will give this movie credit for is the practical effects. In an age where horror movie monsters are essentially all CGI, the monsters of The Void stand out. They’re horrible, disgusting, and gory and they look realistic compared to something computer generated. The monster design is an awesome callback to the gory creations of the eighties. Creatures were similar to monsters from The Thing and Hellraiser, in fact one could argue that the villain was a cenobite based on his look and actions.
The Void is an ambitious movie that tries to capture the essence of horror classics from the eighties. Unfortunately it fails to do so. Despite the amazing effects and creature designs, other areas suffered in turn. Lack of decent pacing and a coherent plot drag what should have been an otherwise good film down. Regardless, its still worth watching if you’re a fan of the aforementioned eighties horror movies.