Directors and Writers: Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie
Starring: Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Daniel Fathers, Kenneth Welsh, Ellen Wong
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of watching the indie film, The Void – a film I knew absolutely nothing about except for little status blurbs on the Facebook pages of my friends who were saying that they couldn’t wait to check it out.
I didn’t look the film up, but made a mental note to check it out as soon as I could and see why everyone seemed so interested in this little horror film.
The synopsis for the film is this: A cop transfers a wounded man to a small hospital, where it won’t take long for violence to erupt. The few doctors and patients there find themselves surrounded by a group of hooded men and threatened by a strange creature growing in the hospital.
Over the last little while I have watched a LOT of really crappy horror movies and with a low budget, I expected The Void to fall into that same sort of meh area for me but I was pleasantly surprised. There weren’t any moments where I jumped at something particularly scary but that’s not a detriment to it – the movie built up a great atmosphere and kept up a consistent tone throughout the entire film.
I’m a HUGE wimp when it comes to horror movies and while I’ve grown to like them quite a bit, those jumpy moments in the movies really make me jump and I HATE it. I’d prefer to have a great story that makes me scared rather than a film that relies on other scare tactics. Don’t get me wrong, I know those have merit too and that it takes a good writer to write good scares in but I prefer just having a solid scary story instead.
The score for The Void was also great and reminiscent of the synth soundtracks that are becoming more and more popular these days in things such as Drive, Stranger Things, and It Follows. Music is something that I can’t help but notice in a film… it can make or break a movie for me depending on the quality of the music the filmmakers choose. Bad borrowed songs or songs that just don’t fit can kill it, but music that’s either something you pleasantly notice or that you don’t notice at all but you realize helps add to the atmosphere – THAT is a real treasure. This film does this SO well where initially I didn’t notice the music playing and when I did, I realized that it helped contribute to what I was feeling as the movie played on. It was subtle but SO good.
From what little I did know about The Void, I thought that the film would look a lot more low-budget. In truth, the film looked fantastic and I was once again surprised by the overall quality of not just the film itself but the talent within it. Everyone did a stellar job of bringing Kostanski and Gillespie’s vision to life and I was thoroughly impressed.
Another random note is that you never really know what year it is within the film. It kind of feels like it could be set anywhere in the last 20-30 years. The characters don’t have cell phones or anything really technologically advanced. Mind you, the setting for the film is a small town so I could definitely believe that they’re just “simple” but I liked that about the film and that they weren’t throwing technology into the mix. It sounds silly but things with tech and cell phones seem fine now and are enjoyable but ultimately over the years, it dates a film and gives it a certain campiness. Like, for instance, The X-Files is STILL fantastic but when they talk about tech that’s now obsolete and how fascinated they are with 2GBs of memory, it dates the show and automatically makes it a little silly.
The point of that ramble is to say once again that I think it works in the filmmakers favour to do stuff like this and to forego content that ties a film to a certain time period, unless that’s specifically something that you want or need to do for the story.
Within The Void, there’s definitely a lot of love to Lovecraft influence with ode after ode to his works. As someone who isn’t overly familiar with Lovecraft’s materials – except on a very basic level – even I was able to really enjoy the film and it’s not at all necessary to get something out of it. That being said, I think if you are a fan, you will enjoy the movie even more than I did.
The film is a MUST SEE! for a number of reasons, including those I mentioned above. It doesn’t have any A-listers and it doesn’t have a lot of flashy special effects. What it does have is a solid story and a solid team that did an A+ job of conveying their story and making it a reality.
The Void had a very limited release in theatres and now it’s available to stream on Amazon, iTunes etc. Definitely check it out.