The Void recreates ’80s thrill with modern tech

TENTACLES AND HELLSCAPES COMBINE to scare viewers in The Void.

Over Easter, I went home, back to the mythical land of Massachusetts, to partake in the age-old tradition that is watching horror movies at late hours with friends. This week, we watched The Void, a throwback to a different age of horror movies.

The Void takes place in what I can only assume is the rural ’80s midwest. A police officer, Daniel Carter, is startled during his seemingly empty watch by a man stumbling out of the woods, a gunshot in his body and incoherent panic in his voice. Daniel rushes him to the only nearby hospital: one which had recently suffered a catastrophic fire and resulted in it being manned by only a skeleton crew as it prepared for relocation. There, in that dark hospital and in the middle of the night, is where the horrors begin. Cultists wearing white robes with triangles on them surround the hospital. Monsters spawn from the bodies of those trapped inside. A maniacal doctor is killed, only to come back to life and haunt those still living. A dark passage filled with hellish creations opens below the institution. And, of course, more characters are introduced, each with their own tragic backstory and fate.

The Void is an indie horror movie that expertly pays homage to the horror movies of old. Blending environmental spookiness from The Shining with chaos and lack of trust from The Thing, The Void aims to recreate ’80s nostalgia on a relatively small budget. In doing so, it implements a few modern techniques into itself. The scene where the cultists start entering the hospital is beautifully executed, as it brings with it a jump scare and immediate gory death. Daniel experiences visions that are a CGI creator’s fantasy, with vast, ominous landscapes and hazy red fever dreams. The movie masterfully blends blasts from the past with the best of today’s technology, and I think that is one of its high points.

That being said, there were a few areas where the movie was lacking. I felt like the story was incoherent at best, with not much being explained and a bit too much being left to interpretation. Some characters were simply not fleshed out, or purposely introduced simply to die mere minutes later. The demons were very ’80s-like, where you could tell they were fake, but still feel fear from their appearance. When I say fake, I mean obvious fake heads and body parts, with very minimal CGI. The ending itself was inconclusive, perhaps posing more questions than it answered. The biggest one of them all though, was “now what?”—The movie brings with it no real sense of closure. Yes, two characters escaped, but they were two that were mediocrely well-explained. The two main characters, Daniel and his wife, were left to rot in the void, with their fate uncertain and their intentions and feelings towards one another unclear. The main villain himself was simply thrown away, disappearing without a real explanation as to where he had gone. Perhaps this was a stylistic choice, but I feel like it could have been done better.

With all that being said, I still feel like The Void was a good movie. It kept the viewer in suspense, and provided a good storyline up until its ending. If you are someone who doesn’t really care about continuity and only wants to see a horror thriller that does an amazing job playing with atmosphere and emotions, then I’d recommend The Void to you. However, if you’re someone who cannot rest until all plot holes are filled and all characters are accounted for, then I’d recommend you search elsewhere.