31 Days of Horror: The Void (2016) – REVIEW

There are a lot of ways a single film can break your heart. Wasted potential and not meeting expectations are the usual downfalls, but occasionally it’s something else. The Void is a prime example. I knew nothing about the film, so when things unfolded the way they did here, it was like all of my birthdays had come at once. I was loving everything about this film, right up until the very end, which is where it fell on its face in a monumental fashion. Such a shame.

The story centres on a rural hospital where a county sheriff delivers a mysterious stranger upon discovering them in a bad way. However, as the night stretched on and occurrences become weirder and weirder, it would appear altogether more malevolent forces are at work.

the void

The Void is like a tub of Celebrations

I am not exaggerating when I say that there is a bit of everything in this film. When things get going – and believe me, that doesn’t take long – The Void is relentless. After an opening that gets us off to a good but rather mysterious start, the film heads straight for the backwoods hospital where the majority of the story takes place. As far as settings for horror films go, you could do a lot worse than a dingy old hospital in the middle of nowhere. This was something that gave the film a lot of scope in terms of the directions it could head in.

Capitalise on these possibilities is precisely what The Void did. With the introduction of a series of very different points of conflict, it seemed like there was no limit to what the film would try to do. However, rather than feeling like this was a sub-par narrative that was just being dressed up in whatever the filmmakers could throw at it in order to compensate, all of these different avenues helped to shroud everything in more mystery. And with nods to so many other films, the amount of ideas I was having about what was going on was endless.

the void

Things get bat-shit crazy

There is no better phrase for it. As I’ve already pointed out, The Void smashes through every glass ceiling it comes up against, and there is seemingly no limit to what it has in mind. However, if I had to pick one part of the film that gets really interesting, it’s the scene in the basement with all of the monsters. Things took a huge turn at this point, and that was largely down to the creativity that was poured into coming up with these creatures, and also how well they came to the screen. We are talking about some nightmarish beings here, made all the more terrifying by the brilliant practical effects that went into putting them together. 

All that being said, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room which is the horrible ending The Void suffers. This was a film that couldn’t possibly fall apart, and yet, it did. It was an absolute wet blanket of a conclusion that was even more painful because of how wonderful everything else was. I don’t want to be dramatic and say it ruined the film for me, but it’s definitely tarnished the experience. Any future recommendation I make for this film will require a caveat, which makes it quite a significant issue for me.

the void

It was amazing until…

If we ignore the ending, The Void is a great film that ticked all of the boxes for me. There was no end to what it held in its arsenal to give a fantastic rush, and the fact that the more it showed, the more it guarded the story was phenomenal because logic said it should’ve done the complete opposite. Of course, there is that very bothersome conclusion that is quite the sticking point. It really knocked things down a few notches, which was so disappointing because I dare say I might have called this a perfect film otherwise. 

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