A tense, suspenseful thriller that takes influence from some of the best 80s horror films, ‘The Void’ feels like a trip through time with its impressive practical effects and bucket-loads of gore with every inevitable death. At times it flies a little too far off its hinges, with a story line that quickly derives into confusion but the relentless tension that hangs over every scene is enough to forgive some of the lacklustre writing.
The story begins with Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) rushing a blood-soaked man he finds at the side of the road to a nearby hospital in the middle of the night. Staffed by a skeleton crew, it quickly becomes clear that all is not what it seems as the patients and personnel begin acting strangely and changing before his eyes. When mysterious, cloaked figures show up outside, Carter finds himself descending further into the hospital in a bid to try and stop the nightmare that’s gripped the building. While the story itself is serviceable its certainly not the main attraction here with the focus solely on the atmosphere and effects.
With clear inspiration from the likes of ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘The Thing’, the film is dripping in practical effects that makes it feel like an 80s horror. The latter half of the film does sacrifice some of the tension built in the first half but like the films it draws inspiration from, the practical effects and fighting for survival take centre stage with some impressive lighting and camera work that accentuate the effects.
While ‘The Void’ isn’t the scariest film you’re likely to see this year, its respect for a forgotten era of practical effects and absolutely bonkers, off the wall storytelling is one that’s refreshing to see despite the questionable plot line. The first half of the film does build some good atmosphere, with some legitimately tense moments throughout. As the film devolves into a gore-soaked, creature feature, ‘The Void’ does so by sabotaging some of the tension it builds up to begin with.
Overall, ‘The Void’s is a fun, serviceable horror with some good acting and decent dialogue but the main attraction here is most definitely the nostalgic 80s feel the film oozes. I’d certainly recommend this to anyone who’s watched and enjoyed the classic 80s horror films it draws inspiration from. Although it never hits the same level of excellence those films do and its not without its problems, ‘The Void’ is still a good watch and for the practical effects alone, its worth watching.
Verdict - 6/10