Heavy on the gore; light on the story
The Void is a horror film that puts the “Eee!” in E.R. Also in surgery, pregnancy, autopsy and, by the time it’s over, lobotomy. The busy, almost coherent storyline imagines a soon-to-be-shut hospital where all manner of creepy, gross things are going on down in the basement. (So it also puts the “ick” in Medicaid.)
The requisite innocent outsider is Daniel Carter, a police officer played in an alarmingly casual manner by Aaron Poole. When a staggering man turns out to be gravely injured and not drunk as the cop initially thought, he drives the man to the hospital, where the skeleton staff includes his ex (Kathleen Munroe), her dad (Kenneth Welsh) and a mousey intern (Ellen Wong). There’s also a very pregnant young woman, played by Grace Munro.
Crazy stuff starts happening quickly, with one of the few remaining doctors murdering one of their final patients, apparently while turning into some kind of putrefying monster. (Must have taken the hypocritical oath.) And before Daniel can fully process this turn of events, two armed and frightened men break in, pursued by an army of what looks to be the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan observing wear-a-triangle-to-work day.
Co-writers and directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski have resumés crowded with effects work on the likes of Poltergeist, Crimson Peak and ABCs of Death 2, for which they also contributed the chapter W Is For Wish.
I just wish they had a better sense of narrative with this one — the gore is effective and voluminous, but the story it serves is reed-thin. Sometimes it’s OK to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, but it’s perhaps not the best technique when everything includes blood, slime and entrails. ∆½
The Void opens March 31 in Winnipeg; April 1 in Toronto; April 7 in Ottawa and Calgary; April 8 in Vancouver and Kitchener; and April 14 at Dedfest in Edmonton, and on demand.
The gore in The Void is effective and voluminous, but the story it serves is reed-thin.