Heavy on the gore; light on the story

National Post (National Edition) - - POST MOVIES - CHRIS KNIGHT

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.

SCREEN ME­DIA FILMS

The gore in The Void is ef­fec­tive and vo­lu­mi­nous, but the story it serves is reed-thin.

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