Just as Jaws made you scared of sharks and Ringu made you fear the phone, The Void is here to forever stoke your paranoia about…triangles. No, not the musical instruments: the actual three-sided shapes, as manifested either on the face coverings of hooded cultists or spray-painted on a random door to Hell.
Making a virtue of its sparse cast, The Void offers us an eerily empty hospital, minimally staffed in preparation for its relocation to a newer building. On this night, it’s also surrounded by those cultists, and periodically burps forth giant misshapen creatures and possible demigods — all with malevolent intentions — from hidden corridors and dimensions. The H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker shades are strong with this one.
Can a junkie criminal, two misanthropic vigilantes, a nurse, a trainee, a rookie cop, a grizzled vet, a pregnant girl, her grandfather and a deranged old doctor work out their differences and survive the night? Do the Terrence Malick–y hallucinations of outer space and other worlds mean something? Will there be a sequel tease for something much bigger-budget that probably can’t happen in this movie? Co-writers/directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski (an assistant art director and special makeup effects artist, respectively, on Suicide Squad and TV’s Hannibal) will keep you watching to find out, as the twisty story and imaginative monsters are enough to overcome the relatively humdrum leads (Larry Fessenden, for one, would’ve sprung for at least one familiar character actor to do a day’s work).
In the Eighties, released widely in theaters, The Void could have been a franchise-starter. It’ll probably be harder to find today, but it rewards the effort.
Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski
Screen Media Films
Opens April 7, Nitehawk Cinema and Village East Cinema