FLIX!

Review: THE VOID (2017) 'bloody fun in the tradition of John Carpenter'

In FLIX!

Joseph Friar

By Joseph Friar
April 12, 2017 at 12:42 p.m.



THE VOID (2017)

Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Kenneth Welsh, Evan Stern, Daniel Fathers, Grace Munroe, James Millington

Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski 

The only thing missing from this retro horror film is John Carpenter’s iconic score but everything else that made those horror films of the 70’s and 80’s so special is intact.   “The Void” with all its gore and blood channels Clive Barker in several scenes that originate from the minds of Astron-6 duo Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kotanski.  Throwbacks like The Thing, Hellraiser, and Assault on Precinct 13 come to mind while viewing the horror film that’s low on rationale but high on entertainment. 

Aaron Poole plays officer Daniel Carter, a patrolman killing time working the nightshift by parking along a quiet country road on the outskirts of town.  Things get interesting when a man who looks intoxicated stumbles out of the woods.  Carter notices the man is covered in blood so he rushes him to the nearest hospital which is also out in the booneys.  Like most horror films (Halloween II, The Exorcist III) the hospital seems abandoned, in this case a fire damaged the facility so most of the patients and staff have been moved to an alternate location.  Adding drama to the situation, Daniel’s ex-wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe) is part of the skeleton crew that remains at the deserted facility. 

Gillespie and Kostanski move the action along at a swift pace and soon the night goes from bizarre to bloody.  In the mix there’s Dr. Powell (Kenneth Welsh), the good old city doctor that’s on the verge of retirement, a young nurse trainee (Ellen Wong), a pregnant girl named Maggie (Grace Munroe) and her grandfather Ben (James Millington), and James (Evan Stern) the wounded man rushed to the hospital by officer Carter.   A gun-toting redneck and his mute son (Daniel Fathers and Mik Byskov) are last minute arrivals who come to the hospital seeking James and soon a standoff leads to a scene right out of John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” 

Yes there is a bunch of gore and about 80 gallons of blood as the film comes down to big finale.  The old school prosthetics and special effects are on point (no CGI here) and the tension builds as the cast gets trapped inside the building by cult members wearing white robes with black triangles who have surrounded the building.  Things inside the hospital are worse as the survivors are left to contend with transforming creatures (where’s a flamethrower when you need one) and an individual that I believe is really Frank Cotton from “Hellraiser.”  

“The Void” is a return to the days when horror films were bloody, gross, and fun.  

(3 stars) 

Now showing at Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park (Houston) and Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes (San Antonio).  Opens Friday 4/14 at Alamo Drafthouse Village (Austin).  Also available VOD 

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