Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The 190th review overall!
With the hours that I work and my hour-long commute, this may be tricky getting a movie in every day, but I’m committed. So this morning I woke up, took the pups out, looked through Starz to find a movie and struck out... To Netflix I went and picked...
The Void (2016)
I don’t like doing so many recent movies right in a row, but poopy Netflix is so obsessed with making crappy shows that its horror section has taken a hit. The movie starts with a couple running from a farm house, a woman gets shot then set on fire, the dude escapes. At this point I’m regretting my choice because I’m tired of the “humans are the real monsters” trope.
The escaped dude ends up running into a sheriff and off to a hospital they go. The hospital caught fire a little bit ago, so it’s closing down. Needless to say, there’s a skeleton crew manning the place. Shortly into the hospital visit one of the nurses cuts off her own face, sticks scissors into the eyes of a patient and is shot by the sheriff. OK movie, you have my attention.
From there the movie gets weird, and then gets even weirder. The movie has a very Lovecraftian feel to it. The monsters have a unique grotesqueness to them and there’s a portal to another world with an ancient evil that someone is trying to unleash into the world, to do what, I’m not quite sure. The baddie says something about conquering death, but I don’t really know what the portal would have done, in any case, it seemed pretty bleak.
Meantime, while all the shenanigans are going on inside the hospital, there’s a bunch of cultists surrounding the place preventing them from escaping. It’s a mix of Lovecraft, The Last Shift with a dash of Assault on Precinct 13 thrown in for good measure (the original one of course).
This movie is weird, but I liked it. The pacing is really good and the atmosphere is tense and foreboding. The cultists wear a white robe and white mask with a black triangle where the face should be. And for the most part they stand perfectly still while holding ceremonial knives, it’s a good mix of creepy and menacing. Here’s a bit of a spoiler that’s not that big, but I can’t not spoil without giving a little context because it’s my favorite part. The baddie is giving a speech/explaining and says his past failings to conquer death are still in the basement with them. The baddie says the experiments started the fire to try and kill themselves, but he won’t let them die. Then when you finally see the monsters down there they’re so grotesque (disfigured) and the first one you see is half-heartedly trying to kill itself. It’s so disturbing and kinda sad that it’s just a fantastic moment in the movie.
My biggest problem with this movie is a side effect of something I liked about it. It doesn’t explain anything in the beginning or the middle and your left watching things happen and have no idea why. I liked that, it was cool. But towards the end the baddie just goes into an exposition dump because I don’t think the writers knew how else to provide answers. Now, it’s not as bad as Silent Hill’s “Congrats you’ve made it this far, now let me explain everything for five minutes,” but it’s still a little off-putting for me.
The Void was actually a crowd funding venture, so the money raised to make this movie actually came from donations, I’m not sure how much it raised, but for being a movie based on donations, it looks really good (except for the final monster). Plus it has Ellen Wong (Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.) Pretty solid movie.