As The Void begins, it’s impossible to guess where it’s heading. Initially, it seems to be about a weird cult in a small town. But then there’s a shot of something odd in the clouds. And a very strange creature-thing. Slowly, it becomes obvious what you think you’re watching isn’t the point at all.
I saw The Void at Fantastic Fest last year and found a lot of it really, really good. A teaser trailer was just released, and it’s super gross and offers a great peek at the best things the film has going for it. Check it out.
Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, The Void follows a small-town detective (Aaron Poole) who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He runs into a mysterious stranger on the street and takes them to the hospital — and that’s when things start to go really, really wrong.
I don’t want to specifically say how or why things go wrong because that would ruin half the fun. But what I will say is, it takes a pretty typical movie set-up and instantly elevates it. Where the film ends up going isn’t exactly new or unique, and you’ll notice influences from some pretty famous horror movies along the way (films that, if named, would kind of ruin everything). However, when juxtaposed with the first half, this change feels surprising and ambitious. There’s a ton of gross-out fun, wild practical effects and very kinetic violent horror. It’s kind of fantastic.
On the other hand, the best part of the movie is really only the last half to two-thirds of it. Gillespie and Kostanski certainly drop enough clues not to make it completely random, but the incredible final act puts the more typical first half to shame. That makes it hard to ignore an inconsistency that makes you think, “I wish they got to THIS sooner.” So then, the question becomes: Does the third act only work because it contrasts so much with what came before? I think in the case of The Void, maybe not. The different parts feel like two different movies.
There’s little in The Void that you haven’t seen before, but maybe you haven’t seen it like this. And with a movie that has almost zero expectations riding on it, even if only one-third of the movie is really good, that’s almost enough.