‘The Void’ – A Fantastic Fest 2016 Review

The Void – A Fantastic Fest 2016 Review


The Void is a superbly surreal nightmare of a horror film the writer/director team Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski. Haunting from the first moments–a couple fleeing from a sinister house with gun-toting pursuers–the film never relents and never goes where you could ever expect. The approach is very much, throw it all against the wall and see if it sticks. And, almost miraculously, IT ALL STICKS.

The plot involves a police officer discovering a blood-soaked man on the side of a road and bringing him to a hospital that is days away closing. The hospital is barely staffed with only a few patients remaining. Soon everyone in the hospital finds themselves trapped. Outside, knife-wielding cloaked figures gather; inside, something far more monstrous awaits the police officer and company. The less you know about the finer plot details, the more fun you’ll have. To attempt to describe any specifics would A) spoil the fun and B) make me sound like a raving loon trying to describe a horrific dream.

So let’s focus on what can be shared. Lovers of practical creature effects are in for a treat. Maestros Stan Winston and Dick Smith would have been proud by what this team came up with. Everything is tangible… and oh so gross. Adding to terror is the terrific music and sound design, which are just as intense and relentless as the evil forces within the film. With great performances across the board (with a special acknowledgement to Mik Byskov for acting the hell out of a dialogue-free role) and stunning cinematography, this film works on every level.

A Lovecraftian love-child of Hellraiser II and The Thing, The Void succeeds as an unique creation by a duo with keen vision and mastery of practical effects. Equal parts mad scientists and artisans, Gillespie and Kostanski have put their stamp on the horror genre with this unforgettable film. I cannot wait to watch it again and scare the shit out of my friends with it.


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