Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
New SWITCHCast episode out now! Click to listen to reviews of 'Game Night', 'Finding Your Feet', 'A Fantastic Woman', 'Winchester' and more.x
review, The Void, The, Void, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Art Hindle, Daniel Fathers, Kenneth Welsh, Ellen Wong, Stephanie Belding, Mik Byskov, Grace Munro, James Millington, Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski, Horror, Mystery, Sci Fi




By Jake Watt
30th July 2017

As part of the Canadian film production and directing company Astron-6, Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie have collaborated on films which paid tribute to slasher cinema (‘Father's Day’), post-apocalyptic science fiction (‘Manborg’) and Italian "giallo" (‘The Editor’). Most recently, Kostanski and Gillespie co-directed ‘The Void’, a sombre departure from their more comedic work. Heavily influenced by late 80s/early 90s horror films from Clive Barker, Stuart Gordon and Lucio Fulci, it owes a particularly large debt to director John Carpenter's filmography (with some nods to David Cronenberg).

Small town cop Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole, ‘Forsaken’) picks up a possible drunk by the side of the road and brings him to the rural hospital run by Richard Powell (Kenneth Welsh, ‘Twin Peaks’). His estranged wife, Allison (Kathleen Munroe, ‘Survival of the Dead’), is also a doctor there, along with Kim (Ellen Wong, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’), an intern. An elderly man has brought in his pregnant granddaughter. A father and son arrive after a bloody farmhouse incident in the opening scene. These people soon discover that the hospital is surrounded by innumerable (and menacing) robed figures, trapping the hapless patients and hospital staff within. Then a giant tentacle monster starts growing out of one of the nurse's eyeballs. Off to a promising start, ‘The Void’ layers on character conflict amidst escalating horrors.


The film mashes together the structure of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ (1976) (a group of strangers cooperate to survive the attack of an external force), thematic elements of ‘Prince of Darkness’ (1987), the grotesque practical effects of ‘The Thing’ (1982), and the Lovecraftian creepiness of ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ (1994). The result is a hybrid of cosmic horror and science fiction which isn't completely satisfactory or original, but is still very entertaining.

The most prominent feature of the film is how cool it all looks – the cinematography effectively harnesses the setting and enthusiasts will admire the film's audacity to show gruesome monsters with clarity, using low lighting for mood rather than obstruction.

The practical special effects for the creatures and transformations are excellent. Kostanski and Gillespie have worked in design and special effects on high-budget movies (‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Crimson Peak’ and ‘Pacific Rim’, amongst others), something which explains the visual exuberance of ‘The Void’, whose gore scenes and “para-genetic” atrocities evoke the aesthetic of the 80s, with the benefit of some state-of-the-art digital retouches.

The most prominent feature of the film is how cool it all looks – the cinematography effectively harnesses the setting and enthusiasts will admire the film's audacity to show gruesome monsters with clarity.

Another highlight of the film is the soundtrack from Blitz//Berlin, director Jeremy Gillespie, Brian Wiacek and Menalon, which is immediately striking, moody and evokes nostalgia for the time period the film homages.

Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe and Ellen Wong turn in the strongest performances from a cast of actors playing stock archetypes in a film that demands little more than screams, terrified stares and chopping up gooey tentacles with fire axes.

Thin characters aside, the chief weakness of ‘The Void’ is that it is so heavily influenced by Carpenter’s oeuvre that it has difficulty establishing its own identity outside of being a stylishly assembled patchwork (unlike other 80s-inspired fare such as ‘It Follows’, ‘You’re Next’, ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’ and ‘The House of The Devil’). There is also a certain over-familiarity in the well-worn story of people trapped in a building under siege by evil forces.

‘The Void’ is an impressive production not just for an indie film (it was originally crowdfunded on Indiegogo), but for a modern horror movie in a category crowded with high-budget slop. If only the filmmakers could have harnessed a little more of Carpenter’s originality, and not simply his best scenes.

RUN TIME: 1h 30m
CAST: Aaron Poole
Kathleen Munroe
Art Hindle
Daniel Fathers
Kenneth Welsh
Ellen Wong
Stephanie Belding
Mik Byskov
Grace Munro
James Millington
WRITER/DIRECTORS: Jeremy Gillespie
Steven Kostanski
PRODUCERS: Jonathan Bronfman
Casey Walker
Game Night - A gleefully inventive checkmate comedy caper
TRENDINGGAME NIGHTA gleefully inventive checkmate comedy caper
Goodbye Christopher Robin - The true story behind a childhood classic
TRENDINGWIN GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBINThe true story behind a childhood classic
Shot Caller - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's brutal crime thriller
TRENDINGWIN SHOT CALLERNikolaj Coster-Waldau's brutal crime thriller
The Square - Society from a darkly hilarious perspective
TRENDINGWIN THE SQUARESociety from a darkly hilarious perspective
Detroit - Kathryn Bigelow's gritty slice of American history
TRENDINGWIN DETROITKathryn Bigelow's gritty slice of American history
Alliance Française French Film Festival - Celebrating 29 years of French cinema
© 2011 - 2018 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Disclaimer | Contact Us