Derek Warren

CULT CORNER: Step into ‘The Void’ for ’80s sci-fi/horror done right in 2017

CULT CORNER: Step into ‘The Void’ for ’80s sci-fi/horror done right in 2017
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Science fiction and horror are a wonderful pairing in a film when done right. When done wrong, though, it can lead to a mess filled with CGI effects and bad writing that will eventually wind up as “Mystery Science Theater 3000” fodder. Thankfully, “The Void” gets the pairing perfect and checks a lot of boxes that will make an ‘80s horror fan tingle with excitement.

It should be noted, however, that “The Void” is a bit of a divisive film and will certainly be one that you either love or loathe, but it will elicit a reaction regardless. The movie also has a strong visceral feel with great practical gore gags. It also pays homage to many classic horror films that came before, but remains a solid standalone feature.

The images are both haunting and disgusting in a beautiful way. The story does meander at times, but it still possesses a coherent thread that takes the story through to its conclusion. The imagery, though, is the true shining star of this film, with its emphasis on practical effects instead of diving into the cheaper and more widely used CGI more commonly seen in independent releases.

The story follows police officer Daniel Carter, who finds a man bleeding to death alone at night on a deserted road. Officer Carter delivers the man to a local hospital, where a night shift is on duty with very few staff members. Suddenly, a group of men in white cloaks, faces covered by a white hood with black triangle on the face, appear and are not letting anyone leave. At the same time, something strange is occurring inside the hospital, and people are slowly turning insane and murderous. Those inside also discover a very dark secret hiding within the hospital.

The plot sounds thin, but expands far beyond what anyone may imagine. It spins off into an area that may put some people off because it seems farfetched, but if you let it take you on a ride, “The Void” will not disappoint. It is also best to go into this knowing as little as possible, so try and avoid spoilers. Fans of 1980s John Carpenter films like “Prince of Darkness” or “The Thing” will absolutely love this film and quickly call it a favorite.

“The Void” began through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise the initial funds. After funding was reached and the film was completed, it premiered at Fantastic Fest in 2016 and then in Canada at the Toronto After Dark Festival. It received a limited theatrical run in early 2017 and came to Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming services in the early summer.

Is it worth seeing? If you are a fan of ‘80s horror or sci-fi/horror in general, then yes. If you dislike both of those genres, you will hate “The Void.” However, if any of the plots of the aforementioned films pique your interest, definitely watch it.

I can say as a reviewer that I personally loved it, but I also realize that this is not a film for everyone. It is currently available on Blu-ray through several outlets and is streaming on Netflix. I would love to hear your opinion on this current gem of a film as well!

Each week, Cult Corner shines a light on strange and obscure cult films you’ve never heard of but need to see for yourself… with the lights off and the doors and windows locked.