Diffident cop Carter (Aaron Poole) is dragged into a bloody fight for life at a local hospital, which may end up being ground zero for the end of the world.
The Void isn’t a horror that wears its influences on its sleeve. It’s a horror that proudly carves them into its claret-clogged chest. The blunter the scalpel, the better. Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski clearly know their way around a horror film collection, with repeated nods to the likes of Lucio Fulci, George A. Romero, Clive Barker and, particularly, John Carpenter, whose Prince Of Darkness is the most obvious template here. In less skilful hands, this litany of references would wear thin pretty damn quickly, but the duo — who got their breaks as an art editor and make-up artist respectively — prove themselves adept at conjuring a bleak, paranoid, foreboding atmosphere from the off. This gives the film a suitably sturdy basis on which to build — it’s quickly clear that this is no I Love The ’80s goof-off.
There are issues — the central story hinges on a series of outlandish coincidences, too many of the cast of characters struggle to make an impact, and the pacing is a tad too ponderous to really grip. But as the movie gradually becomes a creature feature with trimmings of cosmic dread, the directors’ love of old-school, honest-to-goodness, practical FX is a huge boon, underpinning several showstopping outbursts of icky gore that will win the approval of diehard horror fans. There’s plenty here to suggest it’s worth keeping an eye on the pair, who know their way around an arresting image, whether it’s a group of masked figures eerily lit by the cold, flashing light of a cop car, or a killer nonchalantly sliding a scalpel into someone’s eye. Carpenter would approve. As would Romero. And Fulci. And Barker too, most likely.
A little too derivative to truly stand out, but gorehounds will love it. Don’t a void.