Friday, May 5, 2017

Movie: The Void (2016)

A couple nights ago we went to see The Void as a limited engagement at the North Park Theatre in Buffalo. I tried not to read too many reviews, but it kept popping up that this is a throwback to the 1980s and produced by the people that made The Witch (2015).  I loved The Witch, so I went in  to see this movie really excited and hopeful. I really thought it was going to be about aliens, a contagion, or zombies. Well, it was none of those things!

***Warning: Spoilers***

Let's see where do I begin? Here's a summary of the memorable parts.

It starts out strong with terrified couple being chased out of an isolated farm house by two men. They shoot the girl once and burn her. (I guess they wanted to save bullets or wanted her to suffer because I would have shot her until she was dead, THEN burn her. Meanies.) At this point, I'm thinking something contagious if they have to burn the body. The guy -James, gets away covered in blood and is found on the roadside by a cop named Dan Carter.

Dan picks James up and takes him to a hospital in the middle of nowhere. The hospital is incredibly short staffed because they had a fire in the basement and are in the process of moving everything over to a new one. (Wouldn't you just move everything over to the fully staffed hospital asap and close the other?)

There's a doctor - Dr. Powell, two nurses - Bev and Allison, a useless intern - Kim, one patient and a grandfather with his pregnant granddaughter in the waiting room, now James too. We find out Allison and Dan are married, but estranged because of the death of their baby.

Shortly after you see Bev stab the one lowly patient in the eye with scissors and she starts peeling off the skin on her face while Dan watches in shock - and then finally shoots her. (Why did she do that? Why did it take him so long to shoot?) He has a seizure that includes a vision of skies and tentacles. Weird.

State Trooper Mitchell arrives at the hospital, after coming from the shot up farm house. We find out, the two guys with guns at the beginning of the movie, are father and son. They come to the hospital to go after James. They want him dead. (because he's contagious? Why are they killing people all willy-nilly?)

Dan is trying to reach out and call or contact someone with his police car radio.  He goes outside and is attacked by a white hooded figure in what looks like a kind of hazmat suit. Then the white figures come out of nowhere and multiply just standing outside the hospital presumably to keep everyone inside. There's 1, then 2, then 20, 50 etc. This scene is very reminiscent of classic Night of the Living Dead (1968) where the living dead are coming slowly towards the house. (Is this movie about zombies?)


Night of the Living Dead.



The Void disciples.

We find out Bev was absorbed by a monster that looks like a giant black slimy bug, think The Fly (1986 version)-ish mashed up with Cthulhu. The Bev creature morphs, until Dan, the father and son shoot this humanoid as it's tentacles go through Mitchell's eyes. (Ok, I'm still thinking contagious alien, hence hazmat suits?)


The Fly.


Cthulhu Image from http://www.lovecraft-stories.com/wiki/cthulhu

Dan and the father find Polaroids on Dr. Powell's desk, that connect the doctor and James to the hooded figures. They are lead to the basement.

Long story short, Dr. Powell's daughter dies and he tries to find a way to get her back. The doctor is a cult leader and the hooded figures are his disciples. He drums up an ancient cult in the basement of the hospital that believes that the body doesn't die but travels through a portal to a different dimension. (Possibly to hell? To an alien planet?) He experiments on people in the basement, giving them everlasting life as animated corpse abominations. The room the experiments are kept, is a form of hell, that are woken by Dan, the father, son, and James. (Very much like the nurses in Silent Hill (2006).)

The doctor captures Allison, drags her to the basement, and turns her into one of the tentacled creatures, not before peeling his own skin off. Dan sees her and has a vision of what it was like when they were together, but then sees what she has become and chops her up. (It seems like they were looking for the doctor and Allison forever in the basement. That basement must be GIANT!)


Poor Allison is turned into a monster.

The pregnant girl in the waiting room is carrying the doctor's baby and will be his dead daughters rebirth, only it's a giant slimy tentacled Cthulhu bug too.

The skinless doc - think Frank Cotton from Hellraiser (1987) (Why didn't he turn into a slimy bug to?) stands in front of a light up triangle doorway on the wall and begins his ritual to bring his daughter back. A couple disciples are present from outside (but where are the 50? They're going to be late to the party!) He offers Dan the option of being reunited with his wife if he just gives in. Dan ends up grabbing the Frank Cotton wanna-be and tackles him through the triangle portal. (Is it an astral gate? ala OA (2016) style?)


Frank Cotton.


OA.

There is a happy ending though, you see a black pyramid on the other side of the portal and Dan and Allison are reunited standing together holding hands. (Is the black pyramid built by the Egyptians? Did they create the cult?) The useless intern Kim and the son are the only survivors in the hospital. (Why did the least likable characters survive?)


Black pyramid.

My final words on it....SURPRISE it's an ancient cult movie with slimy tentacles everywhere. The practical effects make it very 80s, but there's LOTS of other visuals that say otherwise, I just highlighted a few. The thing that kept me interested was wondering, will they explain what is going on?

I'd say paws up for the visuals, paws down on the storytelling. Paws up on the actors, paws down on trying to jam too much into the movie. 3 out of 5.

Here's the trailer, see what you think.




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