[31 Days of Horror Part V: A New Beginning] Day 29 – The Void (2016)

 

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Cast: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Evan Stern, Trish Rainone, Mik Byskov

Screenplay: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

90 mins. Not Rated.

 

My favorite thing about watching 31 horror films in a month is coming across a true gem. Oftentimes, I get a chance to catch a few brand new movies in all this, and thankfully, The Void is an absolute delight.

When Deputy Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole, This Beautiful City, Mary Goes Round) comes across an injured man on the side of the road, he immediately brings him to the local hospital, which has been mostly abandoned. The only remaining staff are Dr. Richard Powell (Kenneth Welsh, The Day After Tomorrow, Awakening the Zodiac), nurse and Daniel’s estranged wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe, A Family Man, TV’s Patriot), intern Kim (Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, TV’s GLOW), and nurse Beverly. When the hospital becomes surrounded by cloaked and hooded figures with weapons, it becomes quite that the remaining members of the hospital staff are being targeted for a specific purpose, but they could never know how sinister their night is about to become.

I really liked The Void. It is both a callback to the practical effects and creature features of the 1980s as well as a gruesome and brutal horror film that is unique and all its own. Directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski treat their material with the utmost respect and care, treating each twist and turn with unexpected tenacity.

The performers, particularly Poole, Munroe, and Welsh, are quite well-cast and played. I don’t have much experience with Poole, but I found him to be very accessible as the Deputy out of his element. Munroe and Welsh have previous experience from Survival of the Dead, and their chemistry is still solid.

Where the film falters is in its run time. Even at 90 minutes, some scenes feel very overstretched. I feel like The Void belongs in the 80-minute range and could have been better served with a little more chopping in the editing room.

Overall, The Void is a fun and frightening film with some of the more unique scares and effects I’ve seen recently. It’s combination of Lovecraftian Horror and visual flair make for a great viewing experience. This is a good one to check out for Halloween. Grab your Netflix account and jump into The Void.

 

4/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of the anthology film ABCs of Death 2, click here.

Silent Night (2012)

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Director: Steven C. Miller

Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr

Screenplay: Jayson Rothwell

94 mins. Rated R for bloody violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use.

 

After the disappearance of Deputy Jordan (Brendan Fehr, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: First Class) and rising count of corpses start popping up in town, officer Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King, Pearl Harbor, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) is tasked with hunting down a psychopath dressed as Santa Claus…on Christmas Eve of all days. Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness) doesn’t trust the unseasoned young cop, and Aubrey is forced to bet on her gut as a gruesome trail is uncovered, and the culprit may be tied to all of them.

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In this, the remake to Silent Night, Deadly Night (though, to be fair, it seems like more of a reboot, but never mind that), we see how flimsy the original film really was. This story is riddled with plot holes disguising themselves as tongue-in-cheek homages to clichés but come off as mere problems with a mostly problematic film. So many half-answered plot threads, so many!

Thankfully, the cast understands the intended tone of the film, and most of them perform admirably, including McDowell and Donal Logue (TV’s Grounded for Life, The Reef 2: High Tide), who plays a drunk and lousy dime-store Santa suspected of being the murderous madman.

Unfortunately, I said most. Jaime King underperforms to an already poorly put together character and can’t handles the front seat of this ride. Her character merely fills up space.

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I had fun with this film, as I did with the original it is based on, and I loved the rare send-ups to the original series with heightened my enjoyment. Altogether, though, Silent Night could have been more fun. It wasn’t.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 12 Days of Christmas, click here.

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