The Void (2016)

The Void (2016)

Review by Annie Riordan

Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Art Hindle

Co-starring: a shitload of triangles, a pork roast with grasshopper legs, lots of guts, some zombies, and a partridge in a fucking pear tree. 

Synopsis: Stranger Things, season 3.7&1/2 rated R.

I am personally of the opinion that not enough people have yet seen this glorious little film that smacked wetly onto the scene in 2016. Therefore, I am going to point to it determinedly like a poo stain on the carpet and then vigorously rub your fucking nose right the hell into it. How DARE you not know about this stunning homage to 80s splatter cosmic horror? And if you HAVE seen it, how DARE you not gush about it constantly, like I do, every single chance I get until people start actively avoiding me and dread my pompous Facebook posts? 

I mean, geez! Hellraiser Reanimates The Evil Dead Prince Of Darkness Xtro Thing From The BeyondThis flick moves faster than curry diarrhea through a greased up asshole, and is almost as gross to look at. This is season 1 of True Detective, starring Skinless Uncle Frank as Herbert West, directed by John Fulci and Lucio Carpenter and filmed on location in Silent Hill, Carcosa. I was absolutely, utterly and immediately and hopelessly infatuated with this film. I wanted to be its best friend, paint its nails and stay up all night giggling with it.

Aaron Poole is the “star” of this cosmic skullfuckery. I’ve never seen him before, in anything, anywhere. He’s from Canada and kinda looks like Barry Pepper. He’s playing the part of Ultra Laid Back, terminally nonchalant town cop, who has just found a junkie in the woods with the proverbial shit beat out of him.

Actor Daniel Fathers, who was also in Pontypool, a fact which automatically makes him cool, plays the role of Shotgun Dad, aka the guy who beat the proverbial shit out of the aforementioned junkie. His character has no name, so I’m sticking with Shotgun Dad. He’s supposed to be a Red State militia type in a cowboy hat, rootin’ tootin’ and shootin’ his way through the crackhouse full of weirdo pervy cultists who may have killed his wife and baby daughter and gave his halfwit son a half-assed tracheotomy. But when he gets really pissed off/stressed out his Midwest tough guy speak slips away, revealing a British accent. Okay, so he kinda sorta looks like Donald Pleasance a little bit. But he has way more hair and is far more badass.

Oh, and the guy who plays the junkie looks like Peter Lorre circa The Maltese Falcon, the end.

The small cast – Shotgun Dad, Halfwit Son, Cop, and Junkie arrive at the Marsh County Hospital (total Lovecraft reference) to join the rest of our cast – Cop’s ex-wife who looks like Lili Taylor, Grandpaw, Pregnant Teen, Asian Intern, Some Guy, Head Nurse, and Kind, Elderly Doctor. The clothing is serviceable, the colors are neutral, the hairstyles simple. Timeless is the best description. And nary a cell phone nor a laptop to be seen. This could be anytime, anywhere. Lets call it Iowa, 1980s, because we can and why not?

As a dark and rumbly storm moves in across the sky, and the plot moves into the morgue, and a mysterious force silently cuts the isolated hospital off from the rest of the world, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe comes to mind. Outside, The Strangers appear to perform their own version of Kill List. A briefly stunned Cop slips into dreamland for a few seconds and hallucinates stock footage from Hellraiser and Event Horizon. But when he wakes up, he’s right smack in the fuck in the middle of The Thing, as Head Nurse decides to become Nurse McRipFace and unleashes an unholy bellow and begins hemorrhaging tentacles out of her mouth and eye sockets. After a long, frantic, harrowing round of axe chopping and pus squirting and tentacle waving and demon screaming and Expendable Sheriff killing, Shotgun Dad and Halfwit Son – whose name turns out to be Shaun – both have red on them. 

Halloween 2 gets a Suspiria color palette as we check on the Cthulhu KKK out front. Meanwhile, the cast of The Mist heads into the spider pharmacy and Cop gets a phone call from Lost Highway. While Cop talks to Simon (who lives in the weak and the wounded, Doc) about his ex-wife’s fate, Shotgun Dad flips through some True Detective (season 1) Polaroids and realizes that a trip downstairs to Silent Hill to confront Dr. Satan is unavoidable. Heh, un-a-VOID-a-ble. See what I did there?

I really can’t reveal too much more about the messy tangle of intestines which serves as the plot for this film without ruining the explosive, bucket slap of chunky gore which is the final half hour. There’s giant pork roasts and skinless gods and culty cultism culting all over the place! There’s lots of snorting and squealing and slamming skulls into bone and brainjuice, axe swinging and dimensions smashing, and much demons doing very yuck. Yes! YASS! All of that and more! So much, so gross, so crazy skullfucking batshit cosmic insane! Exceedingly throwback! So 80s! Much clamshell! Very wow! More of this for me, please! 

Watch if you liked: John Carpenter’s The Thing, Hellraiser, The Beyond.