A horror homage that takes place in a small town hospital where nothing good is happening
As blood-splattered gorefests go, “The Void” has a lot in its favor.
It’s a tightly wound and claustrophobic throwback to ’80s horror tropes and, at least for the first half or so, writer-directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski do plenty to build and sustain an atmosphere of ghoulish dread.
The wheels come off in the second half as the story falls victim to mystical mumbo jumbo straight out of a 19th rate “Hellraiser” sequel, but there’s still enough of the gooey stuff flowing to make a gorehound’s day.
“The Void” unfolds inside a small town hospital where several parties — including a cop (Aaron Poole, who looks and sounds like Aaron Paul, too), his estranged wife (Allison Munroe) and a doctor (Kenneth Welsh, Windom Earle from “Twin Peaks”) — are holed up inside.
Outdoors, a mysterious group of white-robed figures has surrounded the building, and inside an amorphous monster straight out of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is eating people’s bodies. Turns out the basement of the hospital is some sort of sick ritual ground, so that’s not much of an option, either.
Inside these tight quarters, Gillespie and Kostanski build tension between the characters and the otherwordly forces against which they face off. There’s real human drama to add to the external horror, particularly with regards to parental issues.
Then things fall off a cliff and “The Void” gets louder, grosser and more stupid the further it progresses, becoming an endurance test in its final sequences. Yet the genre films “The Void” alludes to didn’t hold back, so perhaps its all part of the homage.
Running time: 90 minutes