The Void Blu-ray Review
The best John Carpenter film John Carpenter didn't make.
The Void is a nice little indie gem celebrating 80s horror films through practical effects and a hearty John Carpenter vibe.When a local cop finds a wounded man and takes him to the hospital, things soon get out of hand, with a weird cult arriving to lay siege upon the people in the hospital, and something even worse growing from within the wards. The Void wears its tributes on its sleeve, bringing obvious elements of half a dozen John Carpenter movies to bear, as well as a whole host of other classic 80s horrors. It's most obvious blend - at least to start with - is of Assault on Precinct 13 meshed with The Thing, and frequently intersecting Prince of Darkness. There's also lots of nods to other films, such as Hellraiser and Silent Hill.The key to the film working, however, is that - despite these frequent references - it still feels fresh and different, particularly in the modern mass market of found footage horrors. The Void fills a void, as it were, with a tense, thrilling, and possibly even haunting narrative which makes the most of the unpredictable deaths afforded by an unknown cast, and trades in some great little effects, considering they came from crowdfunding. The direction, mood, lighting and, in particular, very Carpenter-esque score (although a little more synth wouldn't have gone amiss) make this a gem worth checking out.
Picture QualitySignature's Region B-locked UK Blu-ray release of The Void offers up a very nice 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation which picks up some of the finer details and nuances of the film and maintains the illusion that the style of the piece casts over the limited budget.
The Blu-ray boasts a very nice video presentation
Sure, the film is bathed in that trademark yellow tone for most of the Hospital sequences that has become standard lighting, but the darker moments, set to torch or police strobe lights, are where the quality shines through, retaining strong detail with barely a hint of crush around the edges.
There's a nice filmic sheen to the piece, which looks to have been digitally shot but still bears a classic style. Red-hued latter sequences impress and further the horror vibe, and overall the image stands up to scrutiny quite well, all things considered.
Sound QualityThe aural options include a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is the default, and the weapon of choice, as well as a 2.0 stereo option, not that you would really choose that. Again, considering the budget, it provides a welcome, immersive experience.
The soundtrack is a welcome, immersive experience
Dialogue remains prioritised across the frontal array, whilst effects pick up the gushing, bloody wounds; the slithering, the slashes and stabs, and the punishing, penetrating gunshots - the rifle and handgun, but in particular the pump-action shotgun - which boom out across the soundstage.
The score fuels the scares, creeping up in the background and hammering home the more haunting moments - in particular in relation to the robed group that surround the hospital. It's very effective; a surprisingly effective soundtrack which will get under your skin.
ExtrasA fair few extras mark this Blu-ray release, headlined by a Director's Commentary, as well as a Behind the Scenes Featurette, a Making of Creature Featurette and a look behind the Art of The Void. There's also a Proof of Concept Trailer which helped get the piece funded, and the disc is rounded off by some Previews on startup.
Blu-ray VerdictThe Void is something of an indie gem that's worth checking out
The Void gets a solid Blu-ray release with very good video and audio as well as a decent selection of extras. Fans of decent horror - in particular 80s era classics, and golden era Carpenter - should lap this up. It's tense, efficient, and memorable.
You can buy The Void on Blu-ray here
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £9.99
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