Saturday, March 25

Special Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2017

The Void

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Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Screenwriter: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Cast: Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Art Hindle
2016 | Canada | DCP | 90 min

A group of survivors besieged by a bizarre cult discover there’s place worse than hell.

The siege has long been a staple of horror cinema, employed to chilling perfection by iconic creators like John Carpenter and George A. Romero, both of whom applied Hawksian principles (for Rio Bravo director Howard Hawks) to their claustrophobic visions. Although the notion of a trapped band of survivors battling an oppressive force has been exercised ad nauseam, there’s still fun to be extracted from thrusting paranoid characters into a pressure-cooker and seeing how they react. Astron 6 accomplices (and BUFF veterans) Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski (Manborg; The Editor) are up to the task and though they lack the resources afforded Hawks or Carpenter, impeccable craftsmanship raises their Lovecraftian siege-horror effort The Void to impressive levels of cosmic terror. The result is a commendable tribute to its forebears engineered with suffocating atmosphere and an exuberant display of grotesquerie.

The Void pits a group of rescue workers and hospital personnel trapped in an all-but-abandoned hospital against a cult bent on releasing unspeakable inter-dimensional horror upon the world; it’s soon apparent that a presence from beyond is transforming the group themselves into something else.

Horror fans with a keen eye will recognize visual nods to Hellraiser, Event Horizon, and From Beyond, but Gillespie and Kostanski imbue The Void with a gravitas that pushes the story beyond the pastiche and satiric approach we might expect. Ominous imagery of triangles abound, a symbol that serves as an effectively creepy harbinger, and the brilliant effects team freely dreamed up a cavalcade of wicked creatures to unleash upon our heroes. Make no mistake, The Void wasn’t conceived to reinvent the wheel; it’s an urgent creature feature hell-bent on delivering in-the-moment thrills plunging the viewer straight into the abyss.

-Chris Hallock


Preceded by:



Julien Jauniaux | Belgium | 17 min.
Terror grips a man keeping watch over an erratic researcher’s late night experiments.