The Canadian filmmaking collective Astron-6 is responsible for some of the most inventive and entertaining genre pictures of the 2010s; like "Manborg," "Father's Day" and "The Editor," the collective's latest project, "The Void," is a lively, layered throwback to the days when splatter auteurs like John Carpenter, George Romero and Lucio Fulci ruled the drive-in.
The writer-director team of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski take a break from their day jobs as effects artists and designers on Hollywood movies like "Suicide Squad" and "It" and cast Aaron Poole as a small-town cop named Daniel Carter, who arrives at criminally understaffed hospital just before chaos breaks loose.
Carter's besieged on multiple fronts. One by one, the inhabitants of the hospital are consumed from within by writhing, personality-altering monsters. Meanwhile, a horde of robed cult members assemble outside, just as a pair of gun-toting locals burst in making demands.
Gillespie and Kostanski mainly seem interested in stringing together enough memorable people and moments to fill 90 minutes without boring anybody, and they don't seem to care whether it all hangs together as a story.
But few horror fans will complain about a movie that's so generous with well-constructed, energetically staged set pieces featuring elaborate makeup effects and plenty of nondigital goo. "The Void" is derivative, but delightful.
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood