On a cold and dreary night, a homeless woman breaks into a home in order to seek warmth, shelter, and food. A recent crime scene, the house has been taped off, so she fully expects the place to be unoccupied. She eats her meager meal and begins to light a few candles, as much for their heat as for the comfort that the light brings her in this strange place. However, with each new candle that she lights, bizarre events begin to occur.
Such is the basic premise of Void, a 2022 short film from director Stanley Roubaix, who claims to have made the film for only $25! Well, maybe I should say £20 as the film was shot in the UK. Whichever currency you choose, this claim seems believable as there are no special effects, and features only one actor in one location. What budget the film did have was presumably spent on matches and a somewhat large number of candles, most of the tealight variety.
Truth be told, Void doesn’t particularly do anything new or groundbreaking in its brief 8-minute runtime, but I don’t assume that the filmmaker was attempting to do such things. In fact, the film feels quite content to be a quick, yet spooky little tale designed to solely provide a few chills, almost like a campfire tale or urban legend. Comparatively, Void is as tame (arguably more so) as your average episode of 90’s kid TV favorites “Goosebumps” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?“, so it’s safe for younger viewers as well. That’s not to say that Void is “kiddie” in any way, but that the film presumably won’t be offending anyone’s sensibilities.
Despite not actually saying much, actress Betty Anyika gives a very solid performance in the film’s sole role. You sympathize with the character, an unfortunate soul whose attempt to find a safe place to rest has put them in a situation potentially more threatening than the weather from which they’ve escaped. One negative mark that I will give the film is that of a final scare that comes across as “tacked on” and, in this reviewer’s “not-so-well-informed” opinion, proves the ages-old theory that “less is more”.
Overall, Void almost feels like a film version of someone saying “Boo!” It may not be the most original scare in the book, but when well-executed, such as this, it achieves its goal. When you consider that it has probably taken you longer to read this review than it would to just watch the film for yourself (which, really was the intended goal of the whole piece anyway), you may want to consider doing just that. Here’s the LINK: “Void” (2022) Short Film
For more info and news on the film’s director, you can follow Stanley Roubaix at: