“Arctic Void” describes itself as a thriller but I am neither thrilled nor horrified. I would better categorize the film as a mystery. I have a lot of questions as to why and whom! As a viewer you most likely will be asking the same questions. However there is no spoon feeding here giving you an easy answer and that may be part of the fun as you the viewer will have to make your best guess as to the who and why!
A travel show producer Alan Meursault (Tim Griffin) and on screen commentator Ray Marsh (Michael Weaver) are on assignment in the Arctic Circle in Norway on a small cruise ship sailing along the Norwegian coast with twenty or so passengers. A last-minute replacement for the usual cameraman Sean Tibbets (Justin Huen) joins them. Why does Tibbets have a tape recorder and headphones in a lunch pail? There are some very weird noises on the tape. What are these weird noises?
All the passengers disappear except for Alan, Ray and Sean all of whom have listened to the tape recording in the lunch pail. Are these noises life saving?
They see what looks to be a small mining town and they land there taking the motorized launch. Of course the town is deserted. Where have the inhabitants gone? It is in Russia. A very cool set which both in its exterior and interior remind one of the Stalinist era. The mining town creates a sense of overwhelming desolation. It may be old but it captivates one as well as the rich cinematography.
Why are the lads seeing birds without eyes, polar bears with open wounds and a deer bleeding to death? Why is a walrus goring its newborn to death? Why is Alan covered with gaping bloody gashes?
Who is Sean working for? As he tells Ray they are people you don’t want to know. Of course, the conclusion of the film certainly gives veracity to his statement.
Many questions are answered although who Sean is working for and what they are up to is never fully explained. Are these people behind all the weird occurrences? Are the disappearing people the result of some experiment? Are these disappearances part of some supernatural phenomena or explained logically?
If you are a curious person this film may be for you. A mystery slowly develops and you should enjoy the ride. The mystery may tag on your brain after the film which is indicative of the hold the film may have on you. You may also appreciate the not happily ever after ending.
The performances are good giving the characters credibility.
This 2021 US/Norwegian film is directed by Darren Mann and written by Michael Weaver.
The film will be in theatres (assuming Omicron has not closed them) and on VOD as of January 14th.
You can catch the trailer here https://vimeo.com/644555684/a2b077bc31