The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★

A man walks alone in the woods at night.
He hears a rhythmic thumping in the distance.
He comes upon a group circling a fire.
Back and forth they march around the flames.
Suddenly, the flames go out.
Darkness falls.
The man hears rustling.
The group is moving in unison.
They stop.
They are looking at him now.
They are silent and unblinking.
The man takes a step backward.
The group takes a step forward.

The Disney/fox merger ruined any chance this movie had, which was slim to begin with. Advertised as a standard disposable boogeyman-type horror, David Prior ends up creating something wholly unexpected, and, too be frank, legitimately scary. I haven’t been this scared by a horror movie in ages, because of its ability to conjure a genuine fear of the unknown. But more than just a fright fest, it’s a movie of unexpected ambition. It even ends up being a critique of the dangers of nihilism and its overwhelming influence in modern society. 

Part detective story, part ghost story, part cosmic Lovecraftian horror, this movie goes places you would never expect in modern horror thrillers. Even if it has a few too many plot holes in the end, the harrowing dread is unmistakable. 

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