The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★½

If I know ONE thing after watching this is that this guy GREW UP IN SAN FRANCISCO!

Regardless of the truckload of horror and detective movie cliches this piles on, this movie kinda rules. Prior is absolutely a filmmaker to be reckoned with injecting what should be a cheap horror flick with a contemplative, paranoid rhythm and endless style to separate from the trash (A subtle thing: some of the best shot Wikipedia research I’ve seen on film).

Disney had no idea how to market this, which makes sense. On the surface, it seems like another Slender Man movie, something I don’t think anyone wanted. But this errs more on the side of Verbinski’s The Ring or It Follows in its local horror legend format of something unnatural coming to get you. It’s very J-horror influenced and is similar to stuff by Ari Aster as this comes very close to being a profound metaphor for depression and how life becomes meaningless when suffering from it (although I think this holds together much better than either of Aster’s films). Prior should absolutely be held up along the sides of Mike Flanagan as a mainstream horror phenom and I hope he gets more chances to make stuff.

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