The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★

Viral horror as a thought transmission, running its mutations through detective digi-noir where Prior works to the conclusion that the most terrifying truth of cosmic horror is its manifest of the self. Just a masterclass in fatalistic mood, almost Kiyoshi-esque in the dread with which it balances form against thought - an obsessively controlled POV wrestling with a mystery that's pre-determined, physical locations tainted with the aura of digital apparition, a lowlight nightmare struggling with the clarity of open leads and their closed secrets (the nurse conversation is the single most tense moment of the entire film). Deep down there exists thought that there is nothing more inevitable than the inevitability of nothing itself, an existential resolve when crime procedural falters against the parasitic communication of something unknowable. Though this itself is an impossibility given the very real turmoil of its quandary, and when Prior gazes through the long lens of liminal spaces, or meditates on the prolonged absence of a cut in a now vacant room, the true horror of time's actualisation takes hold like no other.

That 20th Century Fox distributed both this and A Cure for Wellness in a five year period is, quite literally, a miracle.

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