The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★

if you asked me at what point this stops being a generic “creepy cult” movie and starts being an existentially horrifying thing of its own unique flavor, I probably couldnt tell you - but I will say that the conceit eventually gets a lot darker than “fanaticism is scary” and it has a lot to do with how the movie treats mythology and urban legend not as a semantic virus as in Candyman and all those other slashers that posit that reputation can kill, but a sublingual one, a mindworm that exists in the spaces between words rather than the words themselves. It’s a surprisingly fresh take on both the devil worshipper trope and the body snatcher possession story, a freakishly mystical boogeyman story that is more interested in speaking in tongues than weaving a cautionary tale of any specific coherence. It’s wormy and cold, a take on body horror that is as anticorporeal as the wind or a whisper. There’s a lot of gray space between our gray matter - what formless mass might slip in there?

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