RepoJack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Do you know that the brain can itch?
After this movie it sure did.
I am very conflicted about The Empty Man.
There are scenes and elements of this movie that are fantastic. I think it could become a cult classic. But it feels like the "kitchen sink" of horror movies.
First, the first 20 minutes is fantastic and could have been expanded into a full-length movie in itself, although it doesn't fit that well with the rest of the film.
Second, the viewer is subjected to a whiplashing of plot jumps for 137-freaking-minutes.
Not to say there isn't a lot to like in here somewhere. This would've worked much better as a mini-series which would've justified the runtime and more.
James Badge Dale is good and you can see why he's in a lot of military roles. He's like a pod creature with no emotions as he glances at a pot of blood or a bunch of dead teenagers, expressionlessly moving onto the next thing (until the end when he emotes like hell, for good reason).
There's a phrase I'm looking for -- something like "crushed by one's ambitions"? Not sure that's right but it sure feels what this movie is like.
P.S. Reminds me of so many things: The Mothman Prophecies, Deliver us from Evil, Candy Man, Ring, Kill List and that weird game -- Inside. All things I liked.
P.P.S. This review is too long. Like the movie.
P.P.P.S Bumped it up a half a star after a re-watch. This is some ambitious shit.