The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★½

Superior mystery-horror.

This only very recently became available in the UK, and following an enthusiastic endorsement by Sean Fennessy and Adam Nayman on The Big Picture podcast, I thought I would check it out, and I am glad I did.

Sitting somewhere between the first season of True Detective and Kill List, and with clear influences from a number of movies, this directorial feature debut by David Prior is genuinely creepy, often scary, and I found this to be a profoundly unnerving watch.

The prologue in Bhutan is brilliant, and really helps to set the tone for the rest of the film.

Unremittingly bleak and drab design settings add to the atmosphere of dread, while the pulsating score and sound design all add to the unease.

I have read many people complaining about the runtime, but I was enjoying it so much I felt it whizzed by.

The ending ties the rest of the film together nicely, and the movie is surprisingly interesting, with its bleak world view, offering ideas related to nihilism, free will, determinism and fatalism.

Maybe it is a little too similar to other, better films, but it is much more ambitious than standard horror fare. Highly recommended and easily one of the best horror films in recent times.

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