The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★

I put off watching this because the run time is a bit long, and my track record with newer films is not always great. But this was very good, and by the end I could have easily watched another half-hour, I was so taken with it.

I don't want to describe too much, but imagine if you took several archetypal Unsolved Mysteries segments (creepy urban legend, missing person, bizarre murder, sinister cult) and then wove them all together into one coherent narrative with a supernatural framework and an underpinning of psychological trauma and grief. It's remarkably ambitious, and for the most part writer-director David Prior pulls it off.

I know mainline critics were kind of tough on this; I suppose opinion will vary depending on how invested one becomes in both the central mystery and James Badge Dale as the protagonist (he'd be great in an old school giallo). But I was sold on both counts and wish I'd seen this on a really big screen.

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