The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★★

A unique, sprawling masterpiece of dread and unhinged creativity.

This is an incredibly patient, creeping psychological horror piece that is totally unlike anything I’ve seen in recent memory. This film plays with concepts and motifs that seem almost alien to each other, but wraps them inside this gut churning Kurosawa-like monolith of impending doom.

The atmosphere was set perfectly for my experience with this film, home alone in a big dark house, wrapped in blankets and the only light being the glow of my television. I found myself transported to the cool, autumnal setting, and felt shivers down my spine with each disquieting image or implication. I cannot praise the atmosphere of this film enough. It embodies a uniquely nostalgic feeling for myself… leaves scattered on the ground, and being scared witless as my cousins and myself spew urban legends and scary stories to one another. This film remarkably captures the feeling of mystery and the fear of not knowing what’s lurking at the end of that dark tunnel, wondering if that story you heard was true. A fear that makes the world seem small by comparison. 

On the other hand, this film delves into some very hellish and subtly executed esoteric ideas, tugging the viewer further and further down an ever-unraveling rabbit hole. 

This feels like the ultimate film for me. Something that’s very under the radar but fine-tuned to appeal to every one of my interests, and something that exercises constant bounds of creativity and mastery of the craft. It reminded me a lot of Kurosawa’s Pulse, or Retribution… that sort of gloomy, haunting slow burn that’s very rarely attempted… but it also feels entirely unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen, even having elements of cosmic / lovecraftian horror throughout . I can’t recommend it enough, especially under the right conditions.

🎃Turn off the lights and snuggle up, this is well worth it. 🍁

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