The Empty Man is one of those movies you aren’t going to figure out the first time you watch it, and will take multiple viewings to decipher what it is exactly about. Sadly, this is a film that got lost in the shuffle with the direct to video releases in 2020, so many are just finding out about it now. As a result, it is getting a lot of buzz around the internet and for good reason.
The movie is based off the graphic novel of the same name, which I have yet to read, and to describe the plot is a challenge. The cold open(no pun intended) shows us a group of hikers trudging through an arctic landscape, and one of them falls into a cave, and discovers something that does not bode well for our adventurers. We then fast forward to follow a ex cop involved in a missing person’s case, and discovers the legend of The Empty Man. He is then thrust into a world of madness as he tries to discover the answer to the question of who is the Empty Man.
Take cosmic horror, mix it with Slender Man, and you get The Empty Man. The horror is what is not known, and you really aren’t going to get a lot of answers especially the first watch through. There is a movie called Pontypool that made words responsible for horrors, well this movie makes thoughts responsible for horror. An idea can be made flesh. Through out the movie, people repeat the line of “He transmits, we recieve.” So it’s creating this nightmarish hivemind. And the movie ends with the thought of one’s identity not being their own, that they exist to just serve one purpose. There’s so much this movie is trying to say and it is just brilliant.
So if you are looking for thought provoking horror, look no further. This is what Slender Man could have been if Hollywood was not so concerned about making it more palatable for the average viewer. It is a pity how this did not get the attention it deserved. Heck, it was barely even advertised because the studio did not even believe in it. It is gaining the attention now, and hopefully this review spreads the attention further. If you already seen The Empty Man, feel free to leave your thoughts below!
Till next time, stay scared!
– Tha Thrilla –