The Empty Man

The Empty Man ★★★★

Two things you should be aware of before reading further: 1. Any horror movie where the monster-fodder kids go to Jacques Derrida High School is going to have fuck everything else up pretty badly for me to not love it. 2. I am one of the dozen or so people in the world who liked both A Cure for Wellness and Under the Silver Lake. So if you need to check out now, I understand. 

For those of you still here: guys, this movie was really kinda fun. It’s one of those films that seems to take its own philosophical mumbo-jumbo so totally seriously that it flies past pretentious and goes all the way back to sincere. It’s brimming with Finchery lugubriousness and Lynchian repetitions and callbacks, but these homages are done with such earnestness and skill that director David Prior ends up looking much more like a true cinephile/acolyte than just another film school hack. And if it’s creepy moments you’re after, this film’s got plenty. The scenes at the backwoods cult compound — which appears to have been repurposed from the decrepit cabin rentals in The Ring — are especially chilling. Prior manages to use simple choreographed movement to blur the boundary between human and inhuman, and the effect is uncanny. And while most paranoid-horror fans will likely see most of the plot twists coming, there are enough philosophical puddles to splash around in that you may also find yourself too distracted to be looking very far ahead. Basically, if, like me, you’re a soft touch for silly-thinky stylish horror, you’re gonna be into it.

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