This movie seemed to emerge from nothingness. Like a tulpa itself, it seemed to have been manifested from nothing but thought, blinking into existence in an instant. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’ll get those references in a minute, but first, is The Empty man worth watching? Definitely. With a run time of 2 hours and 17 minutes, many a horror fan will be put off. It even has a 20-minute intro, which can be seen as entirely separate from the movie! This was off putting for me, at first, but what began to unravel before me was something brilliant.
The Empty Man is a movie like nothing that has been released recently. With a clear high budget, it’s bold in its difference and weirdness. It’s clever in its references to philosophical theory. This came as a surprise to me, as when I sat down to watch this, I was expecting something that I would compare to Slenderman. You know the one – that terrible terrible movie that we had such high hopes for. Thankfully, the only comparison I could make to Slenderman was the tulpa (something manifested from thought) theory and the urban-legend-like ritual and build up. The Empty Man was far from the dumb movie that Slenderman was.
I honestly would have watched this movie if it was 3-hours long. The lore in this tale was deep and refined, although given to us in an obscure way. It’s one of those movies that you can watch multiple times and realise something new every time. There are small details that make this movie brilliant. I don’t want to give away many details of the plot, because I think everyone should go and watch it. If you like horror with a clever story and a healthy dose of philosophy, you’ll love this. There are even elements of Lovecraft in here, with themes that align with cosmic horror.
We follow the story of an ex-police officer turned private security owner, James, with a past full of sadness and anger. Soon into the story, he finds himself acting as a private investigator, searching for the daughter of an old friend. He soon discovers that said daughter summoned the Empty Man, in a ritual involving a glass bottle and a bridge, with a group of friends. James soon finds himself in a world of doomsday cults and nihilism, whilst being pursued by a dark (and rather empty) entity.
The Empty Man is full of twists and turns. It will keep you enthralled until the end, where you’re left scratching your head in thought for a bit. The entire plot revolves around the theory of nothingness – the theory of everything being in a state of nothing, except for what the mind can perceive. This is the basis of what the cult in the movie believes – nothing matters because everything is nothing. And because of this, anything can be formed from nothing with thought. Interesting, right? The amount that this movie made me think was my favourite thing about it. There aren’t enough movies like this around.
Apparently planned for a big release, The Empty Man never made it to the big screen, due to Disney taking over Fox. Unfortunately, it never had its time to shine, now only being released in digital form. This is why it appeared from absolutely nowhere, despite its high budget. It’s a shame, but I hope enough people will review and promote this movie to get it noticed. I don’t think it’s any mystery here that I’m a big fan.
My final thoughts: The Empty Man is brilliant and deserves to gain a huge following. It’s not going to be for everyone, but I think that a lot of people can appreciate its clever writing and style. I have seen mixed reviews on this movie, but I don’t think it is being given a fair chance, just because it clearly isn’t pandering to the mainstream. If you want clever horror, look no further. I have to give The Empty Man 5/5.