Thu, 12 Oct|
The Empty Man
Presented as part of The Garden Cinema's Halloween programme.
Time & Location
12 Oct 2023, 20:00 – 22:30
London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK
About the event
Dumped unceremoniously in the midst of the pandemic during the Disney-Fox merger, The Empty Man, with its generic title and unfortunate associations with creepypasta cash-ins like Slender Man and The Bye Bye Man has had a rocky path to its current position as a burgeoning cult favourite. The feature debut of David Prior, who cut his teeth making special feature documentaries for David Fincher, The Empty Man is something of an oddity, with real production values, a genuine philosophical underpinning, and some bravura horror setpieces. Prior liberally adapts the graphic novel of the same name, abandoning the source material’s explicitly apocalyptic premise in favour of something more subtle. The result is an eerie, surprisingly lavish film that goes to some wildly unexpected places.
Combining noir mechanics with percolating cosmic dread, Prior’s film follows a world-weary former cop (James Badge Dale), whose investigation of a missing high-schooler leads him to an urban legend about an entity called 'The Empty Man' and a mysterious doomsday cult headed up by Stephen Root. A Friedkin-inspired opening in the Himalayas gives way to a sinister portrait of a world unaware of its own decay: The Empty Man is fully deserving of its new cult status.