THE EMPTY MAN (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘The first night you hear him. The second night you see him. The third night he finds you.’

The Empty Man is a 2020 American supernatural horror film based on a popular series of Boom! Studios graphic novels.

Written and directed by David Prior based on the graphic novel by Cullen Bunn, the movie stars James Badge Dale, Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney and Sasha Frolova. Produced by Ross Richie and Stephen Christy.


After teens from a small Midwestern town begin to mysteriously disappear, the locals start to believe it is the work of an urban legend known as The Empty Man. As a retired cop investigates and struggles to make sense of the stories, he discovers a secretive group and their attempts to summon a horrific, mystical entity, and soon his life—and the lives of those close to him—are in grave danger…


” …halfway through the film, there was a switch. A switch from Candyman-esque slasher tale into the occult. And while the transition definitely wasn’t smooth, the film does get a lot more riveting and even enters mind-bending territory. Suffice it to say alot of the scares in the back half are quite compelling. And the story here just unravels and seriously pulls you down its rabbit hole.” Accagrin

“A movie with so little to its narrative and characters should never run this long, nor should it have such a sleepy aesthetic or be so messy and convoluted in its mythology. The generic title says it all. The scariest thing about this supernatural entity is how empty, and painfully, unnecessarily long his movie is.” Bloody Disgusting

“Prior, a video vet making his feature debut, lays down an atmosphere that gets plenty creepy, but seldom horrific. As James digs in, the film becomes a dark mystery, one full of freaky cult members with aspirations of total consciousness and malevolent chaos […] But at nearly two hours and twenty minutes, it’s a bit too much of wandering slog in need of a leaner path.” MaddWolf

” …The Empty Man was probably snuck into theaters without much fanfare for a reason. It just doesn’t feel like a complete story, or at least not one that is explained in any significant way. You’re likely to leave the theater wondering what just happened in that final act. It is, however, loaded with some truly terrifying imagery and something horror fans might just be interested in seeing this Halloween season.” Laughing Place

“While this is not your typical, do-something-stupid, make-all-the-wrong-choices, the-person-acting-like-a-jerk-is-about-to-die horror flick, it tries to be smart and moody, but it just falls flat. What makes this one worse than most is that it is nearly a full hour longer than the average horror flick. Most of them clock in at 80 or 90 minutes. Sometimes they push an hour and 45 minutes. But this one drags on for a full 2 hours and 17 minutes!” Red Wine and Movies

“You’d think from that misleading preview that The Empty Man is another cheesy small-town bogeyman flick on the order of The Bye Bye Man, but it proves to be one of the more weirdly ambitious and occasionally avant-garde horror films to be released by a studio in some time. It doesn’t all work, but enough of it does–and it is crafted well enough.” Rue Morgue


20th Century Studios releases The Empty Man on October 23rd 2020.

Cast and characters:

James Badge Dale … James Lasombra
Stephen Root … Arthur Parsons
Joel Courtney … Brandon Maibaum
Marin Ireland … Nora Quail
Rasneet Kaur … Iva (archive footage)
Aaron Poole … Paul
Robert Aramayo … Garrett
Samantha Logan … Davara Walsh
Evan Jonigkeit … Greg
Adam Ferguson … Tulpa
Robert Coutts … The Empty Man
Robert Lee Davis … News Reporter
Connor Dowds … Meyer
Jessica Matten … Fiona
Ron Canada … Detective Villiers
Marijke Bezuidenhout … Julianne
Virginia Kull … Ruthie
Brian Bowman … Pedestrian
Connie Hollins … Pedestrian
Bryan Kreutz … Coroner
Sasha Frolova … Amanda Quail
Owen Teague … Duncan West
Jamie-Lee Money … Lisa Schwartz
Jaan Marion … Office Parker
Tanya van Graan … Allison Lasombra
Teri Wallace … News Journalist
Drake Wasser … Bystander
Peter Daniel … Acolyte
Michael MacKenzie … Acolyte
Sven Ruygrok … Acolyte
Michael Bundred … Officer McManus
Lily Anne Polley … Onlooker
Vere Tindale … Pontifex Young Man
Reine Swart … Pontifex Receptionist

Technical details:

137 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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