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The Empty Man (2020) Movie Review

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Sometimes she "binge-watches" movies and shares her thoughts about them.


The Empty Man is a 2020 film directed by David Prior a first-time film director. The story is based on a novel bearing the same name written by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. Del Rey. It is a special film in a way because it marked the end of the original 20th Century Fox logo by being the last.

The Actors

The stars of the show include names that might not be so well known, James Badge Dale, Sasha Frolova, Marin Ireland, and Stephen Root.

The Main Characters

James Lasombra - an ex-cop that pursues an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of teenagers in the town

Amanda: a girl known to the ex-cop because of her mother

Nora Quail: Amanda's mother

The Plot

Ura Valley, Bhutan, in 1995 is where it begins...
Something mysterious happens to one of the men when he hears a sound that others don't.

They are 5 miles out from the nearest town and there's bad weather. They find a horn in Paul's hand that blows making the sound he initially heard. They decide to watch him for the night.

One of the girls sees a silhouette of somebody outside the house and rushes out to ask for help while the other friends are out. Paul disappears, and they see footprints in the snow. They find him sitting at the edge of a cliff with a forlorn look blowing the horn. They behave as if someone else is controlling them with tragic consequences.

23 years later, at Webster Mills, Missouri, in 2018, the story continues...

Strange things happen in the town when school kids disappear and the police are stuck. One of them is known to James.

After Mrs. Quail's daughter, Amanda, disappears from their home. The neighbor, a man near him, James finds a picture behind written "Tulpa" and a picture of Pontifex Institute.

James takes the responsibility to investigate since the local police seem to have no interest and dismiss her as a problematic child.

The only significant clue left is a message written on the mirror with blood:

"The Empty Man made me do it."

The police want to know whether it's human blood and they do not understand what the message means.

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What if our thoughts travel through us like signals through a wire.

— The Empty Man (2020)

A story is going around that if you are on a bridge and blow into an empty bottle, and think about the empty man something would happen and he'll come for you. On the second day, he comes.

7 teenagers try the empty bottle when they find one on a bridge. Amanda tells them the story of the empty man and dares them to try it. She's more daring about it than her friends and she chants calling for the empty man.

The police find a connection between the stories but they cannot solve it.

Meanwhile, James is nosebleeding and having nightmarish flashes of vision. He does not understand what's going on with himself, or the mysterious things happening in the town.

Some days I feel I could just disappear and no one would even know it.

— Amanda in The Empty Man

Review of The Empty Man

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Mystery

Themes: Deceipt, family, friendship, community, crime, paranormal, cult

Warning: violence, cultish practices

I stumbled upon this movie while looking for psychological thrillers, but it turned out to be something else.

The use of flashbacks is maximized to tell the story, especially from James's point of view. But still, it begets the issue of whether his memories are figments of imagination or real.

The sound effects and the suspenseful instrumental music were the things that stood out to me. I also liked the philosophical and sometimes cryptic dialogues that take place in intervals, and are reflected back at the end; they seem to be clues of what or who "the empty man is?"

Until the end, when the viewer is shown the possibility of what is going on, without complete revelation, the movie keeps you guessing.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars. It gets some points for a well-crafted, mind-boggling story, and actually has some thrilling parts. The viewer is to be warned that it seems to have elements of cultish behavior also. Most definitely not recommended for Christians.

You are not your own man. You are our man.

— Amanda in The Empty Man (2021)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Centfie

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