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The Empty Man: A Slow-Burning and Eerie Psychological Horror

The Empty Man: A Synopsis

If you’re a horror movie fan, you may have already heard of The Empty Man. This 2020 movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Vanesa R.

Del Rey. Directed by David Prior, The Empty Man is a psychological horror movie that explores the concept of urban legends and mythology.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the movie’s plot, characters, and themes.

Plot

The Empty Man starts with a prologue set in the Bhutanese mountains, where we see a group of hikers discover an ancient skull flute. Fast forward to Missouri, where a retired cop named James Lasombra (played by James Badge Dale) is still struggling with the death of his daughter Amanda.

One night, James is asked to find a missing girl named Amanda (yes, another Amanda), whose friends have been performing a ritual called “summoning the Empty Man.” James’s investigation takes him to an abandoned mansion, where he witnesses the ritual and discovers the skull flute. As James delves deeper into the mystery, he realizes that the Empty Man might not be a mere legend, but an actual entity that has the power to possess people.

Characters

James is the movie’s protagonist, and we also see a few other characters such as Amanda and her friends. However, the movie doesn’t spend much time developing its characters.

Instead, it focuses more on atmosphere, tension, and visual horror. James is a classic broken hero, with a tragic backstory and a sense of guilt that drives him to keep investigating.

His partner, Nora (played by Marin Ireland), is a skeptical cop who serves as a counterpoint to James’s more intuitive approach.

Themes

The Empty Man is a movie that raises more questions than answers. It blends different elements of horror: from ancient folklore to spooky rituals and possession.

Some viewers might see it as a Lovecraftian tale, where the horror lies in the realization that there are forces beyond human comprehension. Others might interpret it as an allegory for grief, where James’s journey represents his own descent into madness and acceptance.

There are also themes of urban legends, mass hysteria, and the power of suggestion. Ultimately, The Empty Man is a cerebral horror movie that rewards those who enjoy a slow-burning, enigmatic story.

Conclusion

The Empty Man is not a movie for everyone. It’s slow-paced, ambiguous, and not afraid to challenge its viewers.

However, for those who appreciate psychological horror and a good mystery, it’s worth a watch. With its eerie visuals, haunting score, and unsettling themes, The Empty Man is a unique addition to the horror genre.

The Empty Man: A Synopsis – The

Plot

As mentioned in the previous section, The Empty Man follows the story of James Lasombra as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a young girl named Amanda. Initially, James is hesitant to take the case, as his past experiences with Amanda’s parents left a bad taste in his mouth.

However, after some encouragement from his partner Nora, he decides to take on the investigation. The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, with flashbacks to James’s past experiences with his daughter Amanda interspersed throughout the narrative.

These flashbacks serve to reinforce James’s sense of loss and grief, and also give the audience some insight into his character. When James arrives at the mansion where Amanda and her friends were performing the ritual, he discovers a group of people wearing masks and chanting.

They are attempting to summon the Empty Man, who is described as a spirit that can be contacted through a special whistle made from bone. James is clearly disturbed by what he sees, and immediately leaves the scene.

However, James’s curiosity gets the better of him, and he returns to the mansion at night to investigate further. He discovers the bone whistle and decides to blow it.

This triggers a strange sequence of events, where James sees visions of his daughter and the Empty Man. It also sets off a chain of events that puts him in danger.

As James continues his investigation, he encounters a group of people who claim to know more about the Empty Man. They tell him that the Empty Man is an ancient entity that has been around for centuries, and that it has the power to possess people’s bodies and minds.

They also reveal that Amanda may have been a victim of the Empty Man, and that she is still out there somewhere. James teams up with one of these people, a woman named Joann, and together they continue their investigation.

They eventually discover that Amanda’s friends were part of a secret society that was attempting to summon the Empty Man in order to achieve immortality. However, their actions had unintended consequences, and now the Empty Man is loose in the world.

The final act of the movie sees James and Joann attempting to confront the Empty Man, who has taken over the body of a young girl. They discover that the only way to stop the Empty Man is to summon him and then defeat him.

The summoning process involves playing the bone whistle at a specific time and in a specific location. James agrees to undertake this task, even though it means risking his own life.

He summons the Empty Man, and a tense showdown follows. Ultimately, despite his best efforts, James is unable to defeat the Empty Man.

However, he is able to save Joann and some others from being possessed. The movie ends on a somewhat ambiguous note, with James driving off into the night, still haunted by his past experiences.

The viewer is left to wonder what happened to Amanda, whether the Empty Man is still out there, and what James’s future holds. In conclusion, the plot of The Empty Man is a complex and multi-layered one.

It combines elements of horror, mystery, and psychological drama to create a unique and engaging narrative. While the story can be confusing at times, especially with its non-linear structure, it ultimately rewards the viewer’s patience and attention.

With its haunting imagery, eerie atmosphere, and enigmatic themes, The Empty Man is a movie that will stick with you long after the credits have rolled. The Empty Man: A Synopsis – Production

In addition to its intriguing plot, The Empty Man is also notable for its striking visuals and atmospheric direction.

Director David Prior, who also wrote the screenplay, brings a distinctive style to the movie that sets it apart from other horror films. One of the key elements of The Empty Man’s production is its use of location.

The movie was filmed on location in Missouri, which adds a sense of authenticity to the story. The abandoned mansion where the ritual takes place, for example, is a real location that was scouted by the filmmakers.

Similarly, the Bhutanese mountains in the opening scene were filmed on location, giving the movie a cinematic scope that helps it stand out from other low-budget horror films. Another notable aspect of The Empty Man’s production is its use of sound.

The movie makes use of silence and ambient noise to create a sense of tension and unease. The sound design is minimalist, with long stretches of silence broken up by sudden bursts of noise.

This creates a contrast and tension that adds to the overall mood of the movie. The use of color is also noteworthy in The Empty Man.

The movie is shot in muted tones, with a lot of browns, grays, and greens. This gives the film a sense of realism and grittiness, while also emphasizing the horror and supernatural elements.

The use of lighting and shadows is also effective, with many scenes shot in dimly lit or shadowy interiors. This helps to create a sense of mystery and uncertainty.

In terms of visual effects, The Empty Man makes use of practical effects wherever possible. The creature design for the Empty Man is particularly impressive, with a tall, thin figure wearing a suit and tie.

The practical effects used to create the Empty Man give the creature a real-world feel that is much more effective than if it had been created entirely through CGI. The actors in The Empty Man also give strong performances, particularly James Badge Dale as James Lasombra.

Dale brings a sense of vulnerability and intensity to the role, portraying a man who is haunted by his past experiences and struggling to come to terms with his grief. Other notable performances include Marin Ireland as James’s partner Nora and Sasha Frolova as Joann.

Overall, The Empty Man is a well-crafted horror film that stands out from the pack due to its strong production values and atmospheric direction. With its use of real locations, minimalist sound design, muted color palette, and practical effects, the movie creates a sense of realism and authenticity that is often lacking in other horror films.

Director David Prior and his team have crafted a stylish, moody, and compelling piece of cinema that will satisfy horror fans looking for something a little different. The Empty Man: A Synopsis – Release

The Empty Man was released on October 23, 2020, in the United States.

The movie was distributed by 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Unfortunately, the movie did not perform well at the box office, grossing only $4.8 million worldwide against a reported budget of $8 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic likely contributed to the movie’s poor performance, as many theaters were closed or operating at reduced capacity during its release. Despite its lackluster box office performance, The Empty Man has developed a cult following among horror movie fans.

The movie’s unique blend of horror and mystery, as well as its atmospheric direction and striking visuals, have earned it a reputation as an overlooked gem of the genre. One factor that may have hindered The Empty Man’s release was its marketing.

The movie’s trailers and promotional material did not clearly convey the movie’s plot or tone, which may have confused or turned off prospective viewers. Additionally, the movie’s long runtime (nearly two and a half hours) may have deterred moviegoers looking for a quick scare.

However, in the age of streaming, The Empty Man has found a second life on digital platforms. The movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 26, 2021, and is also available for rental or purchase on various streaming services.

This has allowed more people to discover the movie at their own pace, without the pressure of a theatrical release. In addition to its home media release, The Empty Man has also gained attention for its soundtrack.

The movie’s score, composed by Christopher Young, has been praised for its eerie and haunting qualities. Young is a veteran composer of horror movie scores, having also worked on movies such as Hellraiser, The Fly II, and Drag Me to Hell.

In closing, despite its underwhelming box office performance, The Empty Man has found life as a cult favorite among horror fans. Its unique blend of horror and mystery, as well as its atmospheric direction and striking visuals, have earned it a reputation as an overlooked gem of the genre.

With its availability on home media and streaming platforms, the movie has a chance to reach a wider audience and continue to gain recognition as a standout piece of modern horror cinema. The Empty Man: A Synopsis – Soundtrack

The soundtrack of The Empty Man was composed by Christopher Young, an experienced composer who has worked on numerous horror films throughout his career.

His work on The Empty Man is an eerie and haunting score that perfectly complements the movie’s ominous atmosphere. The music of The Empty Man is characterized by a mixture of orchestral and electronic sounds.

The score uses a variety of instruments, including strings, woodwinds, and synthesizers, to create a sense of unease and tension. The music is often dissonant, with discordant notes and unusual rhythms that add to the movie’s unsettling tone.

One of the most memorable tracks on the soundtrack is the main theme, which plays over the movie’s opening credits. The theme is a slow, mournful melody played on a solo flute.

The flute is a recurring motif throughout the movie, representing the bone whistle that is used to summon the Empty Man. The theme’s melancholic quality sets the tone for the movie, hinting at the tragedy and grief that will unfold.

Another standout track on the soundtrack is “The Empty Man Summoning,” which plays during the ritual scene at the abandoned mansion. The track begins with a low, rumbling sound that gradually builds in intensity.

As the chanting of the ritualists becomes more pronounced, the music becomes more frenzied and chaotic. The track reaches its climax with a sudden burst of percussion and electronics, creating a sense of overwhelming terror.

Other tracks on the soundtrack include “Ghosts in the Wind,” which accompanies James’s investigation of the abandoned mansion, and “The Empty Man Explained,” which plays over a montage of exposition near the end of the movie. The soundtrack also includes a few songs, such as “Hypnotic Regression” by Christopher Young and “Called” by Cool Ghouls, which add to the movie’s eerie and unsettling mood.

While The Empty Man’s soundtrack may not be as well-known as some other horror movie scores, it is a standout piece of work that deserves recognition. Christopher Young’s music adds an extra layer of depth and emotion to the movie, enhancing its atmosphere of dread and mystery.

From the mournful melodies to the dissonant rhythms, the soundtrack of The Empty Man is a crucial component of the movie’s success. In conclusion, the soundtrack of The Empty Man is a haunting and unsettling work of music that perfectly complements the movie’s ominous atmosphere.

Christopher Young’s score is a masterful blend of orchestral and electronic sounds that creates a sense of unease and tension. Whether heard on its own or in the context of the movie, the soundtrack of The Empty Man is a standout piece of work that deserves recognition.

The Empty Man is a psychological horror movie that explores the concept of urban legends and mythology. The movie’s plot is complex and multi-layered, with strong production values and atmospheric direction.

Despite its lackluster box office performance, The Empty Man has gained a cult following among horror movie fans and continues to be discovered by new audiences on streaming platforms. The haunting soundtrack composed by Christopher Young is also a standout element of the movie.

Overall, The Empty Man is a unique and compelling addition to the horror genre.

FAQs:

Q: What is The Empty Man about?

A: The Empty Man is a psychological horror movie that follows a retired cop named James Lasombra as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a young girl named Amanda. Q: Who directed The Empty Man?

A: The movie was directed by David Prior, who also wrote the screenplay. Q: What is the tone of The Empty Man?

A: The Empty Man has an ominous and eerie tone, mixing horror, mystery, and psychological drama. Q: How did The Empty Man perform at the box office?

A: Unfortunately, The Empty Man did not perform well at the box office, grossing only $4.8 million worldwide against a reported budget of $8 million. Q: What is the significance of The Empty Man’s soundtrack?

A: The soundtrack of The Empty Man, composed by Christopher Young, adds an extra layer of depth and emotion to the movie and is a standout piece of work. Q: Can I stream The Empty Man?

A: Yes, The Empty Man is available for rental or purchase on various streaming platforms, allowing more people to discover the movie at their own pace. Q: Is The Empty Man a good horror movie?

A: While opinions may vary, The Empty Man has gained a following among horror movie fans and is considered by many to be a unique and compelling addition to the genre.

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