Based on the graphic novel series, The Empty Man follows an ex-cop who, while on the trail of a missing girl, encounters a secretive group attempting to summon a terrifying supernatural entity. Blu-ray reviewer Ralph Potts had to opportunity to check outs its Digital release and offers his thoughts on the film.
Directed by David Prior, this supernatural horror film centers on shocking events originating in a small Midwestern town. After the mysterious disappearance of a group of teenagers, James Lasombra (James Badge Dale), a troubled retired cop, is thrust into action to investigate. Following leads that may tie a secretive occult-minded group to a terrifying local legend, he soon realizes that his life — and the lives of those close to him — are in terrible danger. The screen story and screenplay are by David Prior.
I am always up for a chiller and, while the trailer for The Empty Man didn’t exactly wow me, I figured that I would give it its due just the same. Needless to say, I haven’t read any of the graphic novels upon which the film is based but, that didn’t seem like a requirement. This isn’t a straight up horror story. At well over two hours, it’s definitely a slow burn the begins with a backstory of sorts, that is not only longer than need be but, doesn’t really present the origins of the entity.
From there is moves forward twenty plus years, introducing the protagonist and setting up what will become the primary plot’s focus. The Empty Man is a horror/thriller/mystery that does a decent job of peeling back its layers, presenting just enough details to add suspense with a bit if intrigue as James searches for his neighbor’s missing daughter and in the process stumbles upon a group of cultists that a bent on bringing forth an ancient entity. The breadcrumbs are laid out in such a way so as to ply the audience into thinking one dimensionally when in reality there is more to the proceedings than meets the eye.
This is where The Empty Man succeeds. Where it comes up short is in the context associated with the whys, wherefores and details surrounding the cultists and their quest. That could have proven to be quite creepy/interesting. As it stood there were a few interjected elements of horror that landed or missed the mark, which was fine. I found the twist to have such good potential but, as mentioned, the lack of foundation watered it down.
When all was said and done, I found The Empty Man to be mildly entertaining and good enough to keep me interested despite its bloated runtime.
Here are a few more details on the film/publication:
The Empty Man Movie Edition softcover collection comes from the superstar team of writer Cullen Bunn (Magneto, Bone Parish), artist Vanesa R. Del Rey (Redlands, Hit), colorist Michael Garland, and letterer Ed Dukeshire. As the inspiration for the motion picture, The Empty Man Movie Edition will feature the haunting film poster as its new cover. To celebrate the film’s digital release, BOOM! Studios has made the entire debut issue of The Empty Man Movie Edition available to read for free on its website. Please visit THE EMPTY MAN WILL FIND YOU.
Add The Empty Man to your digital collection January 12 and grab a print copy of The Empty Man Movie Edition later that month at your local comic book shop (visit comicshoplocator.com to find the one nearest you), local bookstore or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies of The Empty Man Movie Edition will be available from content providers such as comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.
The Digital Code I received wasn’t for Ultra HD. I redeemed it on Movies Anywhere which was the 1080p version with 5.1 channel sound. According to the press release there is a digital UHD version with Atmos sound. I am uncertain whether or not the Blu-ray version will be forthcoming. I would add that the video quality and 5.1 channel soundtrack included with the streaming version is quite good, containing ample room shaking bass and involving surround sound. The Digital version did not include bonus features. My rating for the film is below.
Digital Release Date: January 12, 2021
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JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7706 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems