Parents' Guide to

The Empty Man

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bloody violence, some sex in disappointing sci-fi chiller.

Movie R 2020 137 minutes
The Empty Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Sloppy Christian Propaganda

Unoriginal theme of eastern religion representing a dangerous cult that sucks in vulnerable teens sporting dark emo gear. How do they get here you ask? The demonic practice of blowing on a bottle and insta - summoning a tulpa. Which is absolutely ridiculous. Tulpa which literally means manifesting personal thought form. This is a prime example of the bastardization by western culture of ancient beliefs and their complicated cultures built over thousands of years for the benifit if a cheap jump scare. To save young souls from the hellfire of angelical jeebus . I'm very disappointed in you Steven Root....did you have a trash bill to pay or what? This is a movie with an agenda. To scare you into mistrusting other belief systems. Only crazed evangelical karen's could take issue with peaceful Buddhists. Poor role models, unhealthy sexual situation, rediculous violence. This movie only serves to create fear and divisiveness and it already fearful and divisive world. Jesus would not approve. Namesté.
age 16+

Not for everybody

This movie is fantastic and extremely ambitious. If you like a movie ending where everything tied in a nice bow this is definitely not for you. This movie will leave you with many questions and few answers. But it is a directors true vision come to life. A great cosmic horror movie that deserves more praise!

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (3):

This long, slow-burn sci-fi tale takes its simple "urban legend" idea into ambitious territory, but, by the time it wraps up, it all makes too little sense to justify sitting through it. Directed and co-written by David Prior, The Empty Man startles with its extra-long prologue about the four hikers, spending several days with them, developing character, etc., all to end it with a shock. But once all the pieces of the overall story arc come together, it turns out that all that time wasn't particularly important after all. "Empty" isn't just part of the movie's title.

Prior, who previously worked making short, behind-the-scenes documentaries for feature films like David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, seems to be channeling Fincher on The Empty Man. The movie is, admittedly, beautifully and spookily designed, with fine, unsettling uses of space and sound, especially when James starts poking around in Pontifex's inner sanctum. And its dialogue about reality and nothingness tickles the brain. Overall, the movie definitely rises above cheap quickies like The Bye Bye Man and Slender Man, which tried to cash in on similar "urban legends." But whatever goodwill the movie builds up is largely squandered with a big "that's it?" of an ending.

Movie Details

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