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Lil Mama Im Sorry
Oct 14, 2012

I'M BACK AND I'M SCARIN' WHITE FOLKS

or “I grew up in San Francisco”

I feel like a loving tool because I’m about to play into “the discourse” on this film (which i’m 90% sure is an intentional marketing strategy), but The Empty Man came out in October 2020 and no one gave a poo poo. Supposedly this is cause of the studio not knowing how to market it so they preceded the release with little to no marketing. Its title sounding straight out of Dlumhouse Productions probably didn’t contribute to anyone giving a poo poo, too. Anyways, given the movie’s themes and style, “underrated” and “rediscovered” horror film seems more likely to be a conscious studio “viral” advertising campaign than a genuine phenomenon (especially if said film is like 2 years old), but I’d like to submit that none of that really matters because its still a good movie.

Its directed by David Prior, the guy that worked with David Fincher a lot, and its shot like a Fincher-flick which means its pretty to look at imo. Years ago on penismightier’s podcast I heard him say something about the Final Destination films being the pinnacle of slasher films because they abstract the monster/maniac into being Death itself, and well, you can’t really abstract beyond that —- unless you’re ready to embrace some Tibetan mysticism.

Tbf, I don’t know much about buddhism in Tibet other than it doesn’t look like your typical Western vision of buddhism as a secular philosophy. It’s far more occultish, with demons and hells and ghosts and whatever — but still at its core is a nondualistic, vedic-ish ultimate reality (nothingness), which is sort of our villain in this film.

Where my genuine appreciation for the movie comes from though is its commitment to not being “elevated horror” despite how nicely its concept could fit in that genre. Instead it embraces the genre and in its 2+ hour runtime quickly amalgamates fun horror forms into its totality. It starts as teen urban legend, quickly moves into being a slasher, then sad detective-investigating-lovecraftian-cult, and then finishes where it finishes.

My favorite bits are scenes where cult members start talking like Alan Watts to the protagonist, and our guy is annoyed and repeatedly states how he grew up in San Francisco to get them to shut up. These bits distill the essence of the movie’s ultimate theme in my eyes, which I found best articulated in this https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/everything-zen-david-prior-on-the-empty-man-9701



quote:

There, he wins an audience with the group’s high priest Dr. Arthur Parsons (Stephen Root in low-key Lewtonian mode), whose sonorous spiel about “the great binding nothingness of things” and ominous promise to reveal “the true face of the world” leads James—and perhaps the viewer—to tune it all out as just another metaphysical exposition dump. Except that, as the Good Doctor explains, such blasé dismissal misses the forest for the trees. Cliché alert, yes. But as Parsons asks: what are clichés but profound, collective, enduring truths decontextualized and made impotent by repetition? And if, by means of some new and sustained contemplation, these hoary old chestnuts were to be reimbued with their original potency—whether under the aegis of an ancient order, their New Age inheritors, or a maybe a mid-budget horror movie designed as a good, hard look at the proverbial abyss—well... wouldn’t that be some scary poo poo?

Anyways, I feel like this movie has enough fat to deserve its own thread so I made one. Dicsuss.

(Also feel free to school me about tibetan buddhism if i gave it a bad summary).

Lil Mama Im Sorry fucked around with this message at 22:41 on Jan 28, 2022

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precision
May 7, 2006

Many different users state that they do not like or want me posting



movie good

pissinthewind
Nov 11, 2021



this was really great. came out of nowhere with some cosmic horror poo poo when I went in thinking it was just going to be another run of the mill horror flick

precision
May 7, 2006

Many different users state that they do not like or want me posting



the whole movie owns but the intro alone could have been released as a baller short film

meanolmrcloud
Apr 5, 2004

rock out with your stock out



I still think about the night time sequence at the cabin as they watch the people from afar. Really creepy unique scene.

CPL593H
Oct 28, 2009

I know what you did last summer, and frankly I am displeased.

I saw the thread title and I thought you guys were talking about me again.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






drat this looks good. I'm going to watch this this week

MLSM
Apr 3, 2021



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk6u9X1bW30

This does look good, drat. Never heard of it before this thread.

Thanks OP.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



I would say "this was my favorite film of 2021" except its release was so thoroughly buried that I'm not even clear on what year it came out.

This was the last release of Fox Searchlight Pictures before it was shuttered, if I'm remembering correctly.

Anyway, great modern cosmic horror. Came as close as anything since to giving me that good True Detective Season 1 vibe. I need to give it a second watch to add more but it's extremely rare that a horror movie wears a 2 hour plus runtime this well.

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


Yeah, the runtime turned me off watching it for a while but the fact that it basically opens with an eerie short film and then ends up being a deliberately paced mystery really works for it. It's not like it flew by, but it never felt like a slog.

The Wailing is another recent 2+ hour horror film that uses that time well.

precision
May 7, 2006

Many different users state that they do not like or want me posting



my top 3 of the year are this,, The Last Duel, and Nightmare Alley

just 3 good rear end movies, and all of them are really "movie" movies

Gorman Thomas
Jul 24, 2007


Uncle Boogeyman posted:

This was the last release of Fox Searchlight Pictures before it was shuttered, if I'm remembering correctly.

Yeah I think it was, also the film was a bit of a meme at 21st Centruy Fox as the studio thought it was trash lol. I know a couple of ex-fox ppl who are shocked that it actually turned out to be a fine film.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Gorman Thomas posted:

Yeah I think it was, also the film was a bit of a meme at 21st Centruy Fox as the studio thought it was trash lol. I know a couple of ex-fox ppl who are shocked that it actually turned out to be a fine film.

One of the funny things about it is it has both a very similar title and pretty much the same premise as The Bye Bye Man. Would make a fun double feature if you want to see the same basic plot done both as a genuinely good horror film and a so-bad-it’s-good horror film.

Lil Mama Im Sorry
Oct 14, 2012

I'M BACK AND I'M SCARIN' WHITE FOLKS

Uncle Boogeyman posted:

One of the funny things about it is it has both a very similar title and pretty much the same premise as The Bye Bye Man. Would make a fun double feature if you want to see the same basic plot done both as a genuinely good horror film and a so-bad-it’s-good horror film.

Another low-budget horror comparison would be Butterfly Kisses, which is actually dope whereas I’ll never watch a movie called “The Bye Bye Man.”

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Haha I actually got Butterfly Kisses vibes from this a few times. Watched this earlier today, really enjoyed it. Though I kinda felt it lost a lil oomph once the lead gets to the hospital at the end.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Lil Mama Im Sorry posted:

Another low-budget horror comparison would be Butterfly Kisses, which is actually dope whereas I’ll never watch a movie called “The Bye Bye Man.”

I won’t go so far as to call it good, but I do recommend The Bye Bye Man, it’s a standout bad movie of the past decade for me, very fun.

Disposable Scud
Oct 13, 2012

Don't go chasing waterfalls.

Butterfly Kisses owns. Gonna rewatch this tonight to see if I like it more a second time around. I thought it got kind of muddled at the end there.

precision
May 7, 2006

Many different users state that they do not like or want me posting



yeah The Bye Bye Man is a very good bad movie haha

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






When Lasombra is at the cabin in the woods and the Pontifex people spot him and all move in unison was so cool and spooky. His reaction was great.

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


MacheteZombie posted:

When Lasombra is at the cabin in the woods and the Pontifex people spot him and all move in unison was so cool and spooky. His reaction was great.

Yeah, that part in particular was a real standout horror movie moment from the last couple of years.

Also, just a general shoutout to James Badge Dale who's been putting in solid work for years now and I'm always glad when he pops up. He's in The Grey and his death is visceral and affecting and really sets up the tone of the entire film.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



LesterGroans posted:

Also, just a general shoutout to James Badge Dale who's been putting in solid work for years now

I always think of him as Matt Damon's shithead cop friend in The Departed. He was great in this.

Lil Mama Im Sorry
Oct 14, 2012

I'M BACK AND I'M SCARIN' WHITE FOLKS

MacheteZombie posted:

When Lasombra is at the cabin in the woods and the Pontifex people spot him and all move in unison was so cool and spooky. His reaction was great.

It’s so good cause his reaction manages to not be a Whedon-esque moment even though on paper it totally is, just solid acting and direction

LesterGroans
Jun 9, 2009

It's funny...

You were so scary at night.


Uncle Boogeyman posted:

I always think of him as Matt Damon's shithead cop friend in The Departed. He was great in this.

The first thing I always think of is him being a partner in a season of 24 and Kiefer has to chop his arm off with an axe

Mr. Toodles
Jun 22, 2004

I support prison abolition, except for posters without avatars.

I happened to watch this after I watching the football championships on Sunday and drat if John Badge Dale doesn't look like the Rams head coach. It was a great flick though as soon as I put that thought out of my head.

Martman
Nov 20, 2006

SEXY... defines my posts and my ride


Every time I see the name of this movie, I think of not only the Bye Bye Man but that parody poster that I think was made by a goon?



But yeah Empty Man was pretty awesome. Stephen Root was weirdly amazing in his fairly small role I thought, and I was going crazy trying to remember that the main dude was the guy from that show Rubicon.

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Mike N Eich
Jan 26, 2007

This might just be the year


Saw this tonight, really liked it. It did feel like 3 or more movies put together, but it never felt like they didn't mesh, it all worked.

One thing that's very funny on a meta level is when we're introduced to the main character I was like "oh god, ok, another horror lead dealing with a dead kid, this again" and that ends up being a joke in of itself - the only way to bring him to life was to make him have that cliche horror movie hook of the tortured lead dealing with loss. I'm sure on rewatches there's lots of other nods to horror cliches

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