The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Empty Man

Dare to uncover the dread-inducing tale of The Empty Man, a horror film from David Prior running as part of our Frida After Dark series.

In a small Missouri town, the disappearance of a group of teens attracts the attention of an ex-detective named James (James Badge Dale). As the locals around town begin to deem it the work of a folk legend called The Empty Man, James finds himself within the pathway of a secret ritual. This quickly causes a supernatural chain reaction that threatens to put not only James’ life at risk, but those of the ones near to him as well.

Told with an ever-expansive mythology that recalls internet creepypasta and a nightmarish sterility that has been compared to the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and David Fincher, The Empty Man is an eerie slice of American horror.


The name, the timing and current horror landscape weren’t doing David Prior’s ambitious boogey man tale any favors. But wrapped around all that is a passion project that is thought provoking and beautifully crafted. There’s plenty to spook as well.– Lee McCoy, DrumDums

“The easily spooked should steer clear; for everyone else, don’t wait to experience one of the best horror films in years.”  – Miles Surrey, The Ringer

Remarkably ambitious and challenging. The Empty Man defies categorization. An exceptional directorial debut.”  – Chris Stuckmann,