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The Autopsy

2022 / 58m - USA
The Autopsy poster

I'm not surprised this was made by the director of The Empty Man. Like that film, the horror bits here are pretty damn good, but the investigation really takes the edge off. The Autopsy has some solid moments, but you have to wade through some slow and uninteresting patches to get there.

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A police investigation turns dark when a miner kills himself and takes a few of his colleagues with him. The police chief wants an autopsy on the victims as their bodies are all bled dry. During the autopsy, the coroner slowly uncovers what exactly took place inside that mine.

The production value is high, the finale is pretty strong and the gore is perfectly executed. It's just a shame that the police investigation is rather sluggish and that there have been better and creepier autopsy films in recent years. Not a bad film, but a step down from the other two Cabinet of Curiosities entries that came before.

The Empty Man

2020 / 137m - USA
Horror, Mystery
The Empty Man poster

A decent horror flick, but director Prior overplays his hand. He starts the film off nice enough, but after a superb introduction, there are too many ill-considered genre twists. The film quickly turns into a detective story and tilts to cult nonsense later on, all the while burying the horror deeper and deeper. Prior clearly lacked a critical editor, someone who could've cut out a good 30 minutes.

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James is an ex-cop who receives a phone call from his distressed neighbor. Her daughter just ran away from home, but an ominous message written in blood suggests there's something darker going on here. James promises to investigate her disappearance on his own and quickly stumbles upon a local legend passed down around school.

The intro is pretty creepy, the monster design is stunning, and the setting is impressive. But then the film switches back to a US setting and a more dire story starts. There's too much focus on (poorly executed) drama and even though Prior's story is ambitious, the mystery itself feels rather bland, taking away from the horror. There's clearly potential here, but the film itself is a bit too muddled to make a real impression.