Directed by Onur Karaman

Hosted by Director Onur Karaman.

Quebec 2023 76 mins OV English
Genre DramaHorrorThriller

They say nature abhors a vacuum. Sometimes the void is home to horrors. But is there anything more horrible than the emptiness you feel in your soul? In an isolated country house where time seems to have stood still, despite the insistent ticking of the wall clock, Suzanne (Stephanie Breton) wonders about her husband's unexplained absence. Two other women, Linda (Julie Trépanier) and Nicole (Anana Rydvald), watch over her, preventing her from stepping outside and telling her to stop looking for her husband. Above all, she must never go into the barn. Disturbing things happen. A menacing presence seems to be lurking nearby. Is it all just a nightmare? Is the house haunted? Or is Suzanne going mad?

The fifth feature film written and directed by the prolific Turkish-born Quebec filmmaker Onur Karaman (LÀ OÙ ATILLA PASSE, RESPIRE), EMPTINESS is a work woven of ambiguities and unspoken words, more a visceral experience than a conventional narrative. Shot in superb black and white interspersed with reddish passages, this minimalist, atmospheric horror film stands out for its precise framing, in which what we imagine to be off-camera is bloodcurdling, and for its meticulous sound design punctuated by hisses, whispers, heartbeats, and wails. Emotionally charged and anxiety-inducing, this portrait of a woman so deeply troubled that she believes she is losing her mind is a brilliant exercise in style, somewhere between Ingmar Bergman and Roman Polanski. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg