THE TALL MAN (2012)
D. PASCAL LAUGIER
I had heard a lot of poor word of mouth about this movie, the sophomore effort from Pascal Laugier director of MARTYRS. Of course it isn't going to live up to that film because it is one of the best, most important horror films of the last decade. But I am pleased to say that THE TALL MAN is a vivid, brave and intelligent horror film that is for grown ups. It may not be as visceral as his previous film, but it makes up for it with great plot twists and fantastic acting.
Structurally it is very similar to MARTYRS in that it opens with one storyline and half way through switches gears dramatically to explore the story from a very different point of view. even the last couple of minutes have a slight shadow to his previous film. THE TALL MAN deals with a small mountain mining town in which the industry has basically vanished. Also vanishing is the children in the town and a legend has grown up to explain it. That a mysterious, probably supernatural force called THE TALL MAN has snatched the kids. Local Nurse Julia (Jessica Biel) is doing what she can to take care of the people in the region. But she is a single mom herself and very busy trying to keep her own home life together. Then one night the Tall Man comes calling for her son, leading to a harrowing chase in which he is snatched away. But when she returns to the town, battered, bloody and mentally shaken everyone in the town seems to be against her, and harboring some sort of grudge...
To say anymore would be to give too much away. The film goes to some very interesting places including some rather savage social commentary. The movie is very intense, growing more so as the film progresses and turns. The ending is surprisingly touching and effective.
Just see the movie. It is on Netflix instant so there is no reason to not give this one the time of day.
Review © Andrew Copp