Saturday, 4 August 2012
The Tall Man (2012)
This is Pascal Laugier's follow up to Martyrs, and alas we see him break into Hollywood. However, this is not as brutal as Martyrs, but it does deal with a disturbing concept that has become common in society - child abduction. The story is set in the small, desolate town of Cold Rock, a town that is suffering not only from economic depression, but the children are going missing and the locals suspect it's a local legend known as, 'The Tall Man.' Julia (Jessica Biel) is thrust into the mystery when her child is kidnapped in the middle of the night, but all is not as it seems and to say anymore would spoil this movie. As much as I'd like to talk about all the twists and turns, I really can't. You need to see this. Hollywood hasn't made anything this mind-bending and thought provoking for awhile.
Lots of reviews are saying that this is not a horror movie and it's more of a psychological thriller/mystery. I disagree. It's by no means an all out horror, and it is more so a thriller, but the concept of children being kidnapped is enough to make it stand as a horror movie. Furthermore, the atmosphere is creepy throughout. It's not purely horror, but I think it falls into the category. Compared to Martyrs though it's tame.
Every single performance is excellent and convincing, from Jessica Biel in a career best performance, to the angry mobs of townsfolk. There's not a character here who doesn't sell their role. Laugier's direction is different from his other movies, but it proves that he's got diversity and has an exciting future. The atmosphere throughout this movie is creepy and almost dreamlike. The small town location is ideal, with it's grim look and surrounding forest. The best thing though - the story. This is truly a case of expect the unexpected and it keeps you guessing until the end. The premise on paper looks interesting itself, but when you see the film and how it constantly evolves then it's so much better than you'd be led to believe. At least for me anyway, many will dismiss this as being boring. Others will herald it as a breath of fresh air.