The Tall Man (2012)

Sir Not Appearing in This Feature

Conversation paraphrased between my wife and I (her side omitted for clarity): Me: “So this movie isn’t really about the internet folklore that has recently come up called Tall Man or Slender Man?”  Me: Fuck.  Me: Wait, it’s about someone taking young kids and vanishing with them? Me: Sure it’s not about Tall Man/Slender Man?  Me: Well, fuck.  Me: What’s the flick about?  Me: Huh?  Me: Again, please?  Me: Langsamer bitte?  Me: Fuck.  Here are her responses that you can retcon in if you wish in no particular order: No.  No.  I don’t know, someone who takes kids. No. What the fuck does that mean, was that German? I’m not really sure what the film is about watch it yourself. 

After that I sat back and ponied up the $5 to watch the latest creation and first English language film from Pascal Laugier.  I mean he did MARTYRS.  This one must be bent as fuck, right?  Well the plot sure as fuck is.  I wonder if there were some communication difficulties working with an American crew, maybe?  I don’t know.  There is the expected plot twist.  Not that the particular twist was expected…it wasn’t…but that I would have been as shocked if M. Night Shyamalan wrote a straight film without a twist.   Well, that or a good movie.  Anyway….

This film is packed with great performances.  Jessica Biel is good, not to mention hot.  Stephen McHattie and William B. Davis deliver good performances and so does Jodelle Ferland.  It was good to see Cancer Man back at work.  So what gives?  The plot.  The script.  The basic premise.  Much like several recent flicks I feel I’ve been deceived (see THE BARRENS) and offered something I did not in order in place of that for which I paid.  That entity, the one from web lore, known as the Tall Man does not appear in the film at all.  Should I have said spoiler alert on that?  I don’t think it counts as a spoiler so much as a warning.

Now with that out of way lets see how the movie is.  It’s okay.  Like I said above the acting was topnotch.  The movie was well shot and established a moody atmosphere from the get go.  What’s wrong with it?  The plot is all over the place.  Kind of like an internet urban legend.  There are twists and turns and gasps all over the place.  This thing is fucking Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  The more I dwell on the movie the more I like it and the more I hate it.  Its a fucking Randian fairy tale wrapped up in what is mis-marketed as a horror flick.  It’s like having fucking John Galt in place of Michael Myers. Shit. No one even gets flayed alive. But I still am inclined to watch it again.  

I say check it out if you dig atmospheric thrillers.  Check it out if you have to see absolutely everything Jessica Biel is in and you’re tired of the 2 minute loop you have from POWDER BLUE.  Check it out for some good acting.  Don’t check it out for the Tall Man.  You have a better chance of finding the Jersey Devil in this thing.

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