THE TALL MAN (2012) Review

Directed by: Pascal Laugier
Starring: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie

Ok, first I have to get something off my chest. I didn't like MARTYRS. There, I said it. Apparently I'm the only person in the entire galaxy who didn't enjoy it, but at the same time I can appreciate that it was genuinely surprising and original and so it automatically gets points for that. I was a little worried that director Pascal Laugier might try and play off the success of MARTYRS by simply going down the same path. Thankfully he has instead taken the best elements from it (the surprises, twists and turns) and decided to go in a completely different direction here.

Like a lot of other people I was under the impression that THE TALL MAN was going to be another horror film much like Pascal's previous effort. That's not to say that it isn't horror, but it's definitely more of a thriller/suspense movie. If you're expecting another MARTYRS then you will almost certainly be disappointed. But hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised. Even though it's primarily a thriller, THE TALL MAN has plenty of horror elements and is ultimately quite a dark and disturbing movie.

THE TALL MAN is set in the small town of Cold Rock which has become the site of numerous missing children. The children are there one moment and gone the next, leaving no traces or witnesses. The community begin talking about 'The Tall Man', a mysterious, dark figure who is kidnapping the children and taking them away, never to be seen again. But where is this stranger taking them, and for what purpose?
When Julia Denning's (Biel) son is taken from her home she finds herself on the trail of The Tall Man.

At first I was expecting some sort of supernatural serial killer, in fact I was reminded of The Fisherman from King and Straub's novel Black House. But partway through the movie things take a very interesting turn and the whole story gets flipped on its head. This movie is not what you're expecting. I really can't say much more because I wouldn't want to spoil things.

The atmosphere of the film is great, the acting is great and I thought the pacing and the way the story unfolded was just about perfect. This is definitely one of the more interesting and enjoyable movies I've seen all year.

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