The Tall Man Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 6, 2013
Not a horror movie. Definitely an original. I think that it bothered me that they played it up so well the first half of the film as something really horrifying happening, then it turns out not to be the case. Points for originality, I guess...
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2012
"I thought it was going to be good little scary flick, it wasn't. BUT, it was a decent thriller. The film has you thinking one thing and then flips the script and goes another way. I won't lie, I was surprised by the twist. But after the twist was revealed everything from there on was easy enough to figure out. Still a movie worth seeing at least once. The acting wasn't too bad. I like Jessica Biel. I thought she did well with her part."
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2012
A decaying mining town blames a plague of child abductions on a legendary figure called "the Tall Man." Starts out as a formula horror movie, but an unexpected revelation in the middle of the film changes things completely; the twist itself is interesting, but unfortunately neither of the two very different movies on either side of it are anything special.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2012
Fear Takes a New Shape

Average Movie! The First half of the movie is really enjoyable as it's a complete thriller about a town, a woman, missing children and tall man. But once the shocking revelation was made after 50 min the movie becomes more of a social message than a thriller till the end. This doesn't goes in favor of the movie because maybe it's the biggest cover up in the town we still want some chilling running from the evil. Jessica Biel is great and perfect for her role but the twist they have in the movie only works if the woman is as strong as Jessica Biel. On the whole, it's a good thriller in first half and an okay movie in the second part.

This film is about a legend that has been started by the town folk of Cold Rock. Since the children in the town have been going missing, people have said it's an entity known as 'The Tall Man' who has been taking them. Julia Denning ('Jessica Biel' ) is the local nurse whose husband died years earlier. She is soon personally involved as her child is taken. She tries to track down where the child is taken, but finds that there's more to what's happening than she knew. The towns-folk start to turn on her and the truth comes out. But there's still more to the story, who is 'The Tall Man'? And what is the truth behind the disappearances?
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2012
An outrageous and painfully despicable garbage that has no understanding of pacing and presents one of the most morally disgusting pseudo-sociological messages ever committed to celluloid - leading to think that Laugier is just as repulsive as his work. (Zero stars)
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2012
The dark suspense thriller The Tall Man is an interesting and atmospheric film. The story follows a rash of kidnappings in a small mining town that spurs an urban legend of "The Tall Man;" a mysterious figure who abducts children. Jessica Biel leads the cast and gives a very strong performance. Additionally, the storytelling is well-done and is able to craft an intriguing mystery. Yet, the plot seems a little underdeveloped and the message of the film is a bit ambiguous. While the film doesn't completely come together, The Tall Man still has enough mystery and suspense to tell a compelling tale.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2012
Last year a cinema-goer brought a lawsuit against the distributors of "Drive" for false advertising. The trailer had led her to purchase a ticket in the belief she was in for a "Fast & Furious" style action romp. When she found herself watching a transplanted Euro arthouse flick she was none too pleased. This woman received little support from cinephiles but consider if the shoe were on the other foot. How angry would you be if you thought if a trailer marketed a film as if it were made by Michael Haneke but the final product had more in common with Michael Bay? (One could argue the current "Man of Steel" trailer does just that.)
Like "Drive" this is the North American debut of a controversial European director and like "Drive" it's been grossly mis-promoted, in this case as a horror movie. Laugier caused a stir in his native France with "Martyrs", a film I personally thought was awful save for it's punch-the-air brilliantly ambiguous ending. Because of this every horror magazine and website have been promoting the hell out of his latest in the mistaken belief he's made a horror film. He hasn't.
Like "Martyrs", this movie gives us a huge plot twist a quarter of the way through. Here however it's such a twist that the movie actually switches genres. While the first half hour resembles a horror movie the rest of the film has more in common with the sort of "Movie of the Week" dramas which usually star Meredith Baxter-Birney. The biggest problem with aiming for realism like this is that the plot is far too preposterous for anyone to take seriously. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure if scores of children were disappearing from one small town in America the president would send the National Guard in, not the one lone FBI man McHattie plays here.
If you're expecting a horror movie this will most likely rub you the wrong way. If your favorite TV channel is "True Movies" however this could be right up your street.
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2012
**1/2 out of ****

He might have toned down the gore significantly and emphasized more on sheer atmosphere for the sake of it, but Pascal Laugier's "The Tall Man" is no less polarizing than the film that put him on the map as a director to watch, "Martyrs". Some people hated that film while others loved it, and I found myself in the latter group; as a horror film, it is not merely another standard high-body-count torture porn exercise, but rather an intelligent, provocative, and thoughtful horror film. "The Tall Man" has all those qualities as well, although everything is taken down a notch. It's not as smart, uncompromising, or unforgettably harrowing as Laugier's sophomore effort (his first film was "House of Voices"); but under his direction, it comes this close to working.

It all takes place in a small mining town, and in establishing the bleak atmosphere of the place, Laugier does some good and some bad. The town seems empty and very small indeed, although it would have been even emptier and smaller had the crappy voiceover not been included. So with that out of the way, we can get on to the story. The heroine is the local doctor Julia Dunning (Jessica Biel). She's a good enough person to assist in the birth of a teenage girl's child, help the girl's mute sister (Jodelle Ferland) to gather the courage to speak again, and offer coffee to the town loony. She has one son who she loves very much. The heart of the premise is located in the lore of the local legend, a child kidnapper (and probably molester) known as The Tall Man. One night, he takes Julia's kid, and things get personal.

Here's the weird part: when Julia is discovered bloodied and sleeping in the middle of the road by the small-town cop Dodd (Stephen McHattie) and brought to the nearby diner, the townsfolk seem anxious for her to freshen up. Almost instantly, one of them loses his cool and attempts to assault her while she's in the bathroom, although she's already escaped out the back door. Then we learn that the townsfolk want to bring Julie to justice, for whatever reason. What did she do? Is she being framed for the child kidnappings? Either way, she evades capture through the woods, where the Tall Man supposedly lives. To reveal any more than that would do the majority of the film a great injustice.

Laugier's latest is a labyrinth of a horror film that offers up mystery and thrills in satisfactory fashion. It's a downwards spiral of intrigue that keeps getting better as it goes along (in my opinion), although for others it might just get increasingly ridiculous. There are several twists along the way, and the final one is always the most important. Unlike most films of its kind, "The Tall Man" has a twist that will most likely get you talking whether you actually go with it or not. I don't find it absurd but rather stimulating, and overall the ideas behind this film are more interesting than its execution, which is disappointing especially when compared to Laugier's previous film.

But I still think that he builds up tension effectively without resorting to those ever-cheap jump scares. It's not a pretty looking or over-stylized film, nor does it utilize the slow-burn. It kind of exists on the edge between mainstream and unconventional horror; incorporating a story that deals with themes of motherhood, parenting, and even the GOOD things that can come from child abduction. Laugier doesn't quite acquire the level of mind-fuck-ness he was probably aiming for, but I enjoy movies that mess with your head. This one doesn't really get inside it, but while it's still going, it has fun with its ideas, setting, and actors (this is one of the most controlled and engaging Jessica Biel performances if not the best, even though she's far from compelling). Hear me out; this film is definitely imperfect and few of its big ideas come full circle, but I acknowledge it as an interesting stylistic departure for Laugier, who proves once again that it's not the blood and the guts that he's interested in; it's the psychological thrills and the social commentary. I'll keep him on the watch list for now.
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2012
The Tall Man tries very hard to be something it's not, a Stephen King story. Parts of this film reek with King's influence, but I don't think he'd be all that thrilled about it. When the film first started I thought it was a pretty good movie, but by the end I was just confused. The story follows a local resident in the town of Cold Rock, who has taken over her husband's medical practice after he passed away. That resident is played by Jessica Biel, whose performance and looks are really the only reason to watch this movie. In the town of Cold Rock, the children have been disappearing without a trace and the only thing people have seen is a tall man, dressed in black, leaving the scene. Some people say he's an urban legend, while others claim to have witnessed his abductions, and the whole town is terrified. I found it kind of funny that in a town crippled by fear, not knowing whose child could be next, the kids parents, let them ride their bikes to the store and let them play alone in the fields, it's just one of many parts of this film that just off. As I said, the beginning of this film is terrific, but then it gets weirder and weirder and builds to a conclusion that doesn't make any damn sense! I know this must of have been someone's passion and that they spent years developing it, but before you released it to the public, did you bother to watch it? Jessica Biel is sexy and a terrific actress who is way too good to be doing shitty b-movies like this. If you're a die-hard fan, check it out, she's great, but if you're not, I'd definitely stay away from this one.
Francisco G.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2012
After the brutal, unforgiving and one of my favorite recent horror movies Martyrs, the director Pascal Laugier switched gears with The Tall Man with very mediocre results. I'm not judging the movie for being completly different from Martyrs, I'm judging it for what it is: a below average thriller with a couple of twists to be it's saving grace. One smart enough, the rest just to confirm an idea that is stretching for way too long.

The goods: great cinematography and well acted through and through even if the dialogue has some frailties here and there. The story is alright and as I said one of the twists works well enough.

The badies: The first half is an okish thriller but the "action" scene is completly excused and out of place. I thought the movie was gonna derail from there but fortunently it picked up the pace, more or less. After the first twist is gone, the movie stretches for so long on the social critique it's doing it almost becomes unbearable on how self-important it thinks it is. And of course, as these movies go, there are more surprises towards the end which are just too flat and forced to cause a real impact.

An okish first half of a thriller set on a desperate setting and a too self-important second half that'll keep on make you yawning, for there isn't anything really going on worth caring once the surprise is gone.
January 1, 2015
This one manages a great little bait and switch by subverting the viewers expectations, a move that I'm still slightly troubled by as far as what they seem to be showing us from the start of the film compared to where it ends, but I suppose I have to give them credit for just going for something different.

Plus, I love Jessica Biel and Jodelle Ferland, so it'd be hard for me to completely hate anything featuring both of them, now wouldn't it?

October 4, 2014
great plot actors and stuff, although it is weird, something is missing, it almost get close to nonsese, weird
March 25, 2013
The film is full of wonder and tension until the twist comes in, then for the second stretch all that mystery trickles off and it just becomes a bore.
February 23, 2013
I just finished watching this on Netflix and thought that it was going to be something totally different than what it actually was, a horror film. If anything, the film is nothing more than a thriller with a mystery to it that keeps you guessing, even when you think you know the answers. Actually a pretty good movie.
½ December 23, 2012
This movie was a complete waste of time. It was neither shocking nor thrilling. Biel's horrible acting topped off the awful experience that was watching this movie.
December 4, 2012
ugh this movie was pretty bad, it had a decent set up, but i hated where it ended up going, biel is decent, its not really her fault, but it tries to become a totally different kind of film like halfway through and it just failed imo, its well shot and looks good ill give it that, but no story to back it up
½ November 16, 2012
I can affectionately call this film a mindfuck of epic proportions. Very confusing, but that's what makes this interesting to watch.
½ October 22, 2012
An underrated and nearly brilliant work of grounding a superstitious story. Thanks to The Tall Man's lead actress, Jessica Biel's performance soars into the darkest fears of any parent in the most extraordinary way. With a murky start, it shockingly delivers into something memorable.
October 17, 2012
I was surprised by this movie, it is not quiet what you expect to happen. A scary movie with an interesting twist.
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