Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Tall Man (2012)

In a small ex-mining town in Washington, there's a deep and on going problem. The town's children have been going missing for a number of years. The locals believe the children are being abducting my a mysterious entity only known as The Tall Man.

Julia Dunning, a nurse and widow, who's husband was the town's doctor, helps out with the town folk when needed. She also plays second mum to a young girl called Jenny.

Besides her life as a nurse, Julia has a son, David, and a nanny, Christine, waiting for her at home. After dinner together, David is put to bed and the two girls have a cheeky drink.

After heading up stairs to her bedroom a little drunk, Julia is soon disturbed by the radio down stairs, as it's turned on really loud. Headed to see what's going on, Julia realises that David is being abducted.

She is now in a chase to save David from what appears to be The Tall Man. She attempts to hang onto the back of the van David is being taken away in, but falls off. As the van stops, she tries to fight back against the dark figure but ends up in the back off the van. She's tied up, but manages to free herself and once again attacks the antagonist, which causes the van to turn over. The enigmatic character escapes with the boy, leaving Julia for dead.

The events that follow leaves Julia in a position of compromise as the town folk seem to have a hidden agenda. Now Lt. Dodd is on the case, but will he get to the bottom of all the mystery surrounding The Tall Man and the missing children?

"Something bad had come to destroy our town"

Let's get this out of the way - The Tall Man has noting to do with the character and main antagonist of the Phantasm series of horror films. Now, back to this Tall Man...

The first thing that stands out about this movie is the cast. Of course we have the leading lady, Jessica Biel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blade: Trinity), Jodelle Ferland (Silent Hill, Case 39), Stephen McHattie (300, Pontypool), William B. Davis (The X Files) and Samantha Ferris (Supernatural). They're brought together perfectly by Martyrs (2008) director Pascal Laugier.

As it turned out, the film really surprised me. Don't be fooled by the simple notion that this is a "boogeyman taking kids in the night" kind of movie. It's far from it. It delivers a major twist just under an hour in, one that was a little predictable, but only right at that point. Yet again it takes another turn towards the end of the movie. One that you can see coming, but again, the script delivers it that well, you still feels like you didn't really know.

From the acting to the direction to the script, my attention was kept throughout. And with it's some what controversial message, it leaves you thinking about the content of movie and how it has real world meaning. Even though this is only a horror thriller and the scares are limited, it's easy to connect to the characters and get more involved with the story, making it a film worth watching for horror and non-horror fans a like.

The Tall Man gets 7.5/10

Director & Writer - Pascal Laugier

The Cast -
Jessica Biel as Julia Dunning
Jodelle Ferland as Jenny
Stephen McHattie as Lt. Dodd
Jakob Davies / Kyle Harrison Breitkopf as David
William B. Davis as Sheriff Chestnut
Samantha Ferris as Tracy
Eve Harlow as Christine

Check out the trailer below...