Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Tall Man (2012)

Directed By: Pascal Laugier

Rating: R

Runtime: 106 minutes

So, it's been entirely way too long since my last review. Nevertheless, I'm here, back in action - pardon my absence. And now to "The Tall Man," the 2012 suspense thriller thrown in with a little bit of terror and real-life drama. This film surprised me, simply for the fact that it turned out to be everything I thought it wasn't, and I mean this in a positive way.

The film stars Jessica Biel, who plays Julia Denning, a compassionate young woman who appears to be a figure apart from the down and out circumstance of those living in Cold Rock. Most of screenshots that showcase this community include shanteys, trailers, and houses in severe disrepair, complete with yards littered by stray garbage and various other unused outdoor fixtures, presumed to be a permanent exhibit on decoration for all to see. Cold Rock is not a warm, cozy place where tourists gather. And I'm sure the random passerby would probably not give this town a second glance. Unfortunately, these people and their hardships have been left behind long ago. Lucky for this little sore spot, Julia Denning and her husband, Dr. Denning, had made Cold Rock their own kind of humanitarian mission. Although her husband has been dead for some years, Julia never managed to leave the town, and works as the local nurse.

But just when you think Cold Rock couldn't possibly be any more misfortunate than it already is, we learn of the legendary curse that plagues the town. It is said that the Tall Man kidnaps young children and steals them away in the night, their parents never seeing them again. Some are believers, while others simply dismiss the tale as absurd, at least that's Julia Denning's opinion. Her eyes didn't open to the truth of the matter until the night her son was kidnapped by a dark figure, presumably a man, wearing a hooded cloak. In the events that follow, Denning does everything a mother would do to get her child back; she falls off a truck, attacks a dog, breaks through a window, wreaks a truck, and walks injured and half-concious through a creepy dark forest in the middle of the night in pursuit of this madman kidnapper, who we have no idea is human, alien, or some kind of supernatural being.

At this point, the story begins to unravel and take some very pointed turns in an entirely different direction, under the pretense of a motive that I had not seen coming. For the sake of spoilers, I'm not going to say anymore on the subject. What I liked about this film is Laugier's ability to create a tense horrific thrill and then spin it into a series of events that leaves us questioning who's side are we really on? "The Tall Man" was not predictable. It's a film that evolves and transforms itself from one theme into another, and it does so quite effectively. The freedom of choice and the way you choose to live your life is something that we often take for granted. But at what age are we able to make such a choice?

Thumbs UP

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