THE TALL MAN (REVIEW)
Dir. Pascal Laugier
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
The first thing to know about THE TALL MAN is that this has no relevance to the Slender Man/Tall Man myth that has grown throughout the internet and become an urban myth. Yes, there are similarities that children go missing and in some sense bounces off the idea of the myth but this is not what you’ll be expecting.
The second thing to note is that this is the first English language film from MARTYRS director Pascal Laugier. While the obvious rating of 12A (ed - now uplifted to a 15 for home release), this will have little to no relevance to the extremely disturbing, moral questioning of his much darker debut, there are similarities that will make the two heavily comparable.
In a run down town called Cold Rock, children have been kidnapped with only eye witness reports of a “Tall Man” leading police with anything to go on. When local nurse Julia (Jessica Biel) gets her child stolen, it’s a high speed race to track down the entity and break down the truth of what the townsfolk insist on hiding.
With the locals turning on her and the questions on what is truly happening making you dizzy, the world that we’re introduced to is swiftly flipped on its head and as with MARTYRS, the film breaks down and becomes a new film entirely changing purpose and direction.
This is not a ghost story, this is a tale of the ghosts of ourselves and what measures people will go to make good for the youth in a world full of abandonment. What lines would you cross for good, would you become the worst evil? All these questions are asked and with Laugier's tradition of leaving us to pick up the pieces and find the answers ourselves.
The film has a perfect cast with Jessica Biel playing the immoral ‘hero’ and horror’s favourite young star Jodelle Ferland pitched perfectly as the young girl assisting Julia’s search for ‘The Tall Man’. This may not be the scariest film of the year and as with MARTYRS, the true horrors of life are those within the mind, while this is heavily marketed as a supernatural thriller, you will be pleasantly surprised with what is unravelled in the tense drama of right and wrong and one persons struggle to create good from the darkness of life itself.
(ed - and while the film was inspired by the Slender Man mythos, it's still a much better film than THE SLENDER MAN)