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Sunday, 5 August 2012

(aka That Thieving Bastard!)
Release Date: VOD now, Limited Theatrical on Aug. 3st, and DVD/Blu Sept. 25th.
Country: USA, Canada.
Written and Directed by: Pascal Laugier.
Starring: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferdland and Stephen McHattie.

The Tall Man is one of those movies that made us think that it was taking us one place, and then took us in another direction completely, leaving us both surprised and pleased.

We've been a fan of Pascal Laugier since 2008 when he gave the horror world the gift of Martyrs; we loved that movie for plenty of reasons, and we couldn't wait to see what its Director would do next.

It took him four years to give us a follow-up film. Why so long between directorial efforts? Who knows. Maybe he needed to shake the stigma of Martyrs from him before moving on. Whatever the case, The Tall Man was worth the wait. It's a very different movie from Martyrs, at least viscerally, but it still packs the same sort of commentary punch.
This is the wrong Tall Man. He's in other movies.

It would be really hard to talk much about the plot of The Tall Man without ruining it, so here's what we will say:

In a small ex-mining town in Washington State, the legend of the Tall Man strikes fear into the hearts of every parent; you see, the Tall Man abducts the town's children, leaving no clue as to whether they're alive or dead. Julia (Biel) is a single mother whose son has just become the latest victim of the Tall Man, who immediately sets out to find and rescue him...

...and that's all you're getting.

She's a good mommy.

To say anymore would really be a disservice to the movie and you, as it twists and turns throughout its running time, becoming a different animal than we thought it was at the start. The gore and nudity factor in this one are all but non-existent, as it really is a movie that relies on psychological thrills to deliver its punches, which it does fairly well

Where Laugier used Martyrs to question how far someone will go to unlock the mysteries of life and discover what lies beyond the edge of death, here he remarks on how far the love of a child will drive someone to go, in the name of their well being and safety.

The Tall Man is a beautifully shot and well directed movie, and the script is solid. It's nice to see a horror movie that isn't rife with genre tricks cliche' for a change, and one that makes us think about more than blood and guts to boot. It's a tense and eerie movie, and even though it changes tone once or twice throughout, it still maintains its creepy atmosphere for the most part.

Are those kids victims or are they the Tall Man? Dun, dun, dun...

The real gem in all of this is Jessica Biel; we already know she's hot as sin, and we've liked her in a lot of the movies she's done over the years, but here she takes her acting to a different level. She really delivers a solid performance as a mother pushed past the brink of rational behavior, and it was really great  to watch.

If there's one thing about the movie that we didn't really like, it would have to be the twists in the plot. Now, they worked and made the movie fairly strong overall, but we really don't like plot twists that... we'll say "change" the story and the dynamic that was at work before they happen. The big twist in this movie works perfectly for the movie, it's just that some fans will no doubt feel cheated a bit for it. It's really going to come down to individual taste and tolerance on this one.

Will she catch the Tall Man before it's too late?
We really enjoyed the hell out of this one, and we're glad it came along when it did; this summer has been thin on the quality horror movie front, and we desperately needed a good one for a change. It's not bloody and gory, and it definitely twists and turns more than we thought it would, but The Tall Man was a solid flick that definitely deserves our love. Catch it on VOD now or when it hits theaters or home video next month. A very solid B+ for this one.
The hotness of Jessica Biel is a wonderful thing, so let's just take a few seconds to enjoy it, shall we?

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