No, it’s not a horror slasher film. But it is creepy and exciting. Imagine a quiet and off-the-beaten track locale, the winter, and imagine the petrified people in a small town. Canadian director Paul Laugier is a genius in masterfully telling a story that makes one jump around every scene. The compelling tale is filled with a weird sense of foreboding. “The Tall Man” is Jessica Biehl’s best triumph in years.
Jessica Biel is not only the film’s leading lady, but also the co-executive producer. She plays Julia Denning, a nurse in a small mountain town that’s apparently been destroyed by economic collapse. Scary enough, huh? Well, it gets even more scary. The children in the town start leaving. At least that’s what you are led to believe. The unspoken fear is the abductions this town has endured for years.
The townspeople are led to believe that a shadowy figure known as the Tall Man takes the kids, who are never heard from again. A few have even claimed to see him firsthand and lived to tell the tale. But no one knows for sure, and neither did I in the beginning.
But when Nurse Julia’s son becomes the latest kidnap victim, that disappears without a trace, she uses her strengths to defeat her own fear and go on searching for him. Julia has endured many adversities. Her husband died in an accident, which still seems to be shrouded in mystery, while her only friends are a young mute girl and the town’s sole Goth babe.
As strange incidents seem to multiply by the hour, among the diner patrons, trailer trash citizens and distraught housewives, it becomes increasingly clear Julia’s view on these cases is jaded and her thoughts increasingly desperate.
Many reviewers point out that “The Tall Man” has more than a passing resemblance to an “X-Files” episode, so it’s handy that character actor William B. Davis, aka the infamous Smoking Man from “The X-Files,” is on hand to play a conspiracy-minded sheriff. And there in lies the deficit in this film. Biehl and Laugier seem to loose patience in the storytelling and then go on a bit of a long-ride that eventually bypasses where the plot should have turned and ended.
But, it’s still a fun film for movie buffs who like a little horror.
Highlight Hollywood gives Two and a Half Stars To The Tall Man.” The film opens on Friday around the nation.
Photographs are Courtesy: The Movie’s site
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