The Tall Man (2012)
Starring Jessica Biel
Directed by Pascal Laugier
**This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Jessica Biel is Julia Denning, the town nurse, who keeps her young son Danny isolated from the rest of the run-down and low-income community for fear of him being abducted by the mysteriously dark-cloaked tall man who has kidnapped nearly all of Cold Rock's children over the last few years. Despite her best efforts, one evening Danny is nabbed right out of Julia's home by the Tall Man and while she tries to chase him down, she doesn't succeed. And that's when the movie takes a turn that I admittedly didn't see coming -- and is probably the reason why the film languished in its nearly straight-to-dvd hell.
A long-time reader of this blog (and they are so few and far between that I must recognize them when I can) commented on another thread that The Tall Man is an "ambitious failure," and I tend to agree with that sentiment on a slightly lesser scale. For starters, I don't think the film is a "failure," but I recognize that writer-director Pascal Laugier doesn't quite have the chops for creating the needed tension a film like this requires (although I think part of that may be attributed to what I can only imagine was a lower budget than other films of its ilk). As the film twists into something completely unexpected, it ends up languishing a bit in dullness rather than ratcheting up the excitement level. However, the film's overall tone and overarching message certainly falls under the "ambitious" banner that my commenter noted. I'm not quite sure I bought what it was trying to espouse, but I accept the concept and give props for the attempt from Laugier.
I'm well aware that The Tall Man isn't high caliber stuff. [Notice how I didn't comment much on Jessica Biel here...there's a reason for that.] Still, it's unique enough that despite starting it at 3:15am and telling myself I'd get halfway through and then finish it the next day, I found myself watching it straight through. That's a positive, I'd say, even though it's certainly a bit flawed.
The RyMickey Rating: C