MOVIE MADNESS #101: THE TALL MAN

The urban myth surrounding “The Tall Man” has creeped children and parents out for decades. It is like the evolution of the “boogeyman” myth except with kidnapping and a supernatural presence.

This lanky, long-fingered part-alien, part-apparition steals children from their parents and feeds on their fear for sustenance so one myth puts it.

So when a film about child abduction and the myth of “Tall Man” came about, I was expecting more “X-Files” and less “1-800 Missing”.

The movie stars Jessica Biel as a doctor and mother to an adopted son. She is trying to help the people of her community get through a trying time as it tries to hold on after the mine was closed.

When her son is taken one night, she will go to the end of her rope to find him. But even that might not be enough.

Pascal Laugier, writer-director of “The Tall Man”, got his start working on the critically acclaimed horror film “Brotherhood of the Wolf” under the tutelage of Christoph Gans.

Laugier shot the behind documentary for the film and appeared as a bit actor. From there he moved onto the French thriller, House of Voices with acclaimed actress Virginie Ledoyen where he began his obsession with displaced children.

His second film would be the indie hit horror flick “Martyrs” which is still burned into many a horror fan’s brain. That film was about molested children getting revenge on their molesters in adulthood. Laugier’s third film is “The Tall Man”.

Laugier must have picked up some tips from Gans during his transition. “The Tall Man” is beautifully shot and the blocking is especially impressive. I also liked how the film used very few sets and took place mostly outdoors that just seemed to accent the mother’s desperate plea even more.

Jessica Biel does a pretty solid job as the film’s main character. The camera and how it follows her through film makes for interesting viewing. The camera and where it is placed is almost a character unto itself especially when there is narration by Jodelle Ferland. It is an interesting marriage between actor and camera.

The film has three rather jarring twists. I can’t talk about them because they are really methodically planned out and one is a game-changer you won’t see coming.

3.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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