Sometimes a movie comes along that you are really excited to see, given the seemingly great synopsis, cover art, and actors. The Tall Man was that movie for me. I thought to myself, “Jessica Biel! Awesome!” However, I refused to buy it (because I’m paranoid about wasting my money on something I’ve never seen-good or not-) until I saw it either by renting or other means, so imagine my delight when I saw it on Netflix last week! My husband was away for the day so I grabbed a bowl of kettle corn and prepared for what I believed to be a great movie. What did I think? Well…
Let me just copy and paste the synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
In an isolated, slowly dying mining town, children are vanishing without a trace – abducted, the townsfolk whisper, by a mysterious entity known locally as “The Tall Man.” Town nurse Julia Denning (Jessica Biel) seems skeptical…until her young David disappears in the middle of night. Frantic to rescue the boy, Julia lives every parent’s darkest nightmare in this twisting, shock-around-each-corner thriller from acclaimed director Pascal Laugier called The Tall Man.
From that description, my mind depitcted this fantastic thriller where children are being kidnapped by a Jeepers-Creepers-esque character and were being eaten, their bones littering some dark corner of the forest. Grim, eh? Welcome to my imagination…
The first fifteen-twenty minutes are fairly mundane, setting up the plot and characters and everything seems to be going great. It kept me interested, however, I still wanted to know when things were starting to pick up. Finally, it did, but things went downhill from there. After discovering that the plot described was terribly, terribly wrong and Jessica Biel was really playing the villain, I was slightly disappointed. Still intrigued, but disappointed. At a point you start to feel sorry again for Biel’s character even if she has done something really awful. She truly believes what she did was right and just, and one part of me agreed with her while the other screamed for justice.
The ending wraps everything up in a discomboulated bow and leaves you to think about the movie’s “message.” Normally, I can handle a movie that throws in a twist and gives you an ‘ah-ha!’ moment (I love it, in fact.) but this just went so beyond that, leaving you to squint to see it as it heads off into the horizon. Would I regret it if I did actually purchase it like I had intended? Definitely yes. Would I ever watch it again? Nope. I think I was one and done on this one. It was an incredible let down plot wise, but I did like how they didn’t paint Biel’s character as a true villain. That was one of the redeeming qualities, I think. And bonus points for Samantha Ferris (Ellen in Supernatural) playing a role in the film!
Check this film out and form your own opinion, though. Don’t let my opinion sway you too much; just keep in mind that this film isn’t what the synopsis claims. Go in with low expectations and perhaps you will enjoy it for what it really is.