The Tall Man (R)

Horror 106 August 31, 2012
By Chris Packham
Maybe the biggest implausibility of director Pascal Laugier's The Tall Man is the idea that dozens of missing Caucasian children in a single, tiny Pacific Northwest community would fail to attract the attention of federal law enforcement or that one loathsome garbage monster on CNN Headline News. But once you get past that, and then through the flaming, Bowser’s Castle–like gauntlet of the rest of the story's implausibilities, you end up in this whole different movie than the one on the creepy poster. Jessica Biel is a nurse who attends to the residents of a small town in bad decline. Her husband, a doctor, has died, making her the town's only medical provider. Laugier creates an ominous atmosphere and a strong sense of place, situating the rusting skeleton of a community amid the foreboding majesty of tree-covered mountains. As children vanish, residents exchange hushed rumors of the black-clad "Tall Man" who spirits them away. When Biel's child is stolen, she pursues the kidnapper and enlists the help of a police lieutenant Stephen McHattie plays with stony grimness. Which is basically as much as it's fair to reveal, because then the plot makes some reversals; plays some sleeve-concealed aces, jokers, and Hoyle pinochle instruction cards; and just when you’ve exchanged your assumptions about the story’s trajectory, the film goes all, "JK LOL," and requests that you accept a way more boring, third set of assumptions. Which, to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, pretty much makes an "ass" out of "u" and "mption."
Pascal Laugier Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie, William B.Davis, Samantha Ferris Pascal Laugier Steven Schneider, Jean Charles Levy, Clement Miserez, Kevin Dewalt Image Entertainment