The Tall Man (2012)

Psychologists like to explain away fairytales and folklore as a cultural coping mechanism, warnings about the unknown, and what bloody consequences there are when disobeying your parents (you turn into me). Giant, esoteric metaphors for death, alienation, confrontation, houses made out of childhood obesity … but I think those sort of people are just dead inside, and they like to cull whats left of our collective innocence by putting big words where wonder and imagination ought to be. Personally, I think a little naivety is no bad thing, unless it’s the kind that makes you stick your fork in the toaster, and who are we to say there’s no smoke without fire, I mean, has anyone ever noticed how suspiciously similar dinosaurs and dragons look …

There is a particular theme running through most of these stories, surrounding child abduction – fairies, giants, witches, dandy looking guys playing flutes, whatever shape they are moulded into it seems that the one thing these fantastical creatures all have in common as that they all want your kids, whether it be for food, slavery or punishing the grownups for just being tight fisted dicks.

The Pied Piper of Hamlin was always pretty believable to me –because lets face it, kids are really, really stupid.

The Tall Man is the story of one such legend that the townspeople of Cold Rock have created to explain a spate of disappearances of children. A dying town, strangled by the closure of the mines and jaded by poverty, turning in upon itself while it’s children are slowly vanishing one by one into the forest, and a skeleton police force unable to prevent or solve each mysterious case, until the son of the local nurse is abducted right out of his bed, and his mother is determined to get him back.

The Tall Man is one of the best horror films I have seen in a very long time, possibly ever, and is as unpredictable and original as any film of its genre should be. Jodelle Ferland (Silent Hill, Case 39) is brilliant as usual, and Jessica Biel is an absolutely astounding talent that seems to have flown under the radar until now, giving such an emotive performance here that you are with her throughout the film, even though you don’t always want to be …

This is a intelligent and thought provoking look at small town life, what it means to be a parent, and individual morality. Sounds deep, huh? It is, actually, but not in a twee, lets bore the eyes off our audience way, but in a very clever, ‘huh, I was not expecting that!’ kind of way.

This is one to watch, and reminds us to be careful with our wishes, for they just may come true…

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This entry was posted in critique, fiction, film and media, horror, opinion, pop culture, rant and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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