It is October. It is Spooktober. It is whatever-tober.
For me, that means excessive money spent on Halloween decorations and even more horror movies watched. Last night, I rewatched Candyman. But you’re not here for Candyman, you’re here for my review of In The Tall Grass, so let’s get on with it.
In the Tall Grass just came out, as in October 2019, now, here, you, me. It’s a Canadian horror film (eh) directed by Vincenzo Natali. It stars Harrison Gilbertson, Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, and Will Buie Jr. as the creepy small child. It is based on the 2012 novella of the same name with the King boys; Stephen and Joe (Hill).
Spoilers? Yes, minor though.
The movie starts with Becky and Cal, siblings, driving down a lonely highway – think Children of the Corn-esque.
Becky is six months pregnant and looking to give that baby away to a nice couple in San Diego as soon as that bun’s out of the oven, hence why they are going on such a boring road trip. They have to pull over in front of an old church so Becky can heave breakfast into the ditch, and that’s when they hear a young boy calling for help, claiming to be lost in the very tall and green field of grass that stands across the road from the church.
Not knowing they are in a horror movie called In The Tall Grass, the pair go into the tall grass and that’s when the weirdness starts. The grass itself is like – not a wholly intelligent life form – but an entity with intentions at least, which moves anything alive within it around to prevent escape. There’s a also a time-loop aspect to everything to go with the weird space issues, throw in an ominous ancient stone, and you have a classic King of the Hill story. (See what I did there?)
In essence, the grass field is like a human Venus fly-trap.
Which explains the plot of the story as a whole.
I was pretty intrigued by the premise of the movie and I thought the beginning was very strong, but it peters out quickly and seems to drag until the final twenty minutes. A lot of panning over grass, shots of grass moving, close up of grass, more grass. Grass.
Also, the characters figure out that the grass affects time and space and that, if you lose sight of someone, they’re moved far away from you – and they still don’t hold hands or tie each other together or anything! Okay there, buddy. Just wander off. Just do whatever, faint, cry about life, whatever.
It was causing me so much anxiety. HOLD HANDS.
IT’S RIGHT THERE! JUST GRAB THE HAND!
The movie was ninety minutes, average length, but it felt like it should have been shorter. Like I said: grass scenes. There were so many grass scenes. Why? I get it, they were in the tall grass – it’s in the title.
A potentially intriguing premise is rapidly lost in the weeds during In the Tall Grass which struggles to stretch its slim source material to feature length. – Rotten Tomatoes
I honestly don’t have anything that comes to mind that I can praise. It was a watchable movie. I would recommend watching it because it is October and all horror movies must be watched as a type of visual sacrifice, else we suffer when the reckoning happens on the 31st.
Just watch it. May as well.
Okay. I just want to say: the villain is so classically King. A religious character goes nuts and starts after all the regular folk. In The Mist, it was the Catholic Mrs. Carmody and in Carrie, it was the religious mom. Lesson learned: you can’t trust religious people. As soon as Patrick Wilson’s character said he was religious, I knew – I knew.
That aside, Patrick Wilson is still a snack.
Anyway, let me know what you think!
x P.L. McMillan