Movie Review: The Tall Man / Cert: 15 / Director: Pascal Laugier / Screenplay: Pascal Laugier / Starring: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie, William B. Davis / Release Date: March 18th
You've heard the story before, or so you may think. A small run down Washington town, Cold Creek, live in fear for their children's lives as they seem to go missing with alarming regularity. The locals are convinced an unseen boogie man is to blame, nicknamed The Tall Man.
Local nurse, Julia (Biel) comes home one night to find her child's nanny (Eve Harlow) bound and beaten, and the youngster being bundled into a van. The obviously distressed Julia gives chase, hanging onto the van with determination but ultimately ends up battered, bloody and understandably distraught.
It would be a crime to reveal anything more about this surprising, marvellous thriller from the director of Martyrs, arguably one of the most visceral and disturbing films of the past few years. Just as you think the film is set, the rug is pulled, and not just the once. Biel (soon to be seen in the Total Recall remake, and one of the numerous executive producers here) is fantastic in the lead, not afraid to be less than glamorous, and she is backed by an equally brilliant cast of supporting actors, notably Lance Henriksen lookalike McHattie, creepy teen Ferland (Tideland, Silent Hill) and The X Files' Smoking Man, Davis. The cinematography breathes life into the dead town and the surrounding forest, (actually Canada, although meant to be the USA) while also filling it with an unspoken dread. Horror fans may well be wanting (and expecting) a gory serial killer flick, but instead Laugier has crafted a tense, unnerving, but thought provoking tale which ruminates on the responsibility of parenting, and the very nature of what we consider evil.