Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Tall Man

This was a very frustrating movie.  I knew I'd heard the director's name before, and as soon as I started searching out movies posters for this film, I figured out where I'd heard his name.  He directed the movie "Martyrs."  *snerk*  Oh, it all makes sense now, Pascal Laugier.  Which isn't to say that I hated this movie or anything.  I didn't hate "Martyrs," either, but I have a love-hate relationship with it, for a lot of the reasons why this movie is so frustrating to me.  All of this probably makes it sound like I didn't like this movie, but on the contrary, I loved it...I was just very frustrated by it, and I think that's the way I'm supposed to feel about it, which kind of irritates me more, since I don't like being emotionally manipulated (some residual crankiness left over from "The Innkeepers," maybe).

This movie is about...ok, this is going to be fun, because writing a plot summary for a movie like this is a pain in the ass, because so much of what you think is true isn't actually what you think it is, so I have to try and give you an idea of what happens without giving away every fucking twist in the movie (like I have time, there's a million and we'd be here all day).  Ahem.  So yeah, this movie is about a small backwoods mining town where children have been disappearing recently, vanished without a trace, and locals attribute the kidnappings to a specter known simply as "The Tall Man," a man in a hooded coat who spirits the children away in the night.  A small town doctor played by Jessica Biel tries to treat the townspeople and earn their respect, while living in the shadow of her husband, who was a legend in the town for years before she took over his practice after he passed.  One night, the Tall Man spirits away his latest victim, and this abduction hits too close to home for the doctor, so she runs out into the night after him, and what happens next changes everything.

This is one of those movies where nothing (and I really do mean nothing) you see is what it appears to be.  You've heard of unreliable narrators I'm sure, but this movie kind of makes YOU, the viewer, the unreliable narrator by making you tell the story wrong because you don't have all the information, and pretty much won't until the very last shot of the movie, and even then you might not know what to think of it all (I didn't, and the movie had me arguing with myself in my head after it ended).  I think that was the director's intent, and in that way the movie is pretty frustrating and unsatisfying, but I can't say it's bad.  It had me on the edge of my seat, and even after the "twist" is pretty much revealed I still had a lot of unanswered questions, so I had to wait impatiently for the movie to explain itself, and even after it did, I was still unsettled.  I can't say this movie was bad, but it's definitely not for everyone, and I think I'm developing the same love-hate relationship with it that I already have with the movie "Martyrs."  Sigh.

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