Director: Pascal Laugier
Writer: Pascal Laugier
Stars: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, William B. Davis
Not enough people have seen or know about this film, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to take you back to 2012 and one of the best mystery thrillers you’ve probably never seen.
Jessica Biel (who has rarely been better) plays Julia, a widowed nurse living in the small town of Cold Rock; once a thriving mining town, but now little more than a husk of its former self since the mine closed leaving most of the town out of work. But something else is happening in this small town. There’s a resident FBI agent because children have been going missing, and rumours of a Tall Man carrying them off into the woods are rife. William B. Davis, who smoked his fair share of cigarettes in dark corners during his time on The X-Files, is the town sheriff and his very presence hints that maybe something supernatural is going on. To say any more about the storyline would be to say too much, so I won’t.
When this film was recommended to me a few years ago I got hold of a copy pretty quickly but I didn’t watch it for a long time because of that title. I think it’s the main reason this excellent movie didn’t do better when it was released. The title is fine IF you’ve seen the movie, but if you haven’t it probably conjures up memories of Jeff Goldblum in 80s Britcom The Tall Guy. It’s misleading and it doesn’t do anything to entice you to want to see it or prepare you for what sort of film you’re in for. It’s a poor title, but don’t let that put you off; a pretty girl in a bad dress is still a pretty girl.
If you take my advice you’ll go into this film completely cold. Don’t look it up on the Internet. My reviews are always spoiler-free, but others aren’t so careful, and it really is the best way to experience this movie. There’s more than one twist you won’t see coming, so don’t deny yourself those WTF moments as you try to figure out what just happened. Just trust me, it all makes sense in the end.
The Tall Man is not only well directed and written, but it has a fantastic idea behind it that you and your viewing companions may well get into a debate about afterwards. An overlooked gem.