Movie Review: In the Tall Grass (2019)

Based on the Stephen King and Joe Hill short novel of the same name, In the Tall Grass is a horror film released onto Netflix in 2019 and directed by Vincenzo Natali (1997’s Cube, 2009’s Splice and 2013’s Haunter). Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) is heavily pregnant, and on the way to San Diego with her brother, Cal (Avery Whitted) when they stop near a large field, hearing someone yell for help. They enter, and eventually find young Tobin (Will Bule Jr.), and his father Ross (Patrick Wilson), both of whom claim to be well and truly lost. Unknown to Becky, her absent baby-daddy, Travis (Harrison Gilbertson) is following her.

+ I really liked the direction of the titular grass, and how almost every shot made the field look both enormous and claustrophobic at the same time

Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and her brother, Cal (Avery Whitted) hear something coming from… in the tall grass. That title drop was better than the movie.

– I just did not care for any of the characters at all. None of their motivations were appealing nor relatable, and they all seemed to be jerks in one way or another (or in the case of the child, Tobin, just plain annoying)
– the roundabout nature of the film left too many opened threads, with not nearly enough answers as to how, why or what was happening. A few would-be interesting plot points are brought up, but left unresolved
– once the gimmick of the movie becomes clear, it loses a lot of steam. The ‘how and why’ soon just becomes ‘when’, and at that stage I started looking at the clock wondering how much more I had to sit through before the obvious ending would happen

> Between the Insidious films, as well as the Conjuring and it’s hundreds of spin offs (note: not literally, don’t fight me), is Patrick Wilson just in every horror movie these days? I don’t necessarily not like him, but every time I see him I get taken out of the movie, especially since the rest of the cast here were actors I didn’t know

Should you see this film: I did not much care for this. It reminded me far too much of another mid-2000s time loop/horror/friends all go crazy in a tall field movie that I can’t even remember the name of. Don’t both with this one.


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