Released: October 4, 2019
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson, Will Buie Jr., Harrison Gilbertson
Based on the Novella In The Tall Grass, by Stephen King and Joe Hill
What’s it about?
A pregnant young woman, Becky (De Oliveira), and her brother, Cal (Whitted), are driving through Kansas on their way to San Diego. They pull over and hear a young boy’s cries for help coming from a field of tall grass. They run in to rescue the boy, but quickly find themselves in an ever-changing maze of sinister supernatural activity.
What did I think?
In The Tall Grass has an interesting concept behind it. This field of tall grass – which is very common in the Midwest – has the ability to trap victims and manipulate their minds, bodies and choices. The concept is extremely terrifying.
We have our characters: the scared woman, her brother who loves her a little too much, her boyfriend who would do anything for her, a creepy child, his scared mother, and his overly charismatic father. They’re all pretty typical archetypes for a Stephen King story. Each of the actors did a great job portraying their character.
The story itself unravels as the movie progresses, but I was still left with a lot of questions. There is a huge theme of repetition throughout the movie, as our characters find themselves entering the maze over and over again. They’re stuck in a sort of purgatory of sinister violence. It has a Lovecraftian feel to the whole thing, which is absolutely delightful.
In the Tall Grass explains absolutely nothing to the viewer. It won’t hold your hand, it will simply show you the story. There’s not much exposition and not much resolution in the end. This doesn’t work for some people, but it works for others.
The imagery is fantastic. The sinister nature of the field is revealed mostly through sound and through special effects. Blood clouds, distorted images, visions of grass monsters. It was well done visually and audibly.
The movie had quite a few good moments mixed in with a lot of boring moments. The entire setting is just tall grass and I found myself looking at my phone more than a few times because I didn’t feel like I was going to miss anything by looking away. It felt like the majority of the script was the characters screaming each other’s names.
Do I recommend it?
To be honest, I wouldn’t watch it a second time. I don’t feel the need to search through and look for clues I may have missed. That being said, if you like slow burn, low key supernatural horror, go for it! You can find it streaming on Netflix.