|The Tall Man (2012)|
|Starring:||Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, and Stephen McHattie|
|The Plot: In the small northern town of Cold Rock, things have steadily been declining ever since the local mines shut down. With many citizens out of work and the local economy resting in stagnation, the locals have become understandably restless. It seems as if the entire town is just one big event away from total chaos. That big event comes in the form of “The Tall Man.” This Tall Man is a shrouded figure who is apparently responsible for the kidnapping of seventeen children. This person has been spotted near the scene of these crimes many times, but no one has managed to get a solid glimpse of this person. Julia Dunning (Jessica Biel) is a waitress working in Cold Rock while trying to support her son. She has shared a home with her best friend every since her husband passed away, but while everything seems to be going well from the outside looking in, chaos is waiting just around the corner. When The Tall Man targets Julia’s family, chaos and dark secrets are soon to be revealed to the world.|
With The Tall Man, Laugier is back to many of the tricks that he showcased in Martyrs. The director shows an affinity for cult mentalities. He also seems to have an infatuation with religious zealotry that hides just beneath the surface. Even in the early moments of the film, where Laugier toys with his audience by leading them down one path instead of another, he presents hidden cultures that are dormant within everyday life. Another one of Laugier’s returning motifs is his affection for bait-and-switch narrative twists. As you may have already assumed at this point, there is a very definite twist within this story. Similar to the protagonist switch that happens halfway through Martyrs, The Tall Man does a complete 180 somewhere after the forty minute mark. I won’t go into any of the logistics, nor will I provide any clues, but it isn’t a spoiler to say that “something” happens. Try as you might guess, if a viewer goes into the movie, I would find it difficult to imagine someone guessing what might happen. Still, that is part of the game, isn’t it? And Laugier shows growth since Martyrs, because at no point do the twists feel cheap. With Martyrs, some audience members walked away a bit dissatisfied with the blunt revelations, but at the very least The Tall Man provides some twists that are a bit more organic.