In the Tall Grass Review
by J. Dalgleish
**** 4 Stars
Tobin claims that “the grass won’t move dead things” and he buries the crow. This is a key line that is used a lot in the movie.
In the Tall Grass, directed by Vincenzo Natali and starring Patrick Wilson, is the most confusing movie I think I have ever watched. Visually, however it is stunning as some of the visual effects used are so clever and unique. In the Tall Grass is based on the novel written by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill.
It starts with a brother and sister called Becky and Cal who are travelling to San Diego so that Becky, who is 6 months pregnant, can give her baby up for adoption. While stopped outside an old church, they hear a voice from a child called Tobin from inside the tall grass opposite the church. Worried and concerned, Cal goes to venture and Becky slowly follows, trying to get a hold of the police, but the signal cuts out. Cal and Becky get separated very easily and their distance apart keeps changing strangely. Night falls and Cal stumbles across a bruised Tobin who is holding a dead crow. Tobin claims that “the grass won’t move dead things” and he buries the crow. This is a key line that is used a lot in the movie.
Becky encounters Tobin’s dad, Ross (played by Patrick Wilson), but they get separated very quickly. Tobin leads Cal to an ancient rock in the grass and encourages him to touch it, but they are immediately interrupted by the blood-curdling screams of Becky who gets attacked by an unseen creature. As this is all going on, Travis comes along; he’s looking for Cal and Becky. Travis is the father of Becky’s child. He investigates the grass and shortly later, comes across Tobin who leads him to a dead body. And so, the film continues with plot twists and unexpected surprises.
My verdict is that the visuals are amazing with some great moments. However, there are a few too many failed attempts at jump scares which did subvert the horror dynamic of this movie. The story also dragged on at some points but besides that, I feel that it is a very strong movie.
In the Tall Grass is currently available on Netflix and was rated 15 by the BBFC.