August 31st, 2012 (Limited)
Horror / Thriller / Mystery
R (For terror and strong language.)
Image Entertainment / Minds Eye Entertainment / Iron Ocean Studios
|William B. Davis
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Like an early Stephen King novella, “The Tall Man” buzzes with small-town secrets and downtrodden paranoia. Here the unemployed gather in conspiratorial huddles, and a single mother (an exceptional Samantha Ferris) refuses to fire the handyman who threatens both her daughters.
Filling the screen with dense pine forests and panicky strings, Mr. Laugier stirs apprehension, flirting with “Jeepers Creepers”-style horror and murder mystery psychodrama. But ultimately his story draws more energy from class than from criminality: awash in sludgy browns and rotting greens — the colors of poverty and decomposition — this unpredictable oddity is a little bonkers but a lot original.- Jeanette Catsoulis (New York Times)
Motivations are murky and unclear, the dialogue isn’t clunky and expository, and one gets the feeling that most of the characters know as little as the audience does. And it just keeps intensifying and cascading into something that feels truly unsettling from there. Laugier’s transitions are jarring, but more impressive is that he is seemingly unwilling to compromise with his audience by giving them too much information; he operates on a very egalitarian scale that recognizes his audience as intellectual equals, not underfed children who must be nourished by hand.- Britt Hayes (Screen Crush)
That’s my way of saying the best stuff found in The Tall Man is material that crosses over into “spoiler territory,” so let’s just forgo the plot synopsis, reiterate how impressive the performance by lead actress (and producer!) Jessica Biel actually is, and show some appreciation for a dark thriller that starts out as somewhat perfunctory, and then has the guts to twist the script in some odd, and potentially off-putting, directions. Also adding some weight and class to a potentially dry set-up are great Canadian performers like Stephen McHattie and Samantha Ferris, and (this being a horror film about kids) you can also expect little Jodelle Ferland to keep popping up and being creepy once in a while.- Scott Weinberg (FearNet)
- Filmed in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
- The actor playing Julia’s son, David, dropped out mid-way through filming and was re-cast with Jakob Davies.
- The film had a showing at the 2010 “American Film Market,” even though they still had several key-scenes left to film.
- Jessica is also the executive producer of the film, under her company, “Iron Ocean Studios.”
- The film will be released on September 12th, 2012 in France under a different title, “The Secret.”
- The film premiered at SXSW (South by Southwest) on March 12th, 2012.
- It was announced on March 13th, 2012 that Image Entertainment had acquired the US rights.
David: Do you have to go to work tomorrow?
Julia: Yeah.. but I’ll try not to finish too late.
David: Can we play together again when you get home?
Julia: I promise, goodnight David.
“I play a nurse in a small town where there’s not a lot of possibilities; it’s a very simple place. And the children are being taken from this town, and we don’t know why. We don’t know if it’s an otherworldly being, or a person, that’s taking the children. Then my child gets taken, and I actually see this being taking the child, and I spend the rest of the movie chasing this ghostlike creature that has taken my child. It’s a story about a mother in distress, who will do anything to get her child back.”
“We had a private joke on the set that we called the movie GREY ZONE PROJECT, a title I liked better. Jessica Biel was my soul mate, my sister on the set. She never complained once, never made me feel like she was a big star. She was by far the most famous actor I’ve ever worked with, and she was also the easiest one. Jessica was heavily involved in the project, she entered production when we faced financial problems, felt so strongly that she put money from her contract to help. The easiest to work with.”
Famous Monsters of Film Land
The Official Website for “The Tall Man”
Additional cast and credits. Plot summary and more.