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The Tall Man

Short on suspense.

Rod Lott September 19th, 2012

According to some fun facts that open The Tall Man, some 1,000 children vanish each year who never are found. In the near-dead mining town of Cold Rock, that's because they're taken by the mysterious titular figure who's cloaked in black and darts in and out of the woods.


In just under two hours, a 36-hour ordeal is told, focusing on Julia (Jessica Biel, Total Recall), a free-clinic nurse turned supermom when her Chucky doll-looking son is kidnapped by The Tall Man. He drives a rusty van that practically screams "child molester."

I'll give the film by writer/director Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) this: It throws a big narrative wrench into the film about 40 to 45 minutes in, and one I didn't see coming. But that's all I'll give it, because in doing so, the film is taken from generic thriller to something resembling a really well-lensed made-for-Lifetime movie. OK, I'm exaggerating, yet the hard shift in genres willingly and knowingly trades mild suspense for a preachy social message, and Biel is as blank as the title is generic. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Total Recall film review   

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