Tag Archives: horror movie

Film Review: The Tall Man (A Gloomy Affair)

When I saw the cast for this included Samantha Ferris (Ellen from Supernatural) and William B Davis (Cancer Man from The X- Files) my interest was immediately piqued. This film has the same sort of spooky, rainy atmosphere of an early X-Files episode. It’s serious, creepy, it twists and turns, and exudes a sombre mood. For a different type of horror experience, I’d recommend it.

tallA pale, washed out Jessica Biel (that’s my way of saying any of you hoping for a hot Jessica Biel in a skimpy tank top won’t find her here) is a nurse in the rundown town of Cold Creek, Washington. Since the mine closed, the inhabitants have fallen further into poverty. It’s a dying town, made painfully obvious by the dull, grey colours and tones this film is shot in. Biel’s husband, the respected town doctor, passed away some years back, and the residents aren’t too supportive of his widow. Why? We don’t know. She lives with her son and nanny in a big house by the woods. Apart from the economic problems, this town is suffering from an epidemic of missing children.

Eighteen or so kids have disappeared. The townsfolk whisper about The Tall Man, a ghost story about a monster who kidnaps children, often in broad daylight. What’s even weirder than all these disappearances is the lack of concern by the greater world. Why are there no news reporters in town? Sure Cold Creek looks like it’s in the back arse of nowhere – picture the landscape of the horror movie Wrong Turn. It’s surrounded by woods, completely isolated from the outside world. But wouldn’t something this major make national news?

The nightmare of the missing children comes right to Biel’s door. Her son is kidnapped from his own bed and she gives chase. She is impressive as the protective mother. When a hooded man invades her home, ties up her nanny and takes off with her son, she follows him on to the road, grabs hold of the back of his van and hitches a ride, later tracking him through the woods, despite her serious injuries. She is tough, strong and determined. Then about forty minutes in, Bam! Everything gets turned on its head. What is going on in this horribly dreary town? Are the townsfolk in on it? And that’s all I can say plot wise without revealing the first of a few twists.

The film starts out strong. We see the figure of The Tall Man about a half hour in and there doesn’t seem like there’s anything supernatural about him. Take the paranormal out and it looks like we’re dealing with a human abductor of children, something that is scarier than monsters. There is a grittiness to this film. It exudes melancholy and despair and is always unsettling. The twists keep you wondering. While I couldn’t say I loved The Tall Man, it was definitely a change of pace from the horrors I’ve watched of late.

There are still a few things that didn’t make sense to me, but I think that’s the case for most psychological thrillers/horrors. I’d give it three stars for being different to anything I’ve watched before. ***

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Can anyone recommend some horror films I should see?

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Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods (Much More than your Average Slasher Movie)

It’s hard to do a decent review of this film without giving the plot away so I’ll keep this short.

 The Cabin in the Woods = Slasher flick meets Buffy.

We’ve got 5 college students going off for a peaceful trip to the woods and we know they’re about to be picked off one by one, but this isn’t simply another serial killer movie.  Here we have gamemakers Bradley Whitford (from The West Wing) and Richard Jenkins sitting comfortable in their secure conference room watching everything the players do.  Among this team of engineers/supervisors is Amy Acker (Fred from Angel and Dr. Saunders from Dollhouse; Joss Whedon seems to be loyal to his former staff). So we’ve got something of an adult Hunger Games going on here. Quite intriguing.

Back to the pitiful puppets.  There’s Dana (Kristen Connelly), the virginal, or close to virginal intelligent red-head, stoner Marty (Franz Kranz playing the same type of nerdy but loveably character he played in Dollhouse), the jock, Curt (Chris Hemsworth), his bubbly girlfriend Jules (Anna Hutchinson) and single guy Holden (Jesse Williams from Grey’s Anatomy).  Little do they know that they are pawns in someone else’s deadly game.

That’s as far as I can go plot-wise without ruining this film. Fans of Buffy, Joss Whedon and clever horror films will eat this up. It’s bloody and gory so if slasher flicks are not your thing then you might want to avoid this, but you will be missing out.  This is a horror film at its best: scary, funny in parts, intelligent with an underlying mythology and an original plot, characters that are likeable, and it will make you jump. The setting is also beautiful and spooky.  This film salutes a lot of past horror movie and reminded me of Friday the 13th, Wrong Turn and the “Homecoming” episode in season 3 of Buffy with Buffy and Cordelia unwittingly taking part in Slayer Fest ’98.  The Cabin in the Woods is a tongue-in-cheek story, very like the humour in Buffy.  It was great to watch on the big screen and I’ll be adding it to my dvd collection in the coming months. *****

I don’t think the trailer does this film justice so it’s best to avoid it if you can.

So has anyone seen this film yet? What did you think of it?