Pascal Laugier

The Tall Man - Jessica Biel

Editor’s note: The Tall Man creeps into theaters tomorrow, so hold your children close and enjoy this re-post of our SXSW review, originally posted on March 21, 2012. SXSW Midnighter pick The Tall Man falls into the category of the most aggravating kind of disposable movies. It’s not bad, there’s a certain level of competency, and a few of its ideas, if translated right, would make for an interesting film. Unfortunately, those ideas aren’t handled right, and the final result is a tedious, bland, and unsubtle thriller. Set in the small rundown town of Cold Rock, there lives the legend of “The Tall Man,” someone who’s been snatching kids away from their families. While there’s been no sighting or hard evidence of his existence, he’s still been talked up into a nightmarish figure. The government and anyone else of real importance hasn’t done anything about it since it’s a poor town. The lead of the film, Jessica Biel‘s Julia Denning, is a local free clinic nurse and a widow and, like everyone else, she fears even the very idea of The Tall Man. As expected, the legend comes and takes her child away.

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The Tall Man - Jessica Biel

Remember that old argument that foreign directors who make the jump to English-language and/or Hollywood studio films, usually make something that’s not so good? Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) might be adding more proof to that theory. The international trailer for The Tall Man (aka The Secret) features Jessica Biel trying to find her son after he’s taken, possibly, by a sort of urban legend who wears a big black cloak and could probably play professional basketball. It’s pretty bland, but it might just be bitterness that this isn’t that Angus Scrimm documentary everybody’s been clamoring for. Check it out for yourself:

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Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs is my favorite of the ultra-violent French horror resurgence for several reasons. Now Laugier is attached to another film designed as his English-language debut, and while it’s no Hellraiser, it still seems to have some pretty interesting potential.

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31daysofhorror-reckoning

Martyrs is a constantly changing film that should leave you guessing as it gets under your skin… literally.

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martyrs4

Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… France!

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