In the Tall Grass

Latest Netflix film is a huge disappointment. It is well shot and has all the potential in the world, but it fails in pretty much every regard.

The film has a simple and premise constructed by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill. A brother and sister on a cross country road trip stop by a field and hear a boy shouting in a field. He is lost and needs help. The siblings enter the field to help and find themselves lost in the maze of tall grass. A supernatural force seems to be working against them.

This is the best sequence of the film. The grass becomes a menacing character in the movie. It waves in the wind or maybe just of its own accord. It looms over them, and the blades of grass seem sharp enough to cut the actors to ribbons. The sound design here is excellent too as the characters call to each other and at first it seems they are approaching one another, suddenly their voices are coming from the opposite direction. The voices call at first to the right then the left all in the same sentence. It’s really effective and fun.

However that is the first fifteen minutes of this hour and forty minute slog. Because once this sequence ends the movie feels like an endless slog. The grass isn’t intimidating anymore it’s just tall grass, and the movie itself feels about as exciting as walking in a field for a few hours. This boredom is achieved by over complicating the plot and ruining a simple premise with big ideas and “mysterious” concepts that go nowhere and only serve to detract from the simple story the film had done such a good job setting up.

More characters are introduced, confusing time loops are created, mythology for the field is shoved down the audience’s throats and the whole film derails wildly in a massive train wreck of plotting. The movie tries to pull the rug out from under the audience too many times and gets too clever for its own good.

The film has some nice surreal images and a terrifically unhinged performance from Patrick Wilson, but the movie itself goes from good to bad very quickly. It’s a huge let down. It’s not the worst movie ever. It’s not without good moments and highlights, but it is a bad movie.

If you are cruising Netflix looking for something creepy to watch, skip this one. In the Tall Grass will put you to sleep. Not my cup of tea. – C-

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