- BOTTOM LINE
- Needlessly Twisted Horror Drama
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted) are on their way to San Diego. During a stop, they hear a child’s voice in the nearby fields with tall grass. What happens when they follow the sound? And how their life is turned upside down horrifically is what the movie is all about?
Laysla De Oliveira as Becky is the character around which the whole story begins. She decides to stop the car and then to get into the grass. She is also a pregnant woman. It is the rescue of her character from the grass that becomes the core plot as we move further into the narrative.
Laysla has a simple-looking role that grows as the narrative progress. The emotional graph too undergoes a massive change by the final act. She conveys the various emotions related to helplessness convincingly. It is okay for the setting and enough to engage.
On the surface, In The Tall Grass is a simple and straightforward story as the title suggests. However, director Vincenzo Natalie has other plans. It is good, but does it work for the betterment is what ends up bothering us?
The movie opens slowly and sucks us in steadily. The creepiness and the location are used superbly in creating an unsettling atmosphere and feeling. We are engaged in the proceedings and want to know what happens next.
The first act- the setup is excellent in his regard. The issue starts in the second-act when the concept of time loop emerges. Initially, it doesn’t bother much and makes one intrigued. But, as the narrative progresses, it leads to more complications and convolution in proceedings that distracts the viewers from an immersive experience.
There are some terrific visuals and spine chilling events happening, but the narrative is already tangled with various concepts introduced and popping up. Instead of the straightforward horror scare, there is confusion in our minds. That is where In the Tall Grass loses the impact.
In the end, there are more questions rather than answers after watching the movie. It is a tell-tale sign of a weak product. The horror aspect is drowned in these catechisms. It’s sad because the regular parts did offer enough to creep out without getting into the mumbo-jumbo.
Patrick Wilson is the star of the show undoubtedly. He starts slowly but transforms into a monster literally. It is a well-calibrated act that could easily have been cartoonish. Wilson gets into that zone momentarily, but the editing never lets that feeling take over as a whole.
Avery Whitted and Harrison Gilbertson play other vital parts of brother and lover to Becky (Laysla De Oliveira). They are decent. Harrison Gilbertson has a better arc and role among the two. He is the ‘hero’ of the story but lacks the screen presence. It is particularly evident when Harrison and Patrick Wilson are facing each other. He gives his best efforts, though.
Will Buie Jr as the lost kid in the grass is the first-rate choice. The make-up and look do the work for him more than his performance. Rachel Wilson is disappointing. The character is the weakest among all, and she fails to register.
Music and Other Departments?
Music by Mark Koven is appropriate and adequate. It helps in adding to the creepiness. The cinematography by Craig Wroblesky is neat. It is a crucial part of the narrative, and without the right output, the effect would be diluted. Craig doesn’t let that happen, which is part of his job done.
The editing Michele Conroy is superb. A lot is happening with a simple and single location having grass all over. The editor removes the monotony with sharp cuts despite a slow pace. The director also handles writing, which is decent. A lot is going on all of a sudden, which might make one lose sight of the happening even with momentary lapse.
Some Unexpected Twists
Leaves More Questions Than Answers
Above All Makes Narrative Lengthy
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with reservations
Review by Siddartha Toleti