The Tall Man (2012)

It’s very hard to describe what “The Tall Man” is even about (beyond the contours of its general storyline) without giving huge bits away, and part of what makes the movie so interesting is that it’s genuinely unpredictable. That isn’t to say that it’s necessarily an easy, captivating watch: It’s actually frustrating once the plot gets going, and there’s so much going on at once in each scene, that it’s downright impossible to piece together exactly what’s going on and how it all ties together (if at all). That being said, man, director Pascal Laugier sure knows what he’s doing with his carefully unraveling narrative that eventually, unmistakably gets its hooks into the viewer. I’ll admit that, after a few false climaxes peppered throughout the movie, I got completely confused as to narrative propulsion and it was hard to get a hold on the movie’s intended momentum, but its central mystery unfurls more and more with each scene (sometimes many times throughout a single scene) that you end up engrossed despite being uncertain of the plot’s intended path forward. Like Laugier’s previous efforts, “Martyrs” and “Incident in a Ghostland,” “The Tall Man” is a difficult, punishing watch (it’s not nearly as visceral as the aforementioned, but it’s an emotional gut punch for sure), but like it or hate it, there’s no denying that it packs a punch.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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