Horror Movie Review: The Tall Man (2012)

The Tall Man is a mystery-horror thriller film that was directed by Pascal Laugier (Martyrs), it released in 2012. The film is set in a small former mining town where poverty is rife and children are disappearing on a regular basis. The abductions are blamed on a local legend called “The Tall Man.” Jessica Biel plays a widowed nurse whose child is abducted, leading her on a desperate chase to recover him.

Julia lives in a small town in Washington called Cold Rock. She is the town’s local nurse, widowed by her husband, who was the town’s doctor. Cold Rock was formerly a prosperous mining town, but has become poverty-stricken. There is little work, the school has been closed and the town is virtually vanished from the map.

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Julia returns to her large home on the outskirts of Cold Rock, which she shares with her son David and his nanny. She eats dinner, puts David to bed, and falls asleep on a couch. Julia awakes to a noise downstairs, followed by a loud radio sermon. She finds the nanny bound and gagged, then rushes to her son’s bedroom, finding him gone. Suddenly, Julia spots a cloaked figure fleeing from her house. She pursues the mysterious person and does everything she can to save her son but inevitably fails.

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Soon after, there is a massive twist in the tale that changes everything. Check out The Tall Man to find out what happens.

On the surface, The Tall Man sounds like a generic horror thriller that will have little to no innovative qualities. However, that is entirely intentional. Just when you think you have an idea of where it may all be headed, it’s completely turned upside down. There really isn’t anything better than a film that takes you by complete surprise. It’s something that can be very hard to execute but The Tall Man succeeds, it succeeds big time. It’s the type of twist that you just won’t see coming. This dark tale drags you in so many different directions, it’s impressively unpredictable.

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The performances are high quality across the board. The only negative aspect could be seen as a big one for some people and that is how plausible it all is. Whether or not you think something like this could actually happen in the real world is open for discussion. Also, many people will be offended by the notion that what takes place in the movie could ever been seen in a positive light.

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In terms of actual horror, The Tall Man is surprisingly lacking. The film almost intentionally presents itself as a horror movie only to purposely shift gear just to throw you off. I can’t and don’t want to say much more, it’s best to see it for yourself. What I can say is that The Tall Man delivers a thought-provoking experience that will incite a fascinating debate surrounding the premise of the film, the harsh truth of the world we live in and the functionality of society as a whole.

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Overall, The Tall Man is a great film with an original premise. It presents you with a disturbing dilemma, one that you won’t forget quickly.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

The Tall Man
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