The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Image Entertainment - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 106 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Stephen McHattie and William B. Davis
Directed by: Pascal Laugier
Written by: Pascal Laugier
Music by: Todd Bryanton
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 25, 2012
In an isolated, slowly dying mining town, children are vanishing without a trace -- abducted, the townsfolk whisper, by a mysterious entity known locally as "The Tall Man."
The Tall Man's marketing people must be praying on the collective conscience of horror fans. First with its title that conjures up the legendary Angus Scrim's character, The Tall Man in the Phantasm series. It also chose the tagline, "Fear Takes A New Shape", to stick its finger right in our brain and press the Halloween trigger. That is where the similarities to a horror film end, which I found a bit of a tease as the story unfolded, as I was in for a different ride altogether.
The story follows The Town of Cold Rock's nurse Julia Denning (Jessica Biel), who has taken over for her doctor husband whopast away years earlier. We meet her in the hospital with cuts and scrapes, as she is approached by Lieutenant Dodd (Stephen McHattie- "Watchmen") and told that no one was found. We then flashback a day earlier to find Julie helping to deliver the suprise baby of a local family who has kept the pregnancy a secret, to only ship the girl and baby away right after the birth. Was it to protect the baby from The Tall Man, a myth and the depressed towns answer to the disappearance of many of its children? That evening Julia's son is taken by a figure in a robe, resembling the description of this Tall Man. She franticly puts up a chase, which leads her to the townsfolk who seem to know something she doesn't. From this point writer/director Pascal Laugier, (who's film "Martyrs" is a must see for horror/triller fans) keeps things close to his chest as the audience is thrown for many loops, leading to a reveal that is not at all what I expected.
The first act combined with its cover art, name and tagline had me enjoying and ready for the horrors that lie ahead, however, writer/director Pascal Laugier had something else in mind. Was I disappointed, yes, was it bad, no? It was actually a fresh film and story. In retrospect he did a great job keeping me away from the truth, just as the titular Tall Man has done to this town. That alone is rare in films these days, but when the movie lost its "horror" and became more of a thriller/mystery, it ruined this big momentum that it had built. The cast is strong, with Biel looking great and doing a fine job portraying her characters terror and anxiety. This one is a double edged sword that is worth a viewing but might let you down.
Violence and terror, and for language
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Tall Man creeps his way onto Blu-ray Disc from Image Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 17.4 mbps and DTS-HD MA sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps
Image does a fine job with its treatment of The Tall Man. The films Town called "Cold Rock" is a perfect name for the look as it is filmed to look cold and sterile. Colors and flesh-tones looked natural even in the cold and depressed environments. The image is oozing with fine details that are milked out of every definable object on the screen, and Impressive blacks and shadow details round off a very nice looking video presentation. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track was dynamic and bold with a smooth attack in the lower frequencies. Where the track stood out was its use of the surround channels. I got spooked a few times and looked around my room. Dialouge was always discernible and it was overall quite pleasing.
- (HD) Deleted Scene
- (HD) Visual Concepts (Concept Art)
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer & Trailer for "Lovely Molly"
Image Entertainments brings The Tall Man to Blu-ray with great A/V but a lack of special features. Knowing this one is not a horror film upfront might reward you with a better experience than it did me, and director Pascal Laugier sure does a valiant job hiding what was up the films sleeve. Jessica Biel fans will not be disappointed as she still looks like Biel , and she does a nice job flexing her um,....acting chops here. The Tall Man is worth a rental as this is a unique film that was marketed a bit different than it should have been.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS45 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
M&K S-150MKII LCR
M&K S-150T Tri-Pole Surrounds
M&K MX-350MKII Subwoofers
It's funny, because not long after the film starts, you just get the feeling something isn't quite right, but you can't put your finger on it.
Vizio P65-C1 (2016)
JBL Studio Series (Front, Center, Right), JBL 250W Sub, Kenwood Rears, Onkyo Atmos Upfiring
LG UP970 UHD Player
Nvidia Shield TV
Klipsch Synergy 3 speakers
Dual Klipsch RW 12D subs
120" 16:9 screen
Sony STR-DG 720
Panasonic BDT 460 bluray player
Panasonic PT-AE 8000u projector
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Still it has great suspense and keeps you wondering, well worth a watch.
Your review was spot on. I did not read your review until now but watched the movie last week. It is almost like two different films in one. It starts off as a horror movie and then develops into a sort of secret society mystery. The movie loses steam in the middle but In my opinion has a very satisfying ending. I enjoyed the first 45 mins or so and really liked the last 20 mins to the end.
I thought this was an interesting premise, but not particularly satisfying. Something in the execution of the story just isn't right. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Completely agree on your spoiler. But there was enough here that wouldn't add up in reality that I could forgive that one.
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