By: Amanda Holt
Movie: In The Tall Grass
Rating: 3.5/4 Stars
Movies to Watch Before: none
Stephan King is the master of horror but it also the master of having movie adaptations that are either bad or amazing. We are all familiar with IT (2019), The Shining, and Carrie as some of his best movie adaptations. In The Tall Grass is an adaptation of In The Tall Grass by Stephan King and Joe Hill. This book is a novella and has only 80 pages in all.
Plot: This movie was confusing but in a good way. We all know Stephan King is good with horror that is not clear from the start and this was no different. It starts pretty explanatorily- a sister and brother on their way to San Diego stop in the middle of nowhere and hear a young boy asking for help in a field of grass. The siblings go into the grass to help and end up losing each other, only to start to notice they can’t seem to find each other or the exit. As the movie starts to add more characters and a few plot twists, the ending is foggier and the viewer and left wondering what is happening. I think that it is fun to not know what is happening because it makes you more engaged and keeps you watching.
Cast: The cast was mostly unknown actors (at least I had never seen them). Patrick Wilson is a character and he is known for his roles in The Conjuring films and Insidious, but he was the only one I could pick out. I think that all the actors in this film did a great job in their roles and they are not as one dimensional as some horror characters are. The standout role was Will Buie Jr. who plays Tobin, a young boy whose family got lost in the grass. His character does a great job of making you feel sad and anxious because he is so young and scared, it tugs at the heart. As the film goes on Tobin sees things that no little kid should see and it makes the film all the scarier.
The Tall Grass: The villain in this film is a couple of things, but since this is spoiler-free, I will focus on the grass. Stephan King has made cars scary in Christine, dogs scary in Kujo and Alfred Hitchcock has made birds scary in The Birds. Making everyday objects is not that easy, as shown in The Happening when M. Night Shyamalan tries to make trees scary. So did this film make grass scary? I would say so. The grass acts like a maze, where you can see what’s in front of you and you lose track of where you are. I think that it is creative to use a field of grass as a setting of horror. What makes it even scarier for us Midwesterners is that this movie takes place in Kansas and I know I have seen many grass and cornfields driving through Kansas. It makes me rethink what may be hiding in there.
Technical Aspects: The filmography is nothing too special, but some moments are haunting. I can’t say too much because spoilers, but when some certain shots are shown, your skin crawls and your stomach drops. There isn’t too much gore either, besides some violence and dead bodies, but is nothing too graphic. I think all of it made sense in the context of the movie. The score was also nothing that stood out too much, but that’s not a bad thing. It means that it fits the movie and didn’t distract from the action.
Horror: The horror in this movie was pretty good. I think it was cheesy at parts and definitely could have been a little more creative with things, but overall it made me scared. If you let yourself be scared and don’t think too hard into the scares, it will creep you out. I think that the scares were less scary at the end because there was not much else to figure out and it turned into a thriller. That is a fault of most horror, so I can’t fault too much there. The ending was a happy one but still left questions, but I think that is a good thing. I haven’t read the novella, but knowing Stephan King he probably didn’t make the ending so happy.
Overall this movie gets 3.5/5 stars from me. It’s a great Halloween watch, but nothing too new and original in there. As a horror lover, I think it did its job of being creepy and making you guess until the end. I think that the actors carried the plot and made the movie so good. If the actors were bad the movie would have not been strong enough and the plot would have been boring. I recommend this movie to all and hope you all like it as much as I did.