Review: IN THE TALL GRASS Is A Creepy And Fun Stephen King Adaptation

FIRST IMPRESSION

An enjoyable thriller capturing the spirit of Stephen King's work, In the Tall Grass takes its creepy premise and makes a tense, nail-biting thriller out of it.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

In the Tall Grass, written and directed by Vincenzo Natali, is the latest Stephen King story to be adapted from the screen. Based on the novella by King and his son Joe Hill, this is certainly the best adaptation of the author’s work so far this year (at least until Doctor Sleep comes out) thanks to an eerie atmosphere and some committed performances.

The film tells the story of two siblings who get lost in a seemingly endless field of tall grass after hearing a young boy cry for help, ultimately coming to realize that something evil may want to hold them there forever. Despite the fact that the movie is based on a short work (only sixty pages long), the story is expanded in a way that is eerie and wholly satisfying.

That said, the film does drag quite a bit in the opening, as the characters are still trying to figure out what is happening to them. Once the rules of the grass are established and the characters start searching to find a way out, the movie becomes quite gripping. Not everything makes complete sense, but as with most stories by King, it is more about the novelty of the concept than the details.

One of the more disappointing things about this film is that it does not have anything interesting to say. Yes, there are messages about redemption and the importance of family, but those seem to be more of an afterthought in the movie. Natali’s script does seem to have drained most of the substance typical of King’s work, but at least it stays true to the messed up vision of the fan-favorite horror author.

in the tall grass day

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this film is that the character development is extremely well-done. In the beginning, it seems that the characters are going to adhere to their archetypes pretty closely, but all of them have interesting arcs that allow them to grow over the course of the story. Natali’s script takes the characters in some interesting and unexpected directions, which is quite refreshing.

The ensemble of the movie is also quite good. The lead performances from Laysla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted are both solid, but it is the supporting cast who stands out most. Patrick Wilson gives an over-the-top performance that becomes more and more fun to watch as the film progresses. Child actor Will Buie Jr. also gives a good turn, lending the movie its emotional core.

On a technical level, the film is very strong too. Since a majority of the movie takes place in grass, quite a bit had to be done with the production design and cinematography to give the film a bit of variety. For the most part, Natali and crew succeed in doing that, creating a setting that feels intimidatingly vast yet somehow also claustrophobia-inducing.

While In the Tall Grass may not be the most complex movie, it is an entertaining nail-biting chiller. After the massive disappointments that were Pet Sematary and It Chapter Two, Stephen King fans very much needed a win in 2019, and this film provides that.

In the Tall Grass is now streaming on Netflix.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Love Against All Odds | The Walking Dead

From the moment they met until now, watch Rick and Michonne's full love story and their journey together through the seasons of The Walking Dead. Watch from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFW4F9BGYQg&list=PLC7EC9FB2E211A261&index=6&t= Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TheWalkingDead #RickAndMichonne THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking…

Notes From The Field: Full Film | HBO

In this adaptation of the Off-Broadway show, playwright Anna Deavere Smith dramatizes the accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators affected by America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration. #HBO #HBOFilms Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Tony and Pulitzer Prize nominee Anna Deavere Smith brings her…

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood: The Golden Age Reimagined | The Main Titles | Netflix

The significance of HOLLYWOOD’s hopeful opening credits sequence is explored: a depiction of dreamers climbing and aiming for the stars, while never forgetting to extend a helping hand to those coming up behind them. SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

In The Dark | Season 2 Episode 9 | How To Succeed In Business Without Really Dying Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of In The Dark Fridays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/genITDyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About IN THE DARK: A flawed and irreverent blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while…

Student, Sidewalk and Misconduct Problems | Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas | Season 1 Episode 7

Wyatt Cenac talks about America's student loan crisis, tries to streamline sidewalk traffic, and examines the unsettling intersection of police and sexual misconduct. #HBO #ProblemAreas #WyattCenac Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas is also available to stream on HBO via HBO Max. Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas follows comedian and writer Wyatt…

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood: The Golden Age Reimagined | Anatomy Within a Scene | Netflix

Director Jessica Yu and her crew break down the recreation of a glamorous evening at the 1948 Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium and the crescendo of HOLLYWOOD's disparate character threads in that moment. SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

Food, Rain and Skid Row Problems | Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas | Season 1 Episode 4

Wyatt Cenac examines the various forms of sanctuary for undocumented laborers, suggests a better way for cities to handle rain, and looks at how community efforts in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles aim to decrease the police presence in the area. #HBO #ProblemAreas #WyattCenac Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Wyatt Cenac’s Problem…

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood: The Golden Age Reimagined | Overcoming History | Netflix

If movies have the ability to change the world, what would that world look like today if the industry had embraced inclusivity decades ago? The cast and crew of HOLLYWOOD discuss giving showbiz history a rewrite that declares everyone's story a valuable one. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here