In the Tall Grass Review - Scary premise but not enough thrills

In the Tall Grass Review - Scary premise but not enough thrills

If you’re a Stephen King fan, you might find plenty of reasons to enjoy In the Tall Grass, the new horror flick from Netflix which has a scary premise to keep you invested but not enough thrills to make you quiver in your seats. Once the premise is established and the characters are introduced, the story doesn’t have enough thrills to make the experience really frightening. It’s no spine-tingly and borrows many favourite horror elements – the film is a tribute of sorts to Children of the Corn - from King’s other popular works. Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted), on their way West, stop on the side of the road as Becky’s pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. In the field of grass by the road, Becky hears a panicked child’s call for help. Becky and Cal decide to help and they wander in but can’t find him, and eventually, they too are separated and trapped with another family: Tobin (Will Buie Jr.), his father Ross (Patrick Wilson) and Natalie (Rachel Wilson). The rest of the story is about whether both the families find a way out of the grass field. Unlike most horror films, In the Tall Grass is mysterious in the way it treats the genre. It’s horror, yes, but there’s no ghost at play; instead, there’s an ancient force that uses the tall grass and traps its victims in a continuous loop. The cinematography is amazing and quite a few shots from inside the stalks of grass look unbelievably eerie, and there’s a sense of claustrophobia throughout the film. The major grouse with In the Tall Grass is that it keeps the tension to surface level and never quite explores the fear of its victims. Despite its shortcomings in writing and generating thrills, the film works mostly because of its terrific cast. Patrick Wilson, who has now become the go-to actor for horror films, is amazing as the real estate father turned mad by the grass’s evil. He almost makes a fantastic villain and if filmmakers are serious about roping him in their films, then they should make note of his deranged expressions and performance here. Going by King’s obsession with his quirky horror premises, In the Tall Grass could’ve been so much more frightening, say a la IT, but it falls short of being menacing enough. Rating: 2.5/5


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