That Was a Dumb Movie: The Tall Man

Well, I’m back at it again. Watching movies on Netflix, and my most recent endeavor was ”The Tall Man”, a 2012 film starring Jessica Biel. Now, why I decided to watch this movie, I don’t know. Really, I thought it was a horror film, and I kind of wanted to see a scary movie, but it turned out that it was not, in fact, a horror film, it was a dumb movie.

Basically the plot of the film was that dumb stuff happened. That’s it. Just a bunch of dumb stuff happened. I can’t believe how dumb the stuff was that happened. I know I’m being pretty vague, and repeating myself about how dumb this film was, so I will go ahead an clarify why, exactly, I thought it was dumb.

Basically the plot goes like this: It was dumb. Okay, seriously… So there’s this town, Cold Rock, and some kids have been disappearing out of there. And when I say “some” kids, I mean like 20 or 30 kids. Now this is some town full of white kids in America. Think about it, if one kid disappeared the public news media and FBI would be all over it. Not to mention if two kids disappeared in the same town. But, as it were, in this town 30 kids have disappeared and everyone just sort of thinks that it’s normal. That’s just the way it is… Kids disappear. I mean seriously, if two kids disappeared in my neighborhood, I don’t think any parent would ever let their kids out of their sight. It is just plain dumb that 30 or so kids have disappeared in one small town, where there probably are only around 60 kids total. They just blame it on “The Tall Man” and forget about it. I mean it’s almost like the dark ages, when it was just normal for people to die.

The movie is so dumb in regards to small towns too. So there was no school in town. This is actually pretty normal for small towns, but you know what? In such towns there is a freaking bus that takes the kids to the nearest town that does have a school. No such luck in this town. They were just like, “No school in town… I guess are kids are just going to be dumb.” Yeah, that’s what they were like. What about the freaking president’s initiative, “No Child Left Behind?” This town was like, “We want our children left behind.” The town is supposed to be in Washington State, maybe a few hours from Seattle.

If you’ve ever read HP Lovecraft, you may be aware of the Cthulhu mythos. Lovecraft’s stories often feature towns in the middle of the good old US of A where weird stuff is going down, and no one outside of town is the wiser. I kind of consider that silly, because I really think that outside of third world civilizations everybody is pretty connected. Lovecraft’s stories take place in the early 20th century. So I kind of give his stories a pass on the whole idea of a disconnected society, even though there was newspapers and mail service back then. But ”The Tall Man” takes place in the present day. A day of the internet, a day of satellite TV, and yet for some reason this town is just completely disconnected from the rest of society. I mean, the film-makers actually tried to make it seem to be connected by playing some news footage about the disappearances, but seriously, there is no way they were as connected as all that if the whole of the FBI wasn’t scouring that town.

So, a bunch of kids disappeared. We actually find out what happened to them at the end of the movie, and it isn’t even anything too bad, but the people of Cold Rock don’t find out what happened to them. They presume that they are all dead. Of course, more dumbness comes from that presumption… Cold Rock used to be a mining town, so there are mine caverns running underground all over the area. The townsfolk… Wait, let me clarify, the ”dumb” townsfolk, presume that the bodies of the children are in the mines, but you know what they do about it? They say, “Well there are too many caves, and we’ll probably never find them.” That was their conclusion. Think about this: The caves were man-made mines. Thirty or so kids have disappeared. You get a search party of fifty people, and believe me it wouldn’t be hard to get a search party of that many people to find some missing kids, you could cover all of the mines in a matter of hours. It’s just plain dumb that they didn’t search them. They didn’t even try. They were dumb.

Of course the dumbest part was the reveal at the end. (And I’m just going to give away the film, to spare you the need to watch it.) It turns out that The Tall Man is abducting kids from poverty stricken homes and delivering them to well-off homes in the city. Yeah, that was the reveal. They were kidnapping children from their parents and giving them to different parents. Of course they brainwashed them first so that they would never tell anyone how they got abducted. One girl in the movie actually wanted to get abducted. And asked for it, then she got placed in her new home, and you know what? She isn’t happy. She’s like, “I think my life is better. It is better… Isn’t it? Isn’t it?” It was so dumb. I’m angry at how dumb this movie was.

It was totally different from what I thought it was going in. It was dumb. What’s worse, is that I knew in the first five minutes it was going to be dumb. I could just sort of tell. Little did I know just how dumb it would be. Normally, I would try to figure out just why anyone would think this film was any good, or why it got green-lit, but I can’t. I mean maybe the film-makers were trying to make a point about how everyone has the right to be a parent, even if they are poor, but really no point is made, it was too dumb to make a point. And why anyone would like it… There isn’t any reason. Unless you are a huge Jessica Biel fan, and I really don’t know of anyone that is, but there must be some since she’s been in stuff after ”7th Heaven” was cancelled. So anyway, I’ve given away the whole film, so I’ve ruined it for you, but you’re better off, since it was dumb.

6 thoughts on “That Was a Dumb Movie: The Tall Man”

  1. I was so disappointed because this director’s last film, Martyrs, was and is still considered by myself to be quite possibly the most terrifying movie I have ever seen. When I heard this director was writing and directing a new movie I was so anxious to see it. Big disappointment. Nothing like Martyrs at all. Warning, do not watch Martyrs without the knowledge that the visuals and story itself may stay with you for month and months. They still do with me.

  2. It was indeed horrible. Mostly because it was made to be a scary monster movie, and that’s what people expected. Instead it was dry, boring and had to do with a totally different topic (missing children, etc).

  3. Jessica Biel was actually pretty good, and the story had some interesting turns. I notice the critic is partial to the word “dumb.”

  4. I actually liked it a lot. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but in a good way. I just think they promoted it in a way that was intentionally misleading (so as not to give away the plot), and some people probably weren’t too happy about it.

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