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Review The Tall Man (2012)

genre: mystery, thriller

For the most part The Tall Man manages to maintain suspense and offers a few trilling moments. Nothing is what it seems and keeps you guessing which I liked. In the third act however it goes wrong. At a certain point it is obvious what has happened. Even when the whole idea is far fetched and over the top. But it doesn't stop the director from trying to trick and mislead the viewer one last time. Normally I applaud misdirection if it is satisfying. The only thing it accomplished was annoyance. Which brings me to the ending. After the decent twists, turns and thrills it feels underwhelming to say the least. My biggest issue with the conclusion is that it is pretentious. For some reason the director wants to convey a message. Nothing wrong with that if it is effective. Here it simply is too much in your face without actually explaining or presenting the issues that seem to exist. Sure in the grand scale of things it is understandable. But in the world he created on screen it is not made apparent why this message is so important to him personally and that it needs to be told. To make matters worse he ends the movie with the narrator asking the audience three times if we agree on what is said, making the message ambiguous. First Pascal Laugier bothers us with this statement only to retract it later on as if he wasn't sure himself. It always feels like a cop out when a director doesn't make a stand. If you need to address something make your point and stand behind it. If you only address a rather obvious issue without adding your personal view on it just to make a film appear more interesting than in my opinion you are a bad film maker. Especially since The Tall Man without the pretentious message would have been a really good one. Overall not a bad watch if you manage to overlook the weak ending.

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