Friday, August 31, 2012


“… I love the idea that my film is very hard to put a label on, but I’m also very aware that some people will obviously be disappointed by the content of The Tall Man and this is something I can’t do anything about if I offend them.
"But again, I love the films of the ‘70’s, where movies were much more difficult to put a label on. They were just choosing some genre and some archetypes of the genre as a way to express themselves and a way to share a vision. That’s something I want to go for, the kind of cinema I still want to do.
"As a member of the audience I’m so fed up with formulas. It’s always the same thing and I hate that. I’m turning forty and I don’t want to be told what I’m supposed to think and feel when I’m watching a movie. I love films that constantly have levels of complexity. That’s something I try to give back to the audience with my movies, so I know that probably won’t help commercially, but I also hope it will make the movies last in the audience’s mind.
"That’s my only ambition.”

Pascal Laugier’s words* on his latest film, The Tall Man (also known as The Secret in certain territories); Laugier’s name should be familiar to hardcore horrorhounds from his wrenchingly disturbing Martyrs.
Now, while The Tall Man is a different sort of film from Martyrs--the kind of film that is a horror film, but not in the usual way that term is defined by Hollywood (thus, its consideration here, outside of the whole ¡Qué Horror! crush)--it does share Laugier’s tendency to present you with one thing, then have it turn into something else as the narrative unspools; that “something else” being post-film discussion/debate-worthy.
Ostensibly, The Tall Man has a de-glammed Jessica Biel lose her son to an abductor, apparently the eponymous “Tall Man.” Suffice it to say though, that that’s merely the narrative springboard from which Laugier catapults into… something else.
If you’re the sort who likes to be surprised by film (and to have the medium challenge your beliefs and worldview), instead of the sort who likes to be comforted by getting exactly what they expect from a trailer, then The Tall Man should be of interest.

* From an interview with Ain’t It Cool’s Ambush Bug.

(The Tall Man and The Secret OS’ courtesy of

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