Last updated on October 5, 2019
Going from the magnificent manner by which At the Tall Grass loses its way somewhere in the midst nonetheless cheerfully takes on, I would not be shocked if manager Vincenzo Natali shrugged his off (and the movie’s ) issues by smoking some of the nice marijuana he found himself surrounded by.
Based on a novella co-written from Stephen King along with his son, Joe Hill, the newest Netflix movie fails to assemble on an excellent assumption and enjoy its characters, has trapped in a loop of its own creating. It’d be unfair to attribute Natali for extending out what’s a comparatively tight narrative to feature-length — some of the best King adaptations, such as The Shawshank Redemption, are based on short stories — but aimlessness is among its larger issues.
Frequently, maybe to beef up the runtime, Natali unleashes some genuinely surreal scene adjustments, which, although very magnificent to check at, work more as regular distractions compared to anything else. Among these, which starts with an upside-down view of this area of tall grass and mixes to a manifestation within a water droplet, is especially memorable.
However, Natali understands a thing or 2 about surreal set-ups and claustrophobic spaces; he awakened with his 1997 movie Cube, now considered as a cult classic. Like this movie, From the Tall Grass additionally traps its personalities within a deathly prison, in which they’re forced to confront personal demons, both present and past.
On a cross-country push, a pregnant girl and her companion (shown to be her brother in the future, but before letting you assume he is the dad ) cease on the street after she’s a bout of nausea.
The sibling’s dash to assist the boy, picturing him to be just a few yards from the side of the street — he seems like he is nearby — however are nearly instantly split. Within earshot of one another, they start calling outside, hoping to return without a lot of hassle. But that is when things start to take a turn for the odd. Becky and Cal soon realize that not only are their odds of locating each other getting thinner by the minute, but like the boy, but they’re now also stuck within the area of tall grass, with no escape in sight.
This section of the movie — the opening action, actually — is easily the most pleasurable. Plus it would boost your viewing experience if you should see it with some excellent headphones, or via a surround audio system. Because since the siblings start calling each other in the area, the movie’s audio design takes on an essential function. 1 second Becky is on Cal’s correct, and the second she is on his left. This inventive approach includes a rather disorientating impact on the viewer, successfully transporting you to the center of Becky and Cal’s nightmare.
But rather than doubling down with this assumption, Natali gets lost in the weeds. Time loops have been introduced, as are fresh characters along with a muddled mythology. For a movie that needs to have, ideally, been subtext such as the best King adaptations, it’s essentially a story about a bunch of people lost in a field. And since they don’t have a true character, it is rather tricky to remain invested in their peril, especially since one of these (Cal) has been quite creepy towards his sister.
For example, does the fact that it happens at a nondescript Middle America place have some significance? Is the church supposed to become a metaphor for trust or empty promises of salvation? Is the area itself a logo for the soles corners of the subconscious? These are the questions that I found myself asking throughout some of the more uneventful stretches of this movie — but there weren’t any answers available.