Title – In the Tall Grass (2019)
Director – Vincenzo Natali (Cube)
Cast – Laysla De Oliveira, Patrick Wilson, Avery Whitted, Harrison Gilbertson
Plot – Brother and sister duo Cal (Whitted) and Becky (Oliveira) find themselves trapped in a vast field of tall grass that holds more than its fair share of horrors within.
“Is someone out there?”
Review by Eddie on 08/10/2019
By now, we as audiences are well and truly aware of the pot luck style expectations that come with any cinematic Stephen King adaptation.
From the highs to the very very lows, King feature film treatments can give us the very best and very worst of cinema, with new Netflix property In the Tall Grass one of those adaptations that shows promise but sadly falters in the majority, as its strange and unexplained concept runs out of stem early on in a visually arresting film that offers very little else in terms of memorability or recommendable aspects.
Adapted from a joint project between King and his son Joe Hill, Grass is a uniquely constructed horror setting that sees brother and sister duo Becky and Cal DeMuth enter into a seemingly innocuous Kansas state field when they hear some cries for help on the side of the highway, only to find themselves battling an evil rock, time travel occurrences and a bloodthirsty Patrick Wilson, as the duo are joined by Becky’s estranged partner Travis in a never ending grassy hell that has entrapped the group.
Directed by Cube filmmaker Vincenzo Natali, who despite adding some nice visual verve to the film here and some wince-inducing acts of horror carnage is still struggling as a director to match the highs of his 1997 breakout hit, Grass starts out promising enough as we are kept on edge with the strange occurrences going on around the DeMuth’s but as the runtime wears on and answers remain anything but forthcoming, it’s hard to enjoy much of Grass’s happenings when there’s so little care to offer any type of specific information on what is happening or why it’s happening.
There’s nothing worse than being spoon-fed information in a film like this but there’s also something to be said in a negative fashion when a film cares so little for explaining itself and after 30 to 40 minutes of an abundance of grassy shots, characters running around aimlessly in a field and gross out violence that doesn’t mean that much when characters appear to be stuck in an endless loop of horrors, Grass quickly becomes more of a chore to sit through than a ghastly enjoyable experience.
It’s an experience that feels like a missed opportunity come the end credits, for a Netflix original Grass has a nice professional feel to it and Wilson is having the time of his life playing real estate agent turned rock worshipper Ross Humboldt but the unique set-up of the film and central plotline never gets out of first gear, halting Natali’s film in its muddy tracks.
Final Say –
Fans of green grass will be in for a luscious treat in Netflix’s In the Tall Grass but despite a great start and some intriguing concepts, this is another addition to the increasingly large portion of forgettable Stephen King adaptations that failed to live up to their potential.
2 abandoned bowling alleys out of 5