To say there’s a resurgence of Stephen King adaptations the way some say would make it out like there was a drought of adaptations, which is obviously not the case. The longest gap between adaptations was 1976 to 1980 (Carrie and The Shining respectively) and also 2009 to 2013 (Dolan’s Cadilac and funnily enough, Carrie). We are running through his material at an alarming rate though, as four were made in 2017, and four were made in 2019. And depending on your own opinion, out of the 7 I’ve seen (Doctor Sleep hasn’t been released yet), 6 are great and one is mediocre – and to be fair, Pet Semetery may not be great, but it had some fun stuff.
Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who was raised in Toronto and even attended the film program at Ryerson. Either known from his features (Cube, Splice) or his television work (Hannibal, American Gods, Westworld), he has some pull in his genre work for fans to be anticipating. To produce a film for Netflix allows some more freedom as they typically don’t have to worry about who will pay to see the film, so it can get into the more crueler or bizarre moments. This was evident in Gerald’s Game and can be said about In The Tall Grass.
Cal and Becky are siblings and on their way to San Diego. Becky is pregnant and is looking for a family to adopt the baby. They stop by a field and hear a child, Tobin screaming for help, he’s lost and can’t get out. As two nice people do, they enter the field and find out why he’s lost. The field is a weird and strange entity on its own that doesn’t follow basic physics like geography standards or even time. We constantly are thrown for a strange loop as one character eventually meets one another.
There’s a lot to talk about the film’s plot, but that’s better to be experienced rather than explained. But instead, I rather discuss how it feels to be stuck and lost in the grass. The way it covers all of the actors, and us, the viewers as well. We aren’t aware of what’s around every corner, because frankly, nobody knows. There are secrets to learn, and ways to run away but Cal, Becky, and Tobin are not aware of them, so we are left guessing as well.
In The Tall Grass is a great and creepy film to jumpstart celebrating Halloween and the best month to watch horror films (trick statement, any month is the best month to watch horror films). What would be recommended is to watch the film as I was able to do so. With the lights dimmed low, and the volume up to hear every footstep as the siblings run in circles trying to find what they’re looking for. You can’t go wrong with a Stephen King (and his son Joe Hill’s) adaptation of a novella. If anything, it makes me want to read the novella as well.