Netflix film In the Tall Grass fails to capture the imagination and instead makes for a mediocre horror drama that feels longer than the alloted time.
The last time I reviewed a Stephen King related Netflix film, I gave it a confident 5 stars as it genuinely captured my imagination. I can’t say the same for In the Tall Grass, where the intrigue lasts a few moments, and then it places the audience on a generic roadmap based on some “evil lurking”.
If you are unaware of the novella that King wrote with his son, In the Tall Grass follows the story of a brother and pregnant sister that hears a young child screaming for help in a field of long grass. When they enter the field, they soon become lost, confused and unable to leave the grass.
In the Tall Grass induces the characters in deep paranoia — the longer they stay in the grass, the worse their circumstances become. The Netflix film falls into the trap of allowing the characters to continuously tell the audience the story at the start, using panicked yelps. The script was predictably going to go down this route; however, the film could have easily hammed it less and focus on the characters’ anxiety at that moment.
In the Tall Grass fails to excite a small scope, and instead makes it a mediocre horror movie for the thumbnails. I’m unaware of the source material, but some of King’s usual obsessions leak through into the story, but by the time you reach the darker moments, it is too late, you are attempting to just get to the end.
As for the performances, it’s fine from the cast but In the Tall Grass does miss a stand-out leading character that grips you emotionally. When a character is hurt in any way, it leaves you feeling void of any emotion. The main character really is the long grass, but even that is not horrifying enough to keep interest piqued.
It’s a shame. I was genuinely looking forward to this horror, but it succumbs to the usual tropes that trap most horror dramas on a yearly basis. While the story feels original, the delivery doesn’t, and that is a sensitive issue for a film based on a Stephen King story.