Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Tall Men' (2016)
It's not a porno... sorry.
I don't wanna fucking review this movie. I don't want to give it my time. But I watched it and now I have this nagging fucking sense of duty. I don't know...
So, this movie sucked, but I'm going to grade it on a curve because it was so shoestring budget that I did actually find myself appreciating it for what it did right. This movie sowed a sense of discomfort so deep, every little thing the male lead does will cause you to cringe. This movie is so cringe-worthy, it could potentially leave permanent bitter beer face.
Jesus fucking Christ, the male lead either really does have some sort of condition, or he deserves the academy award. I hated the sense that I was somehow in the same room with him just by watching the movie.
So, here's what this movie was, and why I can sorta appreciate it for that even if it fucking annoyed me. This movie is a modern Eraserhead with more dialog. If you're not familiar with Eraserhead, it's David Lynch being weird at his finest. This movie is just like that: Weird, hard to follow, and discomforting.
The acting actually was pretty solid for shoestring. Like I said, the male lead either has a condition or is an amazing actor. The atmosphere was just so damn engrossing. Everything was off. It’s like a god damn fever dream. The colors and lighting leave you staggering to focus. It adds to the discomfort. The plot is just dumb though. It tries to be absurdist and terrifying, which could work, but really didn’t for this movie.
There was too much going on that strayed from the primary plot. The primary plot is that the male lead is a debt addict as is displayed from the opening scene where he's filing bankruptcy. He then almost immediately takes out another line of credit on a card (he can't pay off, of course), and then creepy fellows in suits start following him around menacingly. This is all supposed to be an allegory for debt slavery in America. They even dip into the conspiracy theories behind this stuff, such as lizard people running the world and shit like that.
But that's all the fucking movie needed to be about. Unfortunately, they also decided it had to be about the house being haunted and the male lead being schizophrenic. It's all spread on too thin outside the overarching plot, and really just adds needless padding to what would have been an otherwise okay movie. But they just keep dragging things along. This movie is almost two FUCKING hours long, and it's frankly from poor pacing and cutting. The movie is paced too slow, and there is a FUCK TON of needless shit that should have never made it through editing. The male lead's dead grammy? Cut it. The weird connection between the male lead's romantic interest and the painting? Cut it. Then just speed up the rest. Hasten the pace gradually until it's a cyclone of full on discord.
Then they try to pull this half, "Were there really Tall Men? Or was the actor just CRAZY?" But you can’t pull the woogy woogy here (so to speak). There is clearly some sort of outside force effecting all of the male lead's interactions, and too much on exhibit to show that there is clearly some level of conspiracy. Note that everyone who talks to him winds up with a black eye. They want to leave you guessing, but really, it's just a poor use of the trope.
What you're left with is a weird mess that drags on for too long with a dumb ending. Give it a pass.