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In The Tall Grass Review

by Jamie Lammers about a year ago in movie review
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Even watching this movie for fun led to a disappointing experience

This review comes from my Letterboxd profile, where I review all the movies I watch.

Before we get started, I wanted to mention that I apparently saw an extended version of the movie. Apparently, there's a 90 minute cut somewhere in existence, but the one on Netflix is 101 minutes, so... I don't really know what that says. I also wanted to mention that this is my 200th movie review on Letterboxd. My, how far we've come.

I wanted to watch this just for the heck of it because I heard how bad it supposedly was. I must admit, though, for the first half hour or so, I thought it was so much better than the 37% on Rotten Tomatoes it received. Sure, the characters were mostly uninteresting, the tension was almost nonexistent, and the plot felt cliché, but the film was still okay to watch. It was well-shot, it had an interesting idea for a premise, and the actors honestly did a pretty good job overall. However, about half an hour in, this film introduces time loops into the fray and once it does that, it completely loses all sense of logic it previously had. Seriously, for the final half hour of the movie, I couldn't stop saying to myself, "I literally don't understand what the f*** is happening." Especially for the last 15 minutes, I had to look up the synopsis on Wikipedia to figure out what the hell happened, and that synopsis made more sense than that entire last hour.

I think the movie would have been more tense if the field of grass and its ability to move people around was explained more, but the way the film was written, it just kind of... is. It's able to send people back and forth in time and location for some reason. There's a giant rock that allows people to redeem themselves for... some reason. Is the grass made of people, are there literally grass people, why does the grass convert people into a crazy version of themselves -- hell, why does the grass even have the ability to lure people in the first place? This script never takes the time to establish what this grass's powers are and when they come into effect. It just seems like characters can meet each other and find weapons and shelter and suddenly turn into villains whenever the script wants them to because why on earth not?

I was initially gonna rate this movie 3.5 stars based off of the beginning of it, but by the time it got to 30 minutes before the end of the movie, I literally couldn't understand a single thing that was going on. Therefore, I have to say that In the Tall Grass is a movie that lets down its creative premise and probably superior source material with a really unnecessarily strange movie. Like, some really f***ed up stuff happens in this movie for no reason that I can understand. I'm okay with seeing really creepy and disgusting and over-the-top and nonsensical stuff if it feels like the writers and filmmakers actually put effort into the script, but here, it doesn't feel like any effort was put into making this possessed field of grass or whatever it is feel believable. If somebody's read the original Stephen King and Joe Hill novella, please let me know how good it is in the comments because I have a pretty good feeling that whatever they wrote in that book is better than what the writers adapted into this nonsensical-in-the-bad-way movie.

Letter Grade: D+

[Dang it, I completely forgot to mention that I wouldn't have known Cal and Becky were siblings had they not explicitly stated it. I thought they were a married couple for the first twenty minutes of the movie.]

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Jamie Lammers

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