Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Tall Man (Pascual Laugier, 2012)

Pascual Laugier made a splash on the international film scene in 2008 with his rapaciously brutal horror epic Martyrs. It was one of the most controversial films of the year. It was also a film attempting to reach for something much more than the average gore soaked fare it was lumped in with by many critics. Whether or not it managed to grasp what it was reaching for is largely subjective, based on what exactly the viewer was bringing into the film. (Note: In the interest of both transparency and to let readers know what I thought of the film, my review for Martyrs can be found here, and I can also tell you it made my list of the fifty best horror films of the decade and the list of the seventy-five best films of the decade. I'm an enthusiastic fan.) Laugier was lauded and lambasted, in classic faux-outrage fashion, for the films gore, it's graphic depiction of violence and it's general idea. He did not develop an immediately warm and cozy relationship with either the film press or the critical community.

With his English language debut The Tall Man (originally and more aptly titled The Secret), Laugier makes one thing very clear. He's not interested in making standard horror films. In what might be a feat of imagination in today's film and general media environment, he may have also developed a new storytelling structure or a new formula. Martyrs and The Tall Man, have their basic structure in common, but the films are extremely different in every other way.