If you must go in, take a machete Or maybe an elephant
Siblings, Cal and Becky, are on a road trip to San Diego where the pregnant Becky plans to live with her aunt until she gives birth. They stop by the side of the road and hear a young boy calling for help in an overgrown field. Cal goes into the field to help the boy, who sounds nearby, but quickly becomes lost. Becky goes in after Cal, and they find themselves disoriented and unable to find the road or each other.
Several months later, Becky's boyfriend, Travis, comes looking for her, and seeing her car parked at the church opposite the field, he stops to investigate. The three of them are lost in the grass along with Tobin, the boy Cal heard, Tobin's parents, and his dog Freddy. Time doesn't seem to move in a straight line, and there are horrors in the grass, including a mysterious rock decorated with ancient carvings.
In The Tall Grass is a Canadian horror film directed by Vincenzo Natali (director of the groundbreaking low budget horror film Cube, the surreal comedy Nothing, and the disappointing cyberpunk film Cypher). It stars Laysla De Oliveira (who plays Dodge in the upcoming series Locke and Key) as Becky, and Avery Whitted as Cal. Patrick Wilson (of Hard Candy and Aquaman) plays Tobin's father, Ross, and Harrison Gilbertson is Travis.
If I had realised that this film was based on a novella written by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill I probably would have avoided it because I have never liked Stephen King's work. No offence meant to his fans, and I know they are many, he's just not my cup of tea. But since I didn't do my homework before watching this I went in without much in the way of expectations. That was probably for the best as it meant I was open to at least trying to enjoy the plot instead of just waiting for Stephen King to Stephen King it up. Apparently the ending is quite different from that of the novella, but not having read it I can't tell you whether that's a good thing or not. The ending does however, make more sense than that of a lot of Stephen King stories I've come across.
The film has a thought-provoking premise, a confusing plot and a somewhat ambiguous ending. It is certainly scary in parts, with the claustrophobic setting and mysterious threats. There's also an especially disturbing scene that makes this movie definitely not for pregnant women. The performances are solid and there is some nifty cinematography. I thought the story dragged on a bit longer than necessary, but I liked the way it ended.