Movie Review: In The Tall Grass


Ava Locke, Writer

The opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the opinions, viewpoints, or beliefs of the Titan Times newspaper, Tuscarora High School or Frederick County Public Schools.

This film is not rated since it is a Netflix original but it would definitely be an R rated feature so please keep that in mind when choosing whether or not to watch it.

In The Tall Grass Movie Review

Twisted, unpredictable, gross, and unfulfilling could all be used to describe writer and director, Vincenzo Natali’s film, “In the Tall Grass”. Based on Stephen King’s novel, the canadian supernatural horror film was released late 2019. Featuring mostly small-time actors this film has a running time of almost two hours, which for this reviewer seemed like an eternity. 


The opening scene starts with two siblings, Becky and Cal Demuth riding together in the car. Becky is very obviously pregnant and it becomes apparent to the viewer that the father is not in the picture. It isn’t long until Cal has to pull over on the side of the road since Becky felt nauseous. Becky ends up throwing up. After being stopped on the side of the road and having a short heart-to-heart with Cal, they hear someone calling for help from the expanse of grass alongside the road. Long story short, both Becky and Cal end up venturing into the grass. This grass is taller than most people and unusually dense. While inside the grass they run into a family, the youngest one being Tobin who had been calling for help. Eventually it is revealed, if not already inferred that the grass is supernatural. The grass in this seemingly endless field moves, it makes it almost impossible to escape. Another element to the grass is that it causes time discrepancies, which makes it possible that individuals inside the grass can manipulate their own reality. Since they would see what had already happened  (like past versions of themselves, dead or alive), those inside the grass could re-do their actions for a presumably different outcome. If you are someone who enjoys a complex plot this film may be worth your time. 


As far as originality goes, I’ve never seen anything like it. Although just because a movie is unique does not make it valid. There were plot twists that yes, were original, but I do not feel like they were vital to the plot, and frankly were just kind of gross. We won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say, some scenes felt like they were filmed just for shock value and not to further the story. I liked the concept of the grass and how it had the ability to manipulate itself along with time but the plot got unnecessarily weird. Character development is important, to be able to see the growth beginning to end. Depending on what grosses you out, many of the themes in this film may offend your tastes. 


Some of the strengths of this film would include its cinematography. It  helps to build tone and also contributes to the overall narrative. As I was watching there were some really interesting and distinct visual perspectives. A handful of scene transitions begin or end in visually confusing shots where it takes a second or so for the viewer to realize spatially where the camera is. There was also extra emphasis on the grass compared to the dull undersaturated coloring of everything else. An eerie and foreboding tone was also conveyed with indistinct but still adds to the overall mood.


With all of this excess time that we have on our hands while being home from school and work, watching this movie might be better than doing nothing, but probably not. If you have Netflix you might have already seen it, which just proves the extent of your boredom. But, bored or not, this film is not worth the two hours of your life you’ll never get back.