Film Corner: In The Tall Grass

In The Tall Grass

Ok, I'm laid up again so #AnaWatches is a go. We're gonna try IN THE TALL GRASS on Netflix which looks Stephen Kingy although hopefully without domestic violence. (I liked the Children of the Corn movie and was *furious* when I read the story and the dude hits his wife. Burn in hell, asshole. Like, I figured out how to return a kindle book over that. It's not a minor character flaw in an otherwise good person.)

Anyway, a man and his pregnant wife are driving beside a cornfield. He seems really nice and loving. Over/under on him surviving to the credits? They pull over so she can puke and she hears a little boy calling for help in the cornfield. Her husband supports her desire to help the kid, which is a nice change of pace. I'm torn because I like helping kids but I'm terrified of cornfields.

IS corn grass? @RiffTrax solved this once, but I don't remember the answer.

The kid yells that he's been "stuck in here for days" and a frightened woman's voice yells for him to stop calling out for help. Yeah, I'd be driving away now. The sweet husband playfully plunges in to find the kid. This poor man. He left his glasses in the car, this will not end well for him. Horror movies always kill the glasses-wearers.

Now the couple are separated and her voice keeps changing directions even though she's standing still. Becky is found by a man who says he's the lost boy's daddy. He tells her to follow him if she wants to get out of here. This is both comforting and terrifying. Oh. They're...siblings and not married. Boy, I massively misread that relationship I guess.

A small child finds Cal and tells him you can find things in here but it's easier if they're dead and that's not terrifying as fuck. Children are creepy. The creepy child tells Cal that Becky, his sister, will die soon and that the Rock knows everything and does Cal want to come see. Cal doesn't really have a choice except to follow. I'd just die on the spot, to be contrary. Like, you want to fuck with me, eldritch corn gods? HAVE FUN DOING THAT WHEN I'M DEAD. So there.

A jump scare of some sort has occurred. It occurred right after Becky found a fanny pack with spilled medication bottles, medical scissors, and some bloody hair. Probably not important. Cal does indeed find an impressive rock that might be from space or something. It makes Tobin shivery when he touches it. Cal is about to try when Becky starts screaming GET AWAY FROM ME and Cal throws himself back into the grass.

Smash cut to day. A young man who looks younger than the milk in my fridge (god I feel old sometimes) is driving along looking for Becky. I assume he's the Father of her fetus. He notices their abandoned car at the ye olde Church of the Black Rock and really that's your first sign to turn around and leave the movie. Jesus, even the stained glass windows in the church look like grass. Real subtle, guys.

Sperm Donor here has smoked twice already so I'm assuming he's gonna burn the corn field down in the climax. Like. Look. You find your girlfriend's abandoned car and her book by the side of a corn field and you just... walk in? This guy seems well aware that he's in a horror movie but thinks he just has to soldier on regardless. It's almost admirable I guess?

He tries to make knots in the corn stalks so he can find his way back out but the field is literally teleporting him around, based on the position of the sun. So that's a thing. Sperm eventually lays down to go to sleep but big-eyed Tobin creepy kid is there to whisper meaningfully at him. Kid insists that Travis (sperm donor) knows him, so Tobin is either him from the past, or a grown-up version of the fetus, or idk.

Travis finds dead Becky with Tobin's help and yeah, uh, she looks pretty flat-stomached? Idk, guys. I didn't expect Weird Pregnancy Horror. The next day, a screaming Travis lures... a non-disheveled Tobin, Freddy, Mom, and Dad into the corn field. So we have time-travel shenanigans happening now. Becky is alive again. I don't really understand why. Time keeps looping.

They're all four together, though (Cal, Becky, Travis, and Tobin) and wisely using the old kid-on-the-shoulders trick to navigate through the grass. Becky and Travis reconnect over her tummy while Cal glowers and this is probably supposed to be worrying but I'd glower at the guy who left my sister preggers too. Then we get a phone call of Becky yelling "don't let Cal hurt Travis" just to drive home the foreshadowing I guess.

Weird Pregnancy Magic is happening again. It's just- Nobody can ever just BE pregnant in a horror movie, can they? The fetus has to be magically sped up or miscarried by corn magic or something. We met Realtor Guy Ross again and, again, he claims to know how to navigate the field. Since he also found the Big Rock earlier I'm assuming that he's possessed by corn demons or something.

Like, he's so cheerfully possessed that I'm a little upset the protagonists aren't being a little more stern about asking who the hell he is and why he supposedly knows the way out. Oh no, he's religious and in a Stephen King novel. That's not a good-- YUP, he took them to the Big Rock. He wants them to touch the Big Rock--which is apparently just short of orgasmic, at the center of the United States, and possibly a Magic Indigenous Rock (sigh)--but his wife runs into the clearing and says he's a liar and not to trust him. Checks out.

Ross is monologueing about how the Rock is god. Travis tells Ross to let his wife and son go so they can all leave without him. Ross says "or what" and the wind which has been constantly moving the grass just STOPS. That's terrifying. Oh, well, there's the domestic violence you've all been warning me about. Sigh. At least it was a villain and not the supposed protagonist.

There's a lot of good creepy elements here? Being killed inches away from five other versions of yourself, all of which were killed previously is pretty cool from a horror perspective? But it's not really coming together well for me, probably because everyone is terribly unlikable.

The baby is coming 3 months early but it's probably corn magic? I don't even know. Men seem to think fetuses can be delivered 8 months early and it's fine. Oh, lol, OF COURSE there's a pit of living babies under the Magic Rock. Jesus, christ this movie is like a pizza cutter. All edge, no point.

...This is officially the most pointless stupid movie I've ever watched and I do not recommend it. I ANTI-RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE. It's shit. The ending: Travis kills Ross and willingly puts his hand on the Rock in order to find the way out. He then sends Tobin back in time to keep Becky and Cal from going inside. Becky decides to keep her baby. (You're supposed to care about that because of patriarchy I think.)

There were some interesting horror ideas in this but it was put together in the worst possible way, and I can't find any actual theme in the movie unless you want to embrace some kind of anti-choice message. Like, I'm not saying that WAS the message, just that that's the only one I can find under all the babies.


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