IN THE TALL GRASS is a Netflix horror thriller based on the short story by Stephen King and Joe Hill. Also, it’s directed by the man who made the awesome sci-fi horror movie Cube (1997). Read more about this new Netflix horror movie in our full In the Tall Grass review here!
In the Tall Grass is a Netflix horror thriller that is sure to keep you from wandering into fields. It’s based on the short story by Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. The director is Vincenzo Natali, who directed the sci-fi horror movie Cube from 1997.
These facts alone are enough to get my expectations up for something great. Unfortunately, the result isn’t what I hoped for.
This Netflix movie is definitely worth watching, but you really need to set your expectations accordingly. The issues begin for me, when one of the lead characters seem to suddenly act in a very dramatic manor. Literally from one scene to the next, which just threw me off. All I was left with was the feeling of “Well, that escalated quickly” and that’s not a good thing in this case.
Find out more in the rest of our In the Tall Grass review below.
A small, but solid, cast
When the story of In the Tall Grass begins, we have all the makings of a solid horror thriller. Especially due to the fact that the characters act in believable (and understandable) ways. Of course you’ll try to help a small boy crying for help in a field. Sure, you can’t see him, but it’s a bright and sunny day and you can hear how close he is.
Unfortunately, that’s how you get lured into the tall grass, but it is very smart in that sense.
Also, the nature of the story means the cast of In the Tall Grass is pretty small. This is a good thing since we need to understand the various characters. It does turn into a game of survival which means you see everyone’s true nature. Some people try to keep loved ones safe, when their lives are threatened. Others are ready to do anything to survive and fulfill their own goals.
The hightlight for me was everyone’s (and particularly James Wan’s) horror darling, Patrick Wilson. In this Netflix movie, Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring and Insidious) plays the family man, Ross. He has a lot of good scenes and Patrick Wilson knows how to plays characters that you never quite know what to expect from.
All the actors do a pretty good job, but I would like to highlight Harrison Gilbertson as Travis. You’ll probably recognize him from horror movies like Look Away or Haunt (2014). Or maybe from the Leigh Whannel’s sci-fi thriller Upgrade.
The ending of In the Tall Grass
Director Vincenzo Natali also wrote the screenplay for In the Tall Grass, which is based on the short story (or novella, if you will) by Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. However, we all know that not everything that comes from the wonderfully twisted minds of Stephen King (or Joe Hill, for that matter) can be shown on the screen.
Still, I have to admit I was not crazy about the ending of In the Tall Grass. On the positive side, it has been changed from the original short story to create something new. The positive aspect of this, is that if you’re familiar with the short story, then the ending of this Netflix movie can still be a surprise for you.
The novella was originally published in two parts in Esquire magazine during the Summer of 2012. In October of that same year, it was also released as an audiobook and as an e-book.
For me, the In the Tall Grass ending is just too easy and simple. Very unlike most stories from Stephen King and Joe Hill. Both of whom are authors I adore, so I do tend to buy and read every new book either releases. Unfortunately, I think most horror fans will feel the same way about this ending, but maybe you will be pleasantly surprised. To each their own, after all.
Watch In the Tall Grass on Netflix
As mentioned earlier, In the Tall Grass is directed by Vincenzo Natali. He is a pretty awesome genre director, who made the sci-fi horror movie Cube which is like Saw meets Escape Room but made years before either of those two. Also, he directed the sci-fi horror movie Splice which is very underappreciated.
In recent years, Vincenzo Natali has been directing episodes of some brilliant TV series. These include Westworld, The Strain and Hannibal. In other words, he is still very much focused on producing content for our beloved genres.
While I wasn’t crazy about the ending of In the Tall Grass, I do feel that the movie itself had quite a lot of interesting and crazy moments – in a good way, obviously. My issue with the overall plot development is that is goes around in circles for far too long. Sure, the characters experience this as well, but they’re in the middle of a real nightmare and we’re just watching from the safety of our home. Unfortunately, their intense fear didn’t always hit me.
I can’t help but think that Mike Flanagan could’ve gotten something more out of this story. Afterall, he did a really good job with Gerald’s Game which is also confined to a very small area. However, Mike Flanagan has been busy adapting another Stephen King book. He’s the director of Doctor Sleep which is the sequel to the iconic The Shining.
Also, in the world of Netflix, Mike Flanagan is working on The Haunting of Bly Manor which is the follow up season to The Haunting of Hill House. I certainly wouldn’t want anything more to distract him from that. Don’t miss out on In the Tall Grass, just set your expectations accordingly. Basically, don’t expect too much.
In the Tall Grass is out on Netflix globally from October 4, 2019.
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writers: Vincenzo Natali, Stephen King, Joe Hill
Stars: Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson, Will Buie Jr., Harrison Gilbertson, Rachel Wilson
After hearing a boy’s cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother wade into a vast field of grass, only to discover there may be no way out.