Movie Review: In the Tall Grass (2019)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2019 thriller based on a Stephen King novella and starring Laysla De Oliveira.

Synopsis: While driving to San Diego with her brother, Cal, Becky Demuth gets sick and they need to pull over on the side of the road. When they hear a child calling for help from the nearby tall grass, they decide to find him. However, when they get separated and can't find each other or the road, it becomes apparent there is something else going on.


Between taking one of our cats to the vet and putting in new baseboards in our kitchen and living room, my wife and I had a somewhat full day Saturday and, by that evening, were pretty much too exhausted to do much more than watch a movie.

I had seen this movie on Netflix a few days ago and thought it looked interesting. So, mostly because I didn't want to spend an hour scrolling through movies and trying to find another alternative, picked it to watch. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping it would be.

I think the biggest problem with this film (and possibly the book it is based off of) is it tried to do too much. The basic premise about people getting lost in a field full of grass was somewhat interesting at first. But, as the film progressed and the plot was expanded to include everything from a mysterious rock, a bizarre time loop and an apparent religious subtext, I quickly found myself losing interest.

Ultimately, as I watched this movie, I felt as though there was some other part of the story that wasn't being told or was being explained poorly. A good example of this would be the two abandoned buildings located near (or in) the field of grass, a bowling alley and a church. In the movie, they weren't much more than buildings. But, I feel as though there was something about them that was supposed to be more interesting about them. Of course, I could be wrong.

The film also seemed to introduce potentially interesting topics only to quickly back off as though it were afraid to expand on them. This includes hinting at Cal's (Whitted) implied incestuous intentions toward his sister (De Oliveira) and a scene involving a baby being eaten that, without better explanation, honestly just seemed as though it was thrown in for the blood/gore.

In the Tall Grass (Kindle Single)

Now a major motion picture streaming on Netflix! Mile 81 meets “N.” in this novella collaboration between Stephen King and Joe Hill. As USA TODAY said of Stephen King’s Mile 81:...

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Final Opinion

Sometimes movies based on books just don't work out. And, unfortunately, I think that wound up being the case with this film. It had a good premise but just failed to deliver.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 10/14/2019, StevenHelmer
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