The movie “In the Tall Grass” provides an innovative take on psychological horror through the story of six people who are trapped in a mysterious field of tall grass by evil forces. Although this plot sounds a bit bizarre, I actually enjoyed the movie’s sense of mystery.
The story begins with Becky, who is six months pregnant, and her brother, Cal, as they take a road trip to Santa Barbara. They stop along the road upon hearing a young boy yell for help inside of the grass. His yelling motivates them to enter the vast field where they soon become separated and trapped along with Travis, the father of Becky’s child. Strange objects abound, including a rock that controls people and is able to change the maze’s path to trap the characters. The boulder and the lore behind the grass are my favorite parts of the movie because they add tension and curiosity to the film.
The movie also explores elements of time travel, which characters use to warn their past selves of things to come. This time loop allows the characters to come back to life after they die, although they wake at a different time. This element adds a great deal of suspense to the film.
The only aspect of this movie I didn’t really enjoy watching was the relationships between Becky, Cal and Travis, the three central characters. Becky and Cal’s incestuous bond creates another level of horror as the viewer has to watch Cal attempt to manipulate Becky because of his love for her. This dynamic is definitely off-putting, which adds to the elements of unease in the movie. This relationship enables the film to explore Cal’s jealousy and Becky’s forced choice between Cal and Travis as a result of her brother’s controlling actions, but these interpersonal struggles often feel cliché. This issue wasn’t enough to make the movie unenjoyable, but it was frustrating that a movie with so much innovation and world-building still relied on worn-out tropes of a woman’s choice between two male characters as a major plot device.
Overall, I would rate this movie a 9/10 because of its interesting ideas, tension, and storytelling. I would recommend watching this movie with friends during a sleepover so that you can all try to predict what will happen next.