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Film / The Tall Man

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The Tall Man is a 2012 English-language French mystery film written and directed by Pascal Laugier, and starring Jessica Biel (also one of the twelve executive producers credited) and Jodelle Ferland. In the small mining town of Cold Rock children are disappearing on a regular basis, and the abductions are blamed on a local legend called "the Tall Man." Jessica Biel plays a nurse whose own son disappears, leading her to seek out the mystery of the Tall Man.

The film is known for bearing some similarities to The Slender Man Mythos, with a tall shady figure who gets connected to the strange disappearances of children. That's about as similar as it gets, as the reality is much different.

The Tall Man Provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Jodelle Ferland is yet another Creepy Child in a horror/suspense film that likes to draw pictures constantly.
  • Anti-Villain: Julia, her husband and the whole "Tall Man'' organization. They kidnap the town's children...but only because they want to save them from poverty and abuse and give them better lives.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Everyone in town regards Ms. Johnson as such, since her son was taken long ago and she adamantly believes the mythical Tall Man took him. Turns out she was right.
  • Domestic Abuse: Jenny's mother's boyfriend is constantly drunk, and near the end he hits her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Julia stays behind and gets arrested, telling the police that the children that were kidnapped and given to "The Tall Man" are all dead and buried in the forest and tunnel network, so she can protect the organization she works for, knowing that she faces a cruel fate in prison.
  • The Kindnapper: The "Tall Man" organization doesn't want to hurt the kids, they want to make sure they will be raised in loving families. Julia's husband even says they are "rescuing" the children.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers give the impression the film is a supernatural horror about a Slenderman-like entity who kidnaps children, with the main protagonist investigating after her own son is snatched. It's actually a far more mundane thriller about a secret organisation who kidnaps children from abusive and/or impoverished families and gives them to families who will look after them; the protagonist is a member of said organisation and her 'son' is actually a boy she has kidnapped, whose mother was trying to take him back.
  • The Reveal: The Tall Man that is supposedly seen by the townspeople is actually Julia's late husband.
  • The Voiceless: Jodelle Ferland's character, Jenny, can speak — she just doesn't at first. It appears to be because she's dealing with a speech impediment, since Julia mentions she goes to speech therapy. Once she's adopted it appears this was overcome, since she then does speak normally.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: The final scene of Jenny narrating, has her wondering to the audience if leaving her family for a new one was really the right choice in the end.
  • Wham Line:
    • David, to Mrs. Johnson: "Mommy!"
    • Jenny, as Vera: "I'll be right there!"
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The whole "Tall Man'' organization is basically a group of well intentioned extremists who kidnap children from abusive and/or impoverished families and relocates them to better off ones to give them a new good life.