By Matt Singer | Criticwire August 22, 2012 at 1:36PM
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "The Tall Man," the new horror film from the director of the shocking torture porn "Martyrs" -- not a touching biopic about the life of basketball player Manute Bol.
Director: Pascal Laugier
Cast: Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Jakob Davies
Official Synopsis: "In an isolated, slowly dying mining town, children are vanishing without a trace -- abducted, the townsfolk whisper, by a mysterious entity known locally as 'The Tall Man.' Town nurse Julia Denning (Jessica Biel) seems skeptical... until her young David disappears in the middle of night. Frantic to rescue the boy, Julia lives every parent's darkest nightmare in this twisting, shock-around-each-corner thriller from acclaimed director Pascal Laugier ('Martyrs') called 'The Tall Man.'"
"A strong and original genre film, crafted with skill by a filmmaker who seems well on his way to becoming one of the best."
"Fans of his earlier film may turn their nose up at this quiet, Canadian, and relatively blood-free offering from the 'Martyrs'maniac, but 'The Tall Man' is still a sly, strange and subtly engaging horror story that will no doubt leave several viewers angry, confused, or arguing on Twitter."
"Laugier's depiction of life in a depressed and despair-ridden small town is both haunting and beautiful."
"Even if much of the action makes little sense in retrospect, Laugier clearly relishes playing with audience expectations, and skillfully parses out key reveals to command interest in the continuously evolving narrative."
"I hadn’t seen Laugier’s 'Martyrs' before seeing 'The Tall Man,' so I had no expectations or preconceptions about his latest. Now having seen his previous film, it’s disappointing how much 'The Tall Man' lacks that film’s skill."
"The Tall Man" is now playing on iTunes and VOD. It opens in theaters on August 31.