I've got a bit of ground to make up tonight, since I pretty much struck out on my Halloween entertainment last night. The horror movie I watched turned out to not be a horror movie, and the short story I read turned out to be slightly supernatural, but not in any way meant to be creepy or spooky.
The director of The Tall Man, Pascal Laugier, had previously helmed the notorious Martyrs, one of the most well known of the recent wave of French Extreme Horror. Martyrs is a type of horror I'm not a big fan of, full of degradation and torture and sexual violence, but at least addressed those topics in a way that raised questions about why people are drawn to that style of entertainment. The audience was implicated in the violence as much as the perpetrators on screen. Likewise, the story of The Tall Man centered around a small, isolated community in the Pacific Northwest that is known primarily for the high poverty rate and large amount of child abductions, attributed to an urban legend known as The Tall Man. The film had all the hallmarks of a horror film, but really only classified as a thriller. The film concerns Jessica Biel as a woman whose child is abducted, and begins a frantic race through the woods and backroads to try and get him back. It's directed with a nice visual style, although the stylized lighting and camera movements can make it all look slightly fake at times(although there was only ever one moment where I was certain I was looking at CGI).
About halfway through the film Amber asked me a question and my only response was 'I have no idea what the fuck is going on in this film.' That's not a complaint. I actually enjoyed this film for the most part, though I'm still trying to decide how I feel about the last act of the film, and would have some reservations recommending it.
The story I read last night(still from 20th Century Ghosts) was entitled Pop Art. It's not a spooky tale at all. It's almost like a Roald Dahl book, or a story for more adventurous children. It hinges on one truly ridiculous conceit, and then just assumes the reader will accept this one change to the reality we all know. It was good, but not really keeping with the theme of the month. I'll have to make up for it tonight with some Tales From The Crypt and a true ghost story.