Plot: Terrence (Dan Crisafulli) was over eighty-thousand dollars in debt, but he was able to take bankruptcy and get a fresh start. The pressure remains intense however, thanks to Terrence’s mental health issues that seem to never let up. So even though he still has a home and a job, he is wracked with stress and feels on the brink. His mind seems to be playing tricks on him for example, as he sees figures for a moment, but then they vanish when he looks a second time. Soon he begins to receive offers in the mail for a credit card known simply as The Card. He ignores the offers at first, but after a while, he gives in and fills out an application. As it turns out, he is glad to have gotten The Card, as his car breaks down and he is able to purchase a replacement, when otherwise, he would have been out of luck. Then the bill comes. The car was six thousand dollars, but his bill is for over thirty-thousand, due in full by the month’s end. It seems Terrence didn’t read the fine print and now he faces some serious problems. With no way to come up with the cash, what will become of Terrence and The Card?
Entertainment Value: The stresses of financial affairs can be immense and while not universal, most people endure those stresses at some point in life. Tall Men takes a look at financial horror as part of a larger picture, as one man struggles to keep his life under control while battling mental illness. The story is one I think most can relate to, the lure of credit cards and the hole you can get yourself into, so that is a good base from which to unspool this narrative. Dan Crisafulli is quite good in the lead, with a total sense of desperation evident throughout his performance. He is worn down, broken down, and exhausted, just as the character needs to be. As he carries much of the movie, he needed to be up to the task and he is and then some. The rest of the cast is also fine, with mostly colorful folks that surround Terrence. I thought the used car salesman was hilarious, for example. The movie has great atmosphere and ample dread, but does run slow for long stretches. At over two hours, perhaps a little more active edit would have helped, but even with the pacing issues, the movie works. I think Tall Men would interest horror fans and anyone into dark, oppressive dramas.
No nakedness. There’s some blood, but it is aftermath bloodshed, we never see the actual violence on screen. There’s also some makeup work done to make certain characters look dead or undead, which look cool. The lack of gore isn’t an issue, since this is a more of a dark drama than straight up horror movie. Also, while most of the artwork used to promote this movie features some dudes who look like Slenderman, that’s not how they look in the movie. They’re just tall guys in suits with blurred faces, so don’t come in expecting some Slenderman hijinks. The dialogue here is mostly serious and while decently written, doesn’t provide many memorable lines. Some crazy folks involved, but the dialogue never gets that wacky. Terrence’s male friend is played by an actor who likes to oddly space the words in his lines, which is a little fun. The premise here earns a crazy point, but aside from some mildly creepy bad guys, that’s about all the craziness here. Well and when the dude forgot the cribbage board, right?
Overall Insanity: 1/10