Pascal Laugier is synonymous with stomach-churning terror, so his new flick must be seriously scary, right?
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Pascal Laugier is about to release his first English-language film, The Tall Man.
If you've ever seen Martyrs, you'll know that this is something to get excited about.
Few flicks are as horrific or terrifying or nauseating or divisive as Martyrs managed to be, so hopefully The Tall Man will replicate its sense of oppressive, redemption-free despair.
Fortunately, we're about to find out.
The first international trailer for The Tall Man has just been released, and it's bound to be a stomach-churning ride.
I can barely bring myself to watch it, for fear that it'll be just as grisly as Martyrs and I'll end up screaming, fainting or losing control of my bladder.
Still, let's all be brave and dive in …
1) This is already terrifying.
Here, Jessica Biel knocks on the bedroom door of her young son.
God knows what's happening behind that door.
Maybe he's being tortured in graphic detail, or he's been possessed by a grotesque manifestation of all his wordless infant fears.
Either way, it's bound to be endlessly harrowing.
Oh God, I can't watch. 2) Oh no, wait, it's fine.
He just wanted to give his mum a hug.
Panic over everyone.
But surely this is just a red herring to lull us into a false sense of security? The next scene will be extra vile, mark my words. 3) Alternatively, the next scene will be of Biel and her son gooning around on the floor in a pair of funny hats.
But the terror will come.
Of course it'll come.
This is a Pascal Laugier film, after all. 4) There, see? There has been a spate of missing children in Biel's town.
This is where The Tall Man will get good.
Who's been abducting these kids? A child-crucifying cult? A deformed supernatural being? Here we go – sickbags at the ready, everyone. 5) It turns out that the figure behind the abductions is the Tall Man – a shadowy figure who may or may not actually exist.
The problem is that nobody has ever seen him.
And they probably never will, unless he actually abducts Biel's son.
But that's not likely to happen, because an iconoclastic boundary-pusher such as Pascal Laugier wouldn't dream of bowing to such leaden convention. 6) Except, here's the Tall Man abducting Jessica Biel's son.
Forget anything I just said. 7) Still, at least this way Biel can go and find the Tall Man.
Now the trailer's bound to kick up a gear – perhaps she'll uncover a shadowy conspiracy of brutality and close-up violence.
Perhaps she'll witness something so stomach-churning that she'll learn an indelible lesson about the dark core at the heart of humanity.
Perhaps now The Tall Man will finally reveal itself as the equal to Martyrs. 8) Or perhaps Jessica Biel will just fall in a puddle instead.
Actually, you know what? For a horror film, The Tall Man isn't very scary, is it? You have one last chance to redeem yourself, The Tall Man, otherwise you're going to be remembered as a flick about Jessica Biel in a funny hat falling in a puddle and hugging her son.
Do your worst. 9) That's it? You're just going to drag Biel behind a truck, like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark? Enough, The Tall Man.
HorrorStuart Heritageguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
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