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In the Tall Grass premieres its mind-bending, agoraphobic horror at Fantastic Fest

By Christian Long
In the Tall Grass

If there's a film that will make you never want to visit the country again, it's In the Tall Grass.

The film, which will debut on Netflix October 4, had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, this weekend, and spellbound the crowd with its mind-bending, agoraphobic take on horror. Based on the short story from Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, Cube director Vincenzo Natali has crafted what he teased would be "a different kind of family film" while introducing it to the crowd, which included SYFY WIRE.

Wasting no time getting into the story, the film starts with a brother/sister duo who make an unexpected pit stop while driving through Kansas. After they stop, they hear the sound of a child crying for help in a field full of ... well, tall grass. As they go in to find him, they soon find themselves separated. As they desperately start to search for one another, they run into others in the same predicament, and the field's sinister nature starts to reveal itself.

The film stars Laysla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted as the siblings; Will Buie Jr. as Tobin, the requisite creepy kid; and Patrick Wilson as Tobin's father, Ross. It's Wilson's portrayal of the mustachioed, polo-clad, quintessential suburbanite, and his occasional dad joke, that manages to be equally foreboding and campy, giving the film's typically relentless pacing just the right amount of levity.

Wilson, who joined the Q&A afterward via Skype, credited his work with James Wan on The Conjuring franchise for helping him figure out how to approach his larger-than-life character.

"You can't run from that melodrama," Wilson told the crowd. "I guess you could, but I don't. I don't think you should. We always talk about what our character's reality is. Meaning, it's not weird or campy for him, it's just ... he's just an over-the-top person, and his dialogue represents that. And Vincenzo is very clear about wanting to embrace that. You can run away from it or you can embrace it. This is the kind of film where you want to embrace it."

"It's really exciting for an actor to just dig in and chew on it," Wilson added. And it was quite clear his performance made an impression on the crowd. 

In the Tall Grass will be available to stream on Netflix from the safe confines of your home starting October 4.