Peter Cushing made a living and defined his legacy as a horror icon by “classing up” B-movie productions. He’d show up, looking and sounding like the smartest man in the room, and suddenly even the most ridiculous scenario made perfect, logical sense. If he believes it, then you believe it!
I wouldn’t have pegged Patrick Wilson as the American answer to Peter Cushing, but here we are. After lending his “intelligent everyman” qualities to the Insidious series, the Conjuring series, and Bone Tomahawk, the talented actor has joined another horror movie: Netflix’s adaptation of Stephen King and Joe Hill‘s short story In the Tall Grass. And man-oh-man, this movie is going to be…something else.
Deadline has the news of the casting – Patrick Wilson will be joined in the film by Laysla De Oliveira and Harrison Gilbertson (Wilson is actually stepping in for James Marsden, who departed the project following scheduling issues). It hasn’t been revealed who is playing who, but we can safely assume that Wilson and De Oliveira will be playing Cal and Becky Demuth, a brother and sister who embark on a road trip, stop at an abandoned rest stop, hear a young boy crying for help in the nearby tall grass, venture inside, and…
Well, let’s just say some really gnarly stuff happens and I’m shocked that people are actually funding this thing. Good on you, Netflix. Just about every other studio in town would’ve balked at what goes down in that tall grass.
In the Tall Grass will be directed by Vincenzo Natali, the madman behind Cube, Splice, and episodes of Hannibal and Westworld. He’s a perfect fit for the material, the kind of relentless genre filmmaker who won’t tone down the harsh, intentionally baffling, and stomach-churning events of King and Hill’s original story.
And Netflix itself is proving to be a worthy home for King adaptations. Last year, they released the very good 1922 and the excellent Gerald’s Game, other Stephen King movies based on material that had no right to function that well as feature films but did anyway. Sure, the big classics like It and Pet Sematary will go the traditional big screen route, but I love the idea of Netflix as place for the weirder and crazier King movies to live. So consider this a cocktail of talent worth your excitement: Natali, Wilson, Netflix, King, Hill. And maybe skip this one if you have a sensitive disposition.
No release date has been set, but In the Tall Grass will arrive at some point in 2019.
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