The Tall Man (film review)




If you are familiar with French horror films then the director Pascal Laugier needs no introduction (his previous films are explicit and traumatic to say the least) writes and directs ‘The Tall Man’. As with his previous offerings ‘Inside’ and ‘Martyrs’ the film as twists and turns leaving an uncomfortable feeling throughout and an unopened question at the end.

The Tall Man is a local legend in Koetaney, British Columbia where children have recently gone missing. Inspired by the internet phenomenon of the Tall Man here the legend is localised and mythologised; it becomes the explanation of children that have recently vanished in the area. The film starts with Julia (Jessica Beil) delivering a baby to an underage girl, thanks to the stepfather to a troubled family. We meet the younger daughter of this family Jenny Weaver (Jodie Ferland) later as a mute who draws and actually does know what is actually happening to the missing.

Julia goes home to her son David (Jacob Davies) who we believe she adores, after her husband – the local doctor – died a few years earlier. Tensions heighten when David is also kidnapped. Julia goes after the kidnapper crashing the van that has took him. At this point Jenny finds her and communicates that she would like to be taken also. Jenny still carries on her pursuit of the kidnapper. At this point the whole town turns against her. I’m not going to go any further into the plot as it would like ‘Martyrs’ spoil the film but the film as Laugier’s previous efforts there are a lot of red herrings that lead you down unexpected paths and nothing is quite what it seems.


The film as many twists and turns making it feel unpredictable none of the moral ambiguities are answered, there are only opinions for these things, not any real answers. I think is camerawork is excellent as always and there was a rumour that Laugier would have the chance to direct a remake of ‘Hellraiser’ a film in look that influenced ‘Martyrs’. However, that all fell through but I’d be really interested, on the strength of this film, perhaps he could direct a series.

The idea of rich and poor and class are scrutinised here with the ending an open discussion especially in the present state of the class divide. After all is class and money the only route to happiness or contentment? And when you do reach the ending of the film – though not his strongest work – you still have to think about what the film states and with its moral ambiguity.

I don’t think this is his best work it has a feel that’s a little like it should be a series to it. But at his weakest he still head and shoulders above what can be or seem a sea of dross. If you have a few hours to kill rent or buy this one.


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The Possession of Michael King (review)



Since the Blair Witch Project every other horror film is a found footage or first person narrative. They are now so prolific to rightly have a genre of their own. I suppose it’s easy to understand after all these films are quick and overall cheap to make. The Blair Witch was an enthralling, atmospheric and frightening film. It divided the line between what was real and what was not playing on hype like a composer with a first rate orchestra. But most of all it was original a first of its kind. There were others that went before it most notably ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. But that originality as long since expired. The Possession of Michael King is no more original than the plethora of others however it does offer a film well made.

Michael King (Shane Johnstone) wants to prove that there is no God or Devil and that we live in an existential universe where Atheism is the only sane choice. He wants to make a film of this by exposing the religious as charlatans. The reason for this crusade: a medium told his wife to be somewhere and by influencing her decision she was killed in an accident. He does this by putting his head in the lion’s mouth so to speak by finding the darkest practitioners of the occult, and let them do their worse so to speak. (The idea is reminiscent of a Clive Barker short story ‘Down Satan’, it doesn’t end happy either). He meets oddball couple demonologists Austine (Tomas Arana) and Marsha (Patrica Healy) to where they get into a ceremony to invoke and possess Michael by a demon. The demon he chooses is the is a high ranking demon and comes with ants – two ants important later on – and of course the demon likes to kill children just so happens that Micheal as a young daughter. The course of the film from here on is pretty predictable but still worth watching. There are particular moments that are worthy while he’s recording himself and the flat screen shows his face doing something else and the crawl near the end of the film. And enough gore to keep you hounds satisfied. All in all this is not a bad effort and stands above the crowd in already filled market place. So if you have nothing better to do on a rainy day rent or buy this one.



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Compulsion, just a compulsion, nothing more than a compulsion!

Self Destruction

I looked in the mirror and felt hate for what I saw: The same shit that had carved scars in my arms as a teenager; The same shit that took amphetamine, up my nose and in my veins,  to forget the ugliness that I saw in myself every day in my twenties; The same shit that drove me to drink that alcoholic toxic waste from Crapsville supermarket and bottled syrup Sherry from the noon till morn shop: to the shakes, to the vomit, and back to the shakes again in my thirties; The same shit that drives me in front of a Word document empty as a clean slate with a promise of corruption in my forties. Compulsion, just a compulsion, nothing more than a compulsion!



Nothing comes here. Nothing comes here. Same shit. Nothing to write same shit different year. Fuck it; fuck it; fuck off. Nothing here just a silent scream and hateful heart full of dead stars that rocket through a godless universe – where a disappointing demise is always the result. Jerk circles too many exist in the work and the slavery we call career. The paper trail that leads up their addled brains, only useful to the cokeheads in Parliament who make cuts so they can afford more coke, cars and prostitutes. But still we follow the leaders who cannot lead themselves out of scandal – why the fuck do we do that? Compulsion, just a compulsion, nothing more than a compulsion!


And here I stand alone as always more angry and confused another conforming battery reared idiot. Awareness is cheap another promotion to gobble up in fantasy land of criminal excess. There’s no price too high and no price to pay with credit and hire at my disposal except the toxins and radioactivity that are riding the winds that will give us all cancer sooner or later. There is no time to enjoy the fruits of capitalism when the worm is carcinogenic. That’s what we get as first prize. Yet still we breathe the poisoned air, drive the car to burn the world up, still we fight wars and produce energy from a catastrophic desire to burn the world to a cinder. Compulsion, just a compulsion, nothing more than a compulsion!


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Sweet Eloise

Eugenio Recuenco - green witch

Sweet Eloise by the river, under the voodoo of the southern sun.

Gathering herbs for potions hiding black orchids, sweat pouring off your glistening coca skin, like sacred gems.

The sound of swaying water and reeds in tune with insects’ songs.

Sweet Eloise, in your dress of white with the skin of lightening ebony;

How I watch thee, and to thine heartbeat it will miss, in the heat of the swampland.

Sweet Eloise what do you see with eyes of second sight as you kneel staring at the river’s edge?

Do you stare at your beauty, rippling with the water that ceaseless reflection of your witchcraft face?

Or is it me you see – with dark intentions of a black soul in purgatory –

When I come to visit you tonight under the southern moon?



I’d heard whispers of you in the place where the down and outs roam

Within the first few weeks I had wandered into town.

The Mambo princess with second sight, born of heritage of two skins;

Neither black nor white, that advised high society of calamity

And the poor indisposed alike. I hear riches of gold were given to Eloise for her powers like her beauty are great.

It is for her wealth that she has hid that I seek of her under the full moon.

I come to you sweet Eloise under the full moon.

The song of insects, the rustle of snakes and gators that prowl fill my ears with a roar as my blood pumps with intentions foul.

I come in guise like the devil; a poor soul in need of arcane advice:  a fool who has squandered his life, a vagrant, a drunk, a thief.

I come to you under your porch, decorated with snakeskin and strange plants and knock on your door, Sweet Eloise.



Eloise bids welcome and sit down spreading the Tarot before her she begins reading of the fate to arrive.

Sweet Eloise with tarot spread before her. Her beauty is rapture to behold:

With hair and eye dark as a raven, her stare like claws pierces my heart.

Is it fear I see as she reads the last two cards knowledge of my real intent?

As I cross the table place my hands upon her neck, to the left I twist, with a snap I kiss her lips and steal breath away.

Sweet Eloise your burial plot is undisturbed under the broken tree.




I with gold now leave this scene as a thief a murderer and despoiler of the late virgin sweet Eloise. A reminder of the last two cards that read: Death and The lovers – Eloise my necro-bride lays peaceful beneath the tree.


A year I have wondered these states this land and never rested or

Spent the gold with unholy intent I did take.

And now in some fugue a restless storm I have found myself back at the dilapidated porch and ruined house of the sweet Eloise.

Scene of my crime and my blasphemous rape.

But by the turning of the sun and the whispering of trees I hear her

She talks to me of secret things and of peace that waits beneath the earth and autumn leaves.

If I am to be hers then I must return to the place I dared to desecrate.

Now, after a year of turbulent nightmare so foul, I am here the loot I stole I replaced beneath the board, where it was before.



Under the southern moon I walk toward the crooked tree

That marks the resting place of sweet Eloise.

She is my bride and I am her groom and the noose I tether on

the tree above her last resting place – the wedding vowel.

Closing tearful eyes with noose around neck allow myself to swing from branch above the undisturbed ground of Eloise.

In the strangling darkness I hear the snap of my neck and the visage of Sweet Eloise as she kisses my last breath away

under the voodoo of the southern moon.

halloween hangmans noose




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‘Now you wont find the attached picture of the property very promising but…’ the memory of J Henna voice whispered to me and it wasn’t. But the estate agent’s photographer had only taken a thumbnail picture of it. None the less it did look creepy and in the flesh, stuck on the hill, it reminded me too much of the Marsten House in Salem’s Lot. But once you drove up the hill around the road that snaked around to the front-side of the building, the house did look dilapidated but not as bad as the back. The building that the company I worked for was acquiring it as part of a redevelopment project that the company had just won the contract to. Certainly from the outside it seemed run down but it still looked solid enough, there was the formality of checking the premises to assess damage, really just for insurance, not that it mattered it was all to be leveled anyway, a five minute in and out job simply as a matter of paper work, and as I was the only one who was trained to some degree as a surveyor the job fell to me.
Now with keys in hand I was to inspect the property I suddenly became hesitant. I’m not a superstitious but at the moment I felt my spine tingle as if the old term someone had walked over my grave applied. Quickly I forced the feeling down; dread was infectious if it found the fertile soil of the imagination. What monsters the two could make?
The keys in the lock the door opened easy enough the feeling of dread was stronger as the gloom of the interior passage and the rank odor of decay met me. But still I walked entering the passage into the house. The place was truly a derelict, but despite that, and its Edwardian heritage, it was still possible to renovate the property; and maybe a couple of years ago that would be the case, but the market was now on the slide. The passage I ventured through was shabby I have no doubt so was the rest of the house, no one had lived here for a long time or so it appeared.

The house was unfurnished this added to its desolation and poverty. There was banging noise that made me jump. I could feel a breeze a window was must be open or smashed at the back of the house. Again I had to force my fear down as the bleakness of the interior of the house added to the sense of dread but the thought of money to be acquired overcame my sense of fear. Greed was always a great motivator. Mentally I gripped myself. I pushed open the door to the front-room, the fire had been removed its gas fixture and piping looking like a vein exposed. I could hear the scuttling of things, rats or cockroaches more than likely both. In the corner there was a mattress, I walked over to it. ‘Damned’, I thought ‘squatters‘. I wish I had paid for security. I had used rent-a-thug in the past; and that way I would have had someone with me, to check out the building – but I thought I’d cut a few costs here and there -in the name of the company, and my wallet of course.
I went over to the mattress there was a few things, burnt silver foil which suggested crack. Well at least I think it did, my knowledge of drugs went as far as alcohol and dope no further, I only knew what I saw on T.V… Luckily there was nothing else, no bottles or syringes. There was a plastic carrier bag, beside the mattress, that caught my interest, I bent down opening it, the whiteness of the bag seem to give birth rather than I take out the teddy bear. It was a grey old teddy-bear slightly battered and out of place here. Then I noticed there was something wrong with its interior there was a squishiness that I didn’t associate with stuffing. I turned it over in my hands, noticing that they were staining brown and crimson, from the insides of the teddy. Over on its back I realized the stitching had been unstitched and the stuffing removed, and the insides replaced with what looked like some kind of offal that you could get from the butchers. In revulsion I dropped the toy and saw what I had not observed before, that there were mice or rats mutilated bodies discarded in several piles on the floor. Their insides scooped out and used as stuffing for the teddy-bear. I fought the urge to vomit reaching in my pocket I wiped my hands with a handkerchief trying to remove the drying blood. I had had enough! I was out of here. I did not want to meet the cracked-out fuck who vivisected rats to put into children’s toys.

As I was about to go through the door my attention was caught by movement and noise of a footstep from the stairway. In my haste I had inadvertently left the door on jar now the wind had blown it fully open. I’m not a brave man and today was no exception. I was absolutely horrified and was now rooted to the spot when the figure bundled half fell down the stairs, towards me. I wanted to run but I couldn’t my legs felt weak, now I was about to meet the sadistic responsible for the atrocity in the living-room. I was so close to freedom that I could feel the wind and see the world outside it was a cruel joke that it was less than a few paces away. The creature coming toward me looked wrecked. She, for I could determine her sex by the swell of her breasts and the movement of her thighs made her unmistakably female. Her hair was short and dark ruffled brown it looked as if she had not washed for some time. Her clothes were disheveled and stained and she looked as though an idiot child had dressed her. Suddenly, despite her thin ragged appearance, she ushered enough strength to pin me against the wall. The reek of sweat and stale alcohol, bad breath made me wince, and again I had to fight the urge to vomit. Her wild dark eyes were staring into mine as she ranted.
‘It took Annabelle.’ She rasped.
‘It took her and ate her and now is her.’
‘What?’ My voice sounded weak the question ridiculous.
‘My daughter is no longer; she’s been eaten by the darkness that is hunger’.
Suddenly she released me and bolted out through the door. Shaken I was about to do the same when I heard a more subtle noise, like a whimper coming from where the mad woman had appeared, at the top of the stairs. As I have said I’m not a brave man, and in most respects I am a bastard but this was a child, I could hear in the tone of the whimper. Then a small figure emerged from the upper gloom. She was dressed in what looked like a school uniform, her frailty and thin build put her at about six. Though her long hair blonde hair was pulled back it was still untidy. Her appearance was unkempt but not as bad as the mad woman’s, she had a silence and purpose to her movements which suggested sanity.
‘Mummy’s gone mad’. She simply said.
‘Oh Christ’ I thought I reached for in my pocket to retrieve my mobile, shutting the door in case, the mad woman should return.
‘Everything’s going to be alright.’ I heard myself saying, finding my mobile and walking to meet her at the bottom of the stair. I was about to dial 999 for the police, ambulance, any fucking one, God knows what abuse she had suffered. When I noticed she carried a large knife in her left hand and a dead rat cut in half in the other.


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In ancient times past iniquities that modern man now knows only in memory;

Haunt the legends of horses and heroes and deities, dream’t by a long ago dead whose cities and deeds now lie in rubble and dust.

There is from one such spring comes to life:

The tale of triumph and woe of how the birth of the mighty flying horse Pegasus came into being

Who with mighty wings flew to heights and wastes that lay secret known To the God’s and their ilk alone. But to mortal men lay uncharted, a mystery unknown.


First, last and always; third of the Gorgon sisters

The youngest and the fairest born of immortals to be mortal,

Doomed for love to die for now as it is today:

The tragedy of love is always the curse that awaits beauty to wither away.

It was Poseidon deity of the waves that caused her heart to stray.

A terrible malediction put on her for disturbing the sacred labyrinth

That lay in the heart of the temple of Poseidon:

Her hair of silken weave became living knots of snakes with face so fierce and foul that those who stared with naked eye feared so horrid that their heart beat still and in a blink turned their being to a stature of stone.


Hence into this labyrinth of now desecrated temple did the

Hero known by the name of Perseus find the cursed angel Medusa – who was sleeping in her chamber surrounded by

Statuettes of Trojan and Greek warrior alike who tried to take her head and heart as prize but alas failure they met. And price required to entrance to the labyrinth in full they paid.

But Perseus was swift and quiet of foot crept upon the sleeping Medusa.

In possession of knowledge obtained in portends and dreaming visions

From the goddess Arena, of how to dispose of the daemon known as Medusa, of naked eye her image he could not stare upon, or to stone he would for eternity yield.

But with shield held high to avoid naked eye the atrocious face

He bought with one strike a curved sword with all his might on the neck

cleaving with one stroke the awful head of Medusa.

Decapitated and dead the curse of ill omen now broke.

Perseus in solitude mounted head on shield and with prize stole away into the night.


In the stygian night lit by moonlight the headless body pumped forth

Ichor black poison from the severed neck of Medusa;

Now the curse of desecration broken the spiritual union of Medusa and Poseidon took form.

Blood begat muscle begat form of a mountainous horse with head held low and wings folded down from the crimson visage of muscle did white skin of purest moon stretch completing the enchanted birth of the preternatural horse with the design of albatross wings but more powerful than any flying creature hence seen.

Throwing his head back and rearing his hind legs, with the size of two stallions and the power of ten, the creature kicked-out.

Snorting and neighing with a voice reminiscent of thunder

Telling the world of wildness of things and the triumph of good over evil.

The powerful beast took to gallop and from gallop to flight;

Those most potent wings beat the air into rhythm to announce the genesis of the legend known as Pegasus.


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They Come At Night


They come at night…They come at night.

When the darkness and cold are at their height.

They cry and cry and then ask for help.

The black eyed children, the soulless ones, the unborn babes.

They need your help so they can suck your soul to the darkest of edges of hell or the unknown.


Dreary thoughts assailed one night when she heard the knocking on the door.

She went exposed no else in the house all quiet except the knocking at the door.

Through the door spy-hole she saw two children aged around ten with hoods on to escape the cold, they asked for help and the use of the phone because they were lost and all alone. She opened the door, just a crack, to see and let the cold as well as the dread that followed in its wake. She realised soon as she saw their faces they had no eyes, black pits stared in need at her; too much fear, she couldn’t scream. She slammed the door and heard their voice metallic, distant and dead: “let us in. Let us in. We want to use the phone. Mummy we need your soul to suck as we have no place to call home.” The door shut tight the wind was all that was left of the two children that night. Her husband left, as time passed, because he couldn’t understand that at the darkest of night in dreams she can still hear the children knock and cry for the womb to rent. No sleep it drove her mad and no drugs the doctors gave could ever make her want to become a mother or wife again. She left her mind on the door that night and left this world by throwing herself in front of a large truck when the last dream she had was the knocking on the window late at night.


They come at night…They come at night.

When the darkness and cold are at their height.

They cry and cry and then ask for help.

The black eyed children; the soulless ones, the unborn babes.

They need your help so they can suck your soul to the darkest edges of hell or the unknown.


He heard it first; he heard it last, the tapping at the window one night.  He moved toward the window somewhere between sleep and wake to look out at the yard under the full moonlight.  Two children, boys he thought pulling a prank, no doubt. Then he heard the voice as quiet as a whisper as solemn as the grave as they spoke together as one. “Let us in. Let us in. It’s cold outside and would be warm inside. Let us in.” Dread filled him to the brim where fear followed close behind as realised they had no eyes, blackness there and nothing more. He closed the curtain tight; he closed them for good. And fell back in such a fright. He prayed all night though a believer he was not.  His friends all left him because of the jabbering nonsense about two boys late at night that would have eaten his soul if he had let them in. He left the house, he burnt it to the ground; he left the town and he never returned but still he dreamt of the night children with the blackest hungriest eyes who would haunt him until his dying day.


They come at night…They come at night

When the darkness and cold are at their height.

They cry and cry and then ask for help.

The black eyed children; the soulless ones; the unborn babes.

They need your help so they can suck your soul to the darkest edges of hell or the unknown.


It was late and dark when they left the motel that night when the visiting couple on holiday went to the car park to drive away. When a tapping at the window of the car where they saw three children. Gaunt and white, pale as alabaster and they felt they were as cold as ice. Their voices as one: “Give us a ride or we will die. Give us a ride we need to go home mum and dad will only wait so long!” They cried, the tapping became a hammering. Fear became panic as the two realised they had no eyes; at first they thought it was an unholy mask, but then they knew, they really had no eyes. Putting the petal to the ground the car screeched off leaving the unholy children far behind. But as they left the town, fear still sweating on their brows they passed the eyeless children who stood their faces looking at them with eyes of absolute blackness, but how could they get to the edge of town when no traffic had the couple passed? They sold the car but the memory did not abate; they could not stand to be in each other presence because the memory of the children would not fade. After fifteen years of togetherness they left each other and always remembered the fear from the encounter that had so tarnished their hearts that night.


They come at night…They come at night

When the darkness and cold are at their height.

They cry and cry and then ask for help.

The black eyed children; the soulless ones; the unborn babes.

They need your help so they can suck your soul to the darkest of edges of hell or the unknown.


Little Miranda and mum home at night, 6 years old the apple of her everyone’s eye. As mummy had a hard day and napping in her chair there came the knocking insistent and unstopping at the door. Little Miranda innocence and curls ran for the door excitement when she answered and found two children of her age. “Let us in” they exclaimed. “It’s so cold outside and we want to play.”

“Then come in and meet my mummy and we can all play.” Little Miranda smiled and opened the door wide.

Mummy was tired, so tired that day. When in a nap she woke to find Miranda all smiles and wonders with two other children: who the hell were they?

“Look mummy I have two friends who want to play.” Even as she said so there was dread in mum’s heart which burst when the children revealed that they had no eyes, black hungry pits looked at her. The voices of the children hissed like snakes or gas escaping through rotten pipes: “Now we’ll play. Now we’ll play. But what games should we play?”

The disappearance of little Miranda and her mother has never been satisfactorily explained. If you see the black eyed children run as you can for their play is a dark mystery that no one has lived to explain.


They come at night…They come at night

When the darkness and cold are at their height.

They cry and cry and then ask for help.

The black eyed children; the soulless ones; the unborn babes.

They need your help so they can suck your soul to the darkest of edges of hell or the unknown.

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