French director Pascal Laugier made a big impression on horror fans worldwide with his 2008 effort Martyrs. The boundary-pushing film took the ‘torture porn’ genre to new heights – or was it new lows? – but actually managed to transcend its Hostel-like trappings thanks to a metaphysical spin on the story.
Along with Inside, there’s no denying that Martyrs remains one of the key films of the New French Extremity, the batch of contemporary French films that are single-handedly reviving the tired horror genre.
Now Pascal Laugier is making his American-language debut with a Jessica Biel-starring vehicle. The French trailer is online but thankfully for us English speakers it’s only subtitled in French.
The story follows Jessica Biel as she travels to a small American town and investigates the urban myth surrounding The Tall Man, a dark figure who snatches children like some monster out of a fairy tale.
Based on the trailer, it’s difficult to tell if Laugier has been able to keep his distinct vision intact in the transition to American shores – or if The Tall Man will end up like any number of failed, generic scary movies starring actresses like Jessica Biel or Sarah Michelle Geller. Expect the movie in limited theatrical release this August 31st, 2012.
Update: The official U.S. trailer is now online!