Warning: Spoilers for the end of Netflix's In The Tall Grass are ahead.
It’s officially spooky season which means it’s time to add plenty of scary movies to your Netflix queue. The streaming platform just released its latest original film and it proves that anything can be scary during the month of October, including grass. Yes, you read that right. Move over clowns, masked men, and ghosts because In The Tall Grass will make you terrified of rocks and fields of grass.
The horror film is based off a 2012 novella (published in Esquire) written by the master of thrills Stephen King and his son Joe Hill. In The Tall Grass opens with Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted) traveling to San Diego before they pull off to the side of the road and hear a young boy named Tobin (Will Buie Jr.) crying out for his mother. Tobin also faintly says, “I’ve been trying to get to the rock, but I can’t find it.” The two enter the field to help Tobin and soon they are separated and lost in the grass.
Eventually Cal finds Tobin, who tells him more about this mysterious rock which compels people to touch it. “The rock teaches you to hear the tall grass,” the kid says ominously. “The tall grass knows everything.”
The rock is massive (almost alien-like), covered in carvings and words, and sits in the middle of the field. Tobin keeps telling Cal to touch the rock, but he does not, which proves to be a wise decision. Later Tobin’s father Ross (Patrick Wilson) leads Becky, Cal, Tobin, and Travis (Harrison Gilbertson) to the stone and he clearly has some strange attraction to it, just like the child did. Turns out, it’s best not to trust a creepy child and a man who lure people into fields.
Ross touches the rock and seemingly some force runs through him. He describes it as “accepting a host” and tells the others that it will “redeem” them. He then reveals his true self: a violent mad man who is obsessed with killing people. Also, when Travis touches the rock toward the end of the film (now Tobin is against getting close to the rock), it causes the sky to turn red with blood and grass literally grows through his body. (Did I not warn you about the scary grass?)
After Ross puts his hand on the rock, he kills his wife and attacks the group. It is shown that he has murdered a bunch of people as the camera pans to multiple dead bodies next to him. Basically when people touch the rock they become blood hungry demons-like creatures who are captivated by the grass. Their souls are trapped in the field forever and they trick other people in. They are then forced to relive the same tragic fate over and over again at the hands of Ross and the other grass-faced people.
The twist in the film reveals much more than the novella. In King’s story, Cal begins to act very bizarre and disturbed, similar to Tobin, after he connects with the rock. Also Ross tries to get Becky to touch the stone, but he fails. When Cal and Tobin finally reunite with Becky, they force her to put her hand on the stone and that’s how their story ends.
So, the main lessons to be learned from In The Tall Grass are to never walk into a field of grass taller than you, don’t follow eerie little children, and don’t interact with suspicious rocks. Basically, you shouldn’t go anywhere that looks like it won’t have cell reception. You could end up like Becky, Travis, Cal, and the rest of the lot: trapped.