Let’s dive into the film since I watched it first. The basic premise is that Becky and Cal DeMuth (siblings) are traveling across country on their way to San Diego. Becky is pregnant and she is giving her child up for adoption to a family there. On the way, they stop along the side of the road because Becky gets nauseous and has to throw up. While parked, they hear the voice of a child in the nearby field of tall grass crying for help. They decide to go after the boy and find that getting out of the tall grass is much more than it seems.
I can’t get into much more without spoilers, so I’ll just give you my spoiler-free review on the film. I give it 3.5/5 stars overall. It was a fun premise, it was shot well, and there were some fairly horrifying scenes. Patrick Wilson plays the father of Tobin and does a bang-up job. I like him in almost everything he plays in and he didn’t disappoint in this film. However, it was confusing (more on that below) and I was distracted trying to figure some things out.
However, once I finished reading the story, I definitely enjoyed reading it more than I did watching it. It was shorter than the movie (of course) and only took about 20 minutes to read. I can’t tell you how many pages it was, as I read it on my Kindle. However, King and Hill didn’t mess around with the convoluted plot that the film introduced, and instead get right to the root of it all and offer up an extremely horrifying tale. For the short story, I give it a 4/5. There were some very disturbing scenes in the story. I would have given it a full five stars, but I subtracted one mainly because I wanted a little more and I think it could have been made into a novella easily.
Now, let’s get into some nitty-gritty details. WARNING! Spoilers ahead.
Tobin says that to find Becky, Cal will have to follow him to the rock. Once he touches the rock he can see and find her easily because basically the rock knows everything. The same thing happens in the short story.
While Becky is trying to link up with Cal, she runs into Ross, Tobin’s father. He’s acting kind of strange but seems somewhat helpful. Long story short, Ross is linked with the rock and wants to bring Becky and everyone there so they can touch it too. Obviously, Becky doesn’t want to, which I don’t blame her.
Here’s where some confusion sets in. In the movie, we see Tobin touching the rock, which means he should be crazy like Ross. However, later on, Ross acts like Tobin never touched the thing and we gloss over the earlier scene like it was a figment. Also, later on, Becky’s ex-boyfriend, Travis shows up and ends up touching the rock to save her, because apparently once you touch the rock you know all the things, including how to get out of the grass. But instead of going full dark side, he helps her and gets her out. Are we to believe that he fought the influence long enough to save his love? Who knows?
Small details I suppose, but I kept wondering what the hell was going on? They play with time loops, so perhaps there was a loop where Tobin touched the rock and another one where he doesn’t? I dunno. Anyway, it’s worth a watch, and for sure worth a read.