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The Tall Man

Todd Bryanton

When her own son becomes the latest victim of a legend known as the Tall Man, a wraith-like figure who abducts the children of an impoverished Canadian mining town, headstrong widow Julia Denning (Jessica Biel) determines to solve the mystery in this 2012 French-Canadian mystery-thriller from French genre director Pascal Laugier.

Heavily drawing on the archetypal genre work of Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith , Canadian composer Todd Bryanton (Jennifer Lynch’s
Surveillance) employs multi-layered string arrangements and broad tonal shifts to capture the uncertainty, paranoia and pervasive fear of small town superstition come to life. Setting the film’s overall tone with such Psycho-inspired tracks as “Opening Credits” and “Julia Chases Tall Man,” Bryanton elsewhere veers into Poltergeist territory with such devices as the contrapuntal use of children’s voices in tracks like “Barn Fight.” Other tracks like “Jenny’s New Life” endeavor to paint a richer portrait of the film’s characters and social setting, blunting the genre trappings of the broader story with piano and, in the case of the former, the soothing strains of a rural fiddle.
The Tall Man

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