Tall Men (aka Customer 152) (2016)
Directed by Jonathan Holbrook
One can argue that there is no bigger horror than eternal credit card debt – unable to relieve oneself from the crushing weight of interest rates and never-ending harassment from creditors when the payments start to slack. But what if there was a card whose punishment for delinquency was MUCH more severe? In Jonathan Holbrook’s frightening feature Tall Men, no better caveat is offered against staying the hell away from that damned, evil plastic.
Our main character is Terrence, and he, like many of us, has buckled underneath the allowance avalanche brought on by card debt. His only recourse is to file for bankruptcy, and when the word is out, he gets a very interesting proposition from a credit card company, known simply as “The Card.” Their intention (while demonic at best) is to further reel good old Terrence down the line of infinite deficit disorder, and sure enough, he takes the bait.
Latching on to his new piece of infernal surplus cash, he starts the whole wretched process all over again, racking up bills and spiraling his life straight down the porcelain. However, this particular company isn’t sufficed with just phoning your home when you’re late on a payment. No sir… these collectors from hell come in a group of three and best resemble The Slender Man in appearance. A bit derived? Perhaps. Ultimately creepy? You betcha!
Crisafulli performs as a broken individual (both mentally and financially) and evokes a sense of sympathy from the audience, even when we know that the majority of his problems are self-issued. Holbrook’s directorial style in this film delicately tiptoes the line between supernatural horror and dark, pseudo-drama… an odd mismatch which does have its drawbacks in plausibility, but it’s pretty damn entertaining to see the results of Terrence’s carefree spending ways.
Overall, I can see this one as a fun watch for those who want to enjoy a little independent horror, especially when it works as somewhat of a cautionary tale. Now that I think about it, I’m going to start cutting up all those friggin’ cards in my wallet right now.