Did ‘In the tall grass’ leave you bewildered just like us? Don’t worry because this read will rescue you. The ambiguous time loop and ending explained in less than 5 mins!
Stephen King is a man who does not hold back with his choice of story creation. The entire soul of his plot has a specific formula that goes about building the intensity as the story progresses. But, unfortunately, “In the tall grass” is not the work of an individual with the faintest hearts.
A concise story yet made with such creativity and depth. The 2019 movie adaptation carried by the iconic title is a feast to King’s fans. The movie is the ultimate package of waking you up from la-la land to a feisty dystopian world; that will leave you scratching your head.
Understand the plot, to understand the ending of In the Tall Grass
The movie begins with a driving scene, just like any other suspicious movie would. But, soon after the beginning, approximately 10 mins into the screen, the action starts picking up pace. Then, just when you think you’re getting the script, it starts taking turns like mice dodging a rat trap.
Primarily two characters are introduced, after which four more enter the picture, making it harder to comprehend the script, criticism aside.
The story revolves around a pregnant woman Becky, who, along with her brother, is heading up to San Diego. Along the way, they stop near a field of Napier grass; The young lady falls sick along the road causing her brother to shred the brakes. Due to the sudden pause caused in their travel venture, the deserted road now amplifies an alarming scream of a child who cries for help.
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Not a wise choice!
They practically make the worst decision of their life by stepping into the never-ending maze to rescue the boy. The shrieks echo through the lush and tall grass fields that lay across the highway. A concerned Becky pleads with Cal to go along and investigate to help the child. The child confesses to having entered following the screams of a man. During this discourse, the cries of the mother trying to quiet the child down are also noted.
The rest of the story follows about discovering the field being unusual and sinister, one you can never get out of despite multiple tries. The movie’s entire premise revolves around the siblings losing their way through the grass maze and the strange entity that cherishes in the heart of the field called “the rock”, a rather tall and terrifying piece of stone engraved with strange inscriptions that may date back millennia.
Oh, wait! There’s more! It turns out it’s not just Becky and Cal; they have guests with them.
It is to be noted that although the characters of the events that take place are reduced to mere victims of “the rock”, the character study of every subject introduced in this experiment of a story is fascinating.
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Who is Becky?
Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) being the sturdy female lead, carries the premise with ease, the pain she depicts of being a pregnant woman, the mood swings it invites seemingly and her noteworthy feat of contributing towards a temporary end of “the rock”. Travis, a character that was absent in the book but introduced in the film for dramatic purposes, also poses quite the thrill; his intelligence and quick thinking are portrayed exceptionally, and his resilience to protect the ones around him and fight for the cause of the good is highlighted time and again.
The Climax Explained: What does the ending of ‘In the Tall Grass’ mean?
The siblings lose their sense of sanity as the grass around them confuses every turn they take. This confusion is portrayed by the difference in the volumes of their voices that change continuously while they yell across the field to maintain a sense of closure. The child by the name of Tobin goes on to cry for help when he finally faces Cal after he comes across Tobin’s dead dog, Freddy, along the way.
Tobin is found tattered, entangling a dead crow in his hand. He buries the creature saying out loud, “The grass never moves anything dead”. A very significant line that is also echoed later on in the premise carries the entire story in itself.
What is the death turn?
A bizarre turn in the story is that while Travis faces a dead Becky. He realizes her womb to have collapsed and realizes that he lost not only Becky but also his stillborn child. Yet, later on, he hears a hale and hearty Becky who enters the maze with Cal upon hearing Tobin’s cries in search of Travis and his dog Freddy. Naturally, this confuses Travis, but he denies the corpse that he found to be a fragment of his imagination after starving for days in the fields. This also states that the Tobin he encountered earlier may have also been a mere hallucination. Thus, explaining the birth of a time loop of repeated events.
“I.T.’S JUST GRASS”.
Just when it feels like I’m giving up on the script and the people are doomed to stay in the field, something magical happens. Travis touching the rock made him immune to the open arms of the grass. His heart is grass; the mind is grass; the soul is also grass. I wouldn’t think that Becky would survive such brutal acts against her, but go, woman! She’s agile despite it all. I felt I was spiraling in a never-ending circle of life and death of the characters.
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Carl and his rage
Cal, an overbearing brother, accompanied by a teaspoon of rage for all who lay eyes on his sister for his feelings exceeding that of mere siblings, was a good addition of an individual who puts effort way more than required and one whom we all possess and are familiar with.
Ross, a lazy father who turns into a madman, provides quite the chill to viewers creating the contrast that an entity needs only a singular host body that is ready to provide itself is well done. Finally, Tobin, an innocent little lad, with the sole purpose to help those around him, provides the vulnerability to nourish the intensity of the
Who saves the brother and sister?
Until Freddy(the cutest dog ever) was able to find a hole through the field which led straight to the road; yay Freddy! Like every fantasy has to have a villain, this one had one in the shape of a friend. Ross(not the one from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.), considered to be the most reliable fellow, falls to the clutches of the rock and tries to carry everyone down the path of redemption.
Much to my dismay, Cal’s instincts overpower his rational thinking, and he throws Travis down the building (don’t worry, that wasn’t tall).
Breaking down: In the Tall Grass’ Time Loop
Travis touches “the rock” for the final time and, by instructing Tobin to stop the loop, breaks this cycle “the rock” sets of killing them consecutively through Ross. It is interesting to note that the construction of the plot is rather meticulous and confusing if not given proper attention.
In the end, Tobin is sent by Travis to warn Becky and Cal of the forthcoming time loop and thus to not pay heed to Tobin’s cries of that loop. He successfully does so, breaking the loop. The last shot is shown of Travis being consumed by the grass after attaining death, posing the question of whether Travis was indeed dead or was this Travis of another loop?
The movie’s plot is that of a recurring time loop where the cries of each character are heard by the next; this is a manner in which the entity of “the rock” lures curious strangers into the tall grass. Characters warn their future selves to beware through phone calls and whatnot! In the end, the time capsule finally breaks; the one who’s the least likely to fall prey to the clutches does! Alas, that was Travis! But just like a superhero, he was about to prevent the love of his life Becky, Tobin(the creepy kid), and Cal from IN THE TALL GRASS.
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