Fantastic Fest Interviews Movies

Fantastic Fest 2019: Director Vincenzo Natali talks “In the Tall Grass”

Netflix had a strong showing at this year’s Fantastic Fest, with films such as “Dolemite is My Name,” “In the Shadow of the Moon,” “Fractured” and “In the Tall Grass.”

“In the Tall Grass” is based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, and it’s the latest addition to the King adaptations that have hit Netflix in the last few years. They are a perfect fit for the streaming service and it’s exciting to be adding a new one to the library.

This King adaptation follows siblings Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) and Cal (Avery Whitted), who hear the cries of a young boy lost within a field of tall grass. The film is directed and written by Vincenzo Natali and also stars Patrick Wilson, Rachel Wilson, Will Buie, Jr. and Harrison Gilbertson.

“In the Tall Grass” had its premiere on Friday, September 25, at Fantastic Fest. Natali’s credits include directing episodes for “Westworld,” “Lost in Space,” “Hannibal” and feature films “Splice” and “Cube,” among others. We had a chance to chat with Natali on the red carpet. The video and transcription is below.

Vincenzo Natali

Stephen King and Joe Hill have such a distinctive voice. What was it like adapting this novella to make it your own while staying true to their spirit?

Vincenzo: It was a little bit like being an actor. I just tried to channel them, and I really grew up reading Stephen King and I’m an admirer of Joe’s so it kind of came rather naturally.

A lot of your work is done in the horror genre. What is it about the horror genre that you love?

Vincenzo: I think it’s genetic. From my earliest days I’ve always loved horror movies and monsters. My son does the same thing, and I truly didn’t encourage it, so I think there’s a chemical formula for it.

What were some of your favorite films growing up?

Vincenzo: The Universal horror monsters were really important to me when I was really small. And later on the movie that really influenced me was Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” of course. The list goes on and on.

What’s it like being here in Austin at Fantastic Fest?

Vincenzo: I’m about to find out what’s it like to screen it here. These are my people. I’m one of them, like I like genre festivals, and it’s my first time at Fantastic Fest but I kind of know what to expect. I’m sure it’ll be great.

“In the Tall Grass” hits Netflix on Friday, October 4. Let us know what you think of the film!

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Featured image credit: Netflix

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