There’s simply not enough here to sustain a feature length film, plain and simple. Tar starts at the end (almost always a bad sign) with a talking head interview of how things went horribly wrong then spins its wheels for half the runtime before getting to the actual creature feature part of things far too late to care. The paper thin characters and one-note performances also leave *a lot* to be desired, to put it as nicely as I can. The talking head that kicks things off keeps popping up for the whole damn movie, by the way, as if the limp display of portentous rambling for the duration does anything but sap any possible tension and push everything to an entirely too long 97 mins.
Tenants of an office building who are a day away from eviction find themselves targeted by an unknown creature–Tar! Generally speaking I do a little more for a plot summary, but I figured I would put as much effort into this as the filmmakers did for the script.
I don’t expect the world when watching these kinds of low-budget indies, but so much of Tar’s failures have nothing to do with money and everything to do with the screenplay & characters. It doesn’t cost millions of dollars to write people who are more than “Whiny Bland Lead,” “Girlfriend,” “Flashback Dad,” “Schlubby Horny Idiot,” “Astrology Lady,” “Tits McGee,” “The Lesbian,” “Asshole Building Owner,” or “Homeless Exposition Guy” so there’s no excuse for such a lame parade of non-characters. Why even bother making a movie about a tar monster if you’re going to spend most of the runtime hanging out with these kinds of instantly forgettable nobodies in a bland, nondescript office building?
In addition to the characters themselves being such shallow wastes of space, everyone in Tar behaves however the script requires them to instead of anything resembling human. At one point, before anyone knows anything’s wrong, the power goes out in the building so most of the characters congregate in one location to wait things out because it’s very important they all be together for some reason (?). Except for The Lesbian, actually, who they decide is fine wherever she is and don’t worry about her (spoiler alert, it’s so she can die and be instantly forgotten). Why everyone defers to Flashback Dad or Whiny Bland Lead is also lost on me. They aren’t in charge of the building and don’t possess any special skills, they’re just a couple of guys in the same boat as everyone else yet that somehow earns them Leader status. Well, Whiny Bland Lead does know how to make an extreme flashlight out of random parts so I guess that means he’s a genius…
Once the tar monster finally makes itself known the idiocy only increases, with people insisting on sticking their faces in dark holes or demanding to make out *right now* as dead bodies lay at their feet or simply standing in place as the monster lumbers towards them because they evidently forgot how to walk. Oh, and all the time spent on Flashback Dad’s childhood experiences and useless conversations of “Remember this? Remember that?” add nothing but extra minutes to an already overlong & lazy film.
I didn’t find anything worthwhile in this complete misfire of filmmaking, if you couldn’t tell, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone waste their life on Tar.
2 out of 10 Extreme Flashlights