Sunday, August 21, 2011

Horror Film Review

Fertile Ground (2010):  Gotta be one of the worst movie posters ever.  Looks like the skull of a baby alien sticking out of a muddy field.  And here's a little known fact...bone doesn't bleed.  Last and probably least, the title font would be more at home on a poster for Inglorious Basterds or The Dirty Dozen.  It just doesn't work...much like the film itself.  (See how I did that segue there?)

Nate Weaver (Gale Harold) is a successful painter.  His pregnant wife Emily (Leisha Hailey) is a fashion designer.  She miscarries, becomes depressed, and then her husband has a brilliant idea: move to his ancestral home that sits in the middle of about a million acres of farmland.  I mean, really...what could go wrong? 

Does this premise sound familiar?  (See my previous review of Conjurer.)  The rest of the film will, too.  There's an old trunk in the basement.  She starts seeing things, he starts getting angry for no reason at all.  They plant a sapling that dies.  Nate's art agent falls out a second floor window and dies.  They find a skull in the septic line.  Emily finds out she's inexplicably pregnant again.  A ghost leads her to a journal that explains how all the pregnant women who've lived the house get killed by their husbands.  She freaks, a big thunderstorm rolls in, she gets a butcher knife and hides, he goes after her, and then....oh, you know.  Is it possible for a cliche to become cliched?  Blah.

Hailey as Emily is the one reason this film might get a rise out of you.  She does scared really well and has a knack for making you believe it.  Harold (God, he looks so much like Nathan Fillion it's spooky) on the other hand, has a harder time conveying menace.  He comes off as asshole instead of a psycho.  And my biggest beef is that the climax makes no sense.  The ghost who warned Emily must have had a different agenda than what was readily apparent.  Or maybe I dozed off and missed something, but I don't think so. 

The Breakdown

Acting:  Ranges from good to wooden.  I will say that it's not bad.
Story:  (yawn)  Yep.  Been there, done that...then went back there and did it again.
Direction:  Not exactly a thrill ride.  Should have been tighter and more focused. 
Production Values:  Good quality film stock, but the location setting is, frankly, boring. 
Gore/FX:  The miscarriage is kinda gross, as is the rabbit skinning bit.  Oh, yeah...there is some decent parts involving the big butcher knife.  Nothing's over the top, though.  No CGI to speak of.
Scares:  I will admit, there are a number good 'n creepy scenes.  Including some "gotcha" jumps.
The Ending:  It left me scratching my head. 
The Verdict:  Should you watch Fertile Ground?  If you're in the mood for a haunted house movie but not in the mood to think too much, I say give it a go.  It's by no means a good movie, yet it doesn't totally suck either.  Here's perspective:  it's better than Conjurer

My Rating2 out of 5 stars.

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