Friday, October 14, 2011

Fertile Ground (2011)

Singles, beware of this place!

This is a drama that plays around with the supernatural in forms of visions, nightmares and pop-out scares accompanied with jarring music to momentarily rile senses. The main component of its story centers around a couple who are trying to conceive but due to complications it puts a strain on the relationship with a stay at home wife and a painter who keeps the family afloat with his art galleries.

Emily and Nate Weaver are attempting to have their first child, until during a dinner party Emily excuses herself and profusely bleeds out. They move out to an old farm house to get away from everything and restore their happiness. The property used to be in Nate's family in the early 20th century and was constructed 100 years prior to that. Soon enough, the old house gives off something more suspicious than the usual odd creak or two, such as a hand print on the window, voices in the cellar and some old photographs of past relatives. They stumble onto a human skull buried on the property. Emily heads over to the local eccentric historian who rattles off a list of speculative dark events that occurred at the residence over the course of its history. Her husband is frequently away due to his line of work and she's alone in the big, empty house by herself. Random, ominous occurrences are on the rise as if something is trying to communicate to her for help or ward her away. As you can already guess from the title's sake, she gets pregnant in their new house, though it's a high risk, causing her to stay off her feet and away from stress, which ends up only mounting to even more stress from the loneliness and isolation.

"Fertile Ground" tries to play on if it's the pressure of her situation, leading to just imagining it, if it's coincidental or if it's really happening and you're indeed watching a supernatural tale with ghosts. This is gradually paced and unfolds somewhat organically than coming right out and stating its intentions. It's partly a mystery, though in the meantime there isn't always a strong subtext to latch onto. It doesn't always hold steady with interest or with relating points and part of the experience feels somewhat like routine stuff, only to remind you that you have better things to do than to occupy yourself with the dramas of a couple in a country house in who knows where. The movie doesn't always grab you and pull you in or make what you're watching significant or an exceptional to the rule until the latter half that picks up to a thriller like pacing. Though getting there doesn't always work with the sum of its collective parts, since the audience will get just an abrupt scare every now and again in comparison to the main story. Some of the drama feels somewhat forced despite the film moving one moment at a time, especially when the situations going for tension don't always feel detrimental enough.

It boils down to the slow degradation of a married couple who's got a strong case of cabin fever or a wicked case of possession. "Fertile Ground" does the ambiguous ending well, with enough information to fairly choose a side and your own interpretation. That's definitely its strength and it's evident that the filmmakers worked back through the movie to make that happen quite possibly to a fault since the rest is anchored on something you haven't even seen yet till you get there.

Rating: 5.5/10

Director: Adam Gierasch (Autopsy, Night of the Demons 2010)
Stars: Leisha Hailey, Gale Harold
Link: IMDB

No comments:

Post a Comment