The Fields

| April 24, 2012

I’d be hard pressed to explain what The Fields is about.  The way I understand it, a young boy named Steven (Joshua Ormond) witnesses his father pointing a gun at his mother’s (Tara Reid; American Pie) head.  He doesn’t shoot her, just points a gun at her.  Afterwards, the boy is sent away to live with his grandmother, Gladys (Cloris Leachman; Fox’s Raising Hope).  It’s unclear how one event leads to the other, but once at his grandmother’s, Steven starts to explore the corn fields on her property, where he soon becomes aware of a evil presence.

The Fields hits every horror movie cliché you can imagine.  Corn fields, monsters under the bed, mutant hill people, creepy old people, and of course our young hero Steven, the first film role for Joshua Ormond.  It makes very little sense.  Steven seems to be an unusually frightened child, losing sleep at night because he’s so scared of monsters and stuff, but as soon as the sun rises, he has no qualms about wandering out into the corn field even though he’s been warned that he might never come back.  Ormond’s inexperience is blatantly obvious.  Although, seeing him paired up with more seasoned actors, it becomes clear that his poor performance might not be entirely his fault – some of the responsibility must fall to our two directors: Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni.  Still, Tara Reid is never exceptional in any film, and Cloris Leachman manages to be a shining point here.

The film doesn’t even have the decency to artificially create tension.  It’s become a staple of bad horror movies to have something shocking happen suddenly and accent it with a shriek of music.  The events of The Fields just clumsily fall into each other, pushing what narrative we have sluggishly forward.  In addition, the script is incredibly week at the level of dialogue.  Every scene is comprised of characters blatantly and explicitly stating their subtext rather than having anything they say achieve any sort of depth or nuance.

Special features include a reel of outtakes featuring Cloris Leachman, who is a great comedic actress inexplicably trapped in this pathetic little horror film.  Other special features include a making of featurette as well as other behind the scenes featurettes, a movie premiere spotlight again featuring Leachman, a photo gallery and other trailers from Breaking Glass Pictures.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures on April 24

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.

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