Directed by Adam Gierasch [Other horror films: Autopsy (2008), Night of the Demons (2009), Tales of Halloween (2015, segment ‘Trick’), House by the Lake (2017)]
I feel like Fertile Ground had potential, but it really didn’t work, and generally, I thought the story here was pretty weak, and ended up feeling a bit hollow.
Which is a shame, because given this movie follows a young woman who has had a recent miscarriage, it really shouldn’t come across as soulless as it did. Partly I feel it has to do with a somewhat undeveloped plot, and the movie just becomes forgettable after a while.
It also feels somewhat cheap, especially with those segment names (such as ‘The Gathering,’ or ‘Moving In,’ or ‘Strange Happenings’) – I don’t get why they named the segments when it was pretty obvious from what was shown on screen that, for instance, they were moving in, or that, later on, there was a gathering of friends. I didn’t get the point, and it just struck me as amateurish.
Another small thing, and certainly this is one of the lesser offenses of this I’ve seen, but there was a short scene from Night of the Living Dead here played on television that a character’s watching. I understand the movie’s in public domain, but if you watch lower-budget horror, you’d think Romero’s classic is the only horror movie that’s played on television. Just a pet peeve of mine.
I don’t really want to take away from Leisha Hailey’s performance. I don’t think she did a great job, mind, but I thought there were far bigger problems than somewhat sub-standard acting (and to be fair, there were a few really solid scenes she gave). Gale Harold (who consistently reminded me of Mark Ruffalo for some reason) was decent at times, but I don’t think we ever learned enough about him to make him that interesting a character.
Movies that deal with a couple moving into a remote country house and finding that either some supernatural haunting or mental instability is afoot is nothing new. This throws in the miscarriage angle, but that didn’t really amount to much, especially, as I said, since this movie feels more hollow than anything.
For a small piece of amusing trivia, I actually saw Fertile Ground once before. I can’t remember how long ago, nor the circumstances (aside from that I think I saw it on Chiller). It was so long ago, though, that I literally remembered nothing from this one. To me, it’s always sort of funny when you’re watching a movie you know you’ve seen before but remember so little of it.
After revisiting this one, though, and given how generic many portions seem to be (especially regarding JoNell Kennedy’s character route), I can certainly see why it didn’t stick with me. Not an awful film, but definitely not a memorable one, and I wouldn’t really recommend it.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one below.