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FERTILE GROUND
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Adam Gierasch

Starring:
Leisha Hailey
Gale Harold
Chelcie Ross
Jonell Kennedy
Stephanie Brown
Sigal Diamant

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Emily and Nate Weaver leave the city for the rural comfort of Nate's ancestral home in the country. Once there, Emily is plagued by horrifying visions and haunted by the ghosts inhabiting their isolated new home.
Is it good movie?
Emily and Nate Weaver leave the city for the rural comfort of Nate's ancestral home in the country. Once there, Emily is plagued by horrifying visions and haunted by the ghosts inhabiting their isolated new home.

Fertile Ground sort of comes off like an imitation in the vein of Amityville Horror, where the bright young couple moves into a new place and things go weird while the husband starts acting like a maniac. Of course, in this one, the couple moves into a childhood farmhouse, the wife is pregnant (following an unfortunate miscarriage) and the evil seems to be coming from an old skull that dug up. Oh, and this one starts off with a weirdly intense and graphic sex scene!

Being a haunted house movie isn't always a bad thing, and these types of movies can be quite scary. Unfortunately though, this one doesn't pack enough of a punch and feels pretty tame throughout. The actors are trying their assess off though, in terms of our main protagonists Leisha Halley and Gale Harold. They weave a pretty good web of emotions, and for the most part they're believable. In terms of feeling like this one doesn't carry much of a punch, know that it's light on gore, doesn't show off many scares and at times feels more like a Halloween TV movie in terms of atmosphere.

If this were someone's first time to the party in terms of filmmaking, I'd ilkely be kinder. Unfortunately, director/writer combo Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson had helped to script far superior films like The Mother of Tears and the wonderfully bloody Autopsy. What went wrong? As I mentioned before, the performances here are good but the rest of the film is dull and uninspired. The ghost stuff can get laughable at times, especially when Gale Harold slaps on a hilariously bad wig to play one of his 'ancestors' who haunt the place.

The pace of the story is slow, the story has all-too-convenient holes in it, and don't even get me started on the ending. The ending to this film is a real dealbreaker that will almost certainly have you throwing your hands up and saying "oh, come on".  Everything just feels a little pat, and there's not much here to surprise anyone. There are even title cards in the movie that will literally spell out what's going on ("Moving on"? "Strange happenings"?). Weak.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's not a whole lot more I can say about this little movie. I know we're steeped in a culture of jump scares and that they can get annoying after awhile, but this film just doesn't capitalize on the opportunities set forth in front of it. You'll ened up feeling left down and you're stuck with a plot that begins to drag and drag while you're wondering why you didn't just slap on House or The Amityville Horror instead. Despite a strong opening and a few potentially chilling moments, this one doesn't stand out enough and feels like it held itself back too often rather than letting loose a bit more.
Video / Audio
br> The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and didn't look overly great in terms of quality, sporting some grain and blur.

Audio comes in Dolby Digital 5.0 and sounds acceptable, is mixed well.
The Extras
The only extra here is a commentary track with actress Leisha Hailey, Writer-Director Adam Gierasch, and Writer Jace Anderson. It's informative, although there are some dull spots in there with a bit too much dead air.

The only other thing is a brief Storyboard Gallery that lasts two minutes long.
Last Call
Ultimately, this one fails in comparison to the other After Dark movie I reviewed, Seconds Apart. It's dull, familiar and full of problems, despite a good effort from a good cast.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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