Disclaimer: My reviews of media here do not mean that I lay any claim to the media in question. All reviews are entirely subjective. I may talk about how well the movie objectively works in my opinion, but it essentially all comes down to what I think of the movie. My liking a movie is not the same as thinking it's a great movie. If I trash a movie that you love, or love a movie you can’t stand, it’s not because I hate you. Also, all reviews are likely to contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the movies in question and don’t want to know what happens, then you probably shouldn’t be reading about them here. Finally, a blanket trigger warning for people who don't want to read about common horror movie content such as sexism, racism, violence, etc.: I will likely discuss all of the above when they show up in the films I review, so please tread with caution. Check out this post for more on how my reviews are set up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Horror Movie Quick Review: Fertile Ground (2010)

Overall: C+

Directed by:
Adam Gierasch

Gale Harold
Leisha Hailey

Fertile Ground is the story of married couple Nate (Gale Harold) and Emily Weaver (Leisha Hailey). After Emily has a tragic miscarriage, they move to Nate’s ancestral home in the country, presumably in order to move on.
As time goes on, Emily begins to believe the house is haunted, and she finds disturbing materials such as the diary of a former Weaver bride who was eventually murdered by her husband. Human remains are found in their yard, and a local historian tells Emily how many strangely similar deaths have occurred in that house.
 Nate begins to act strangely and threateningly toward her. She realizes that an ancestor of Nate’s murdered his wife there, and that ever since, the people in the house have been essentially possessed by his spirit, accounting for the near identical deaths of so many women at the hands of men in the house.

There was a lot that I enjoyed, particularly the artistic direction. There was some really great use of light and shadow, some beautifully framed shots, etc. The story itself was pretty good, if relatively typical of ghost stories (the “ghosts possessing and reliving significant events/changing the people present” isn’t exactly original… see, duh, The Shining or Amityville Horror and countless others.) I thought it was pretty well acted, and liked the characters well enough. Parts of the story dragged a bit, mostly because it was too predictable to justify the sometimes drawn-out suspense. There were a couple parts I found genuinely creepy, but some parts fell flat. For better or worse, the movie doesn’t contain much gore, which I generally like, since over-reliance on gore has become lazy shorthand for “this is a horror movie!” Few people seemed to like this one, largely because of its slow pace and somewhat predictable story. I do think they’re valid criticisms, but if you can get beyond the pacing, I think it’s still a decent ghost story.


  1. Okay. Fertile Ground actually has me intrigued. Well, okay. Gale Harold has me intrigued, and I'm always intrigued by him playing straight characters after falling for him as Brian Kinney in Queer as Folk. Still, he's a good actor and I am willing to watch him in pretty much anything. Esp since I don't have to have everything queered up for me like some slash writers. LOL

    Still, this sounds like an interesting plot. Going to find it right now, and maybe I'll give it a watch tomorrow. Thanks!

    1. It's pretty good! I think you'd like it, since you have enough patience for stories like this. It didn't seem well-liked, but I think it's because people want a new exciting gore splatter every ten minutes.

      Like I said, I remember the artistic direction being pretty good as well.

      It's been about a year or so since I saw it, or maybe even longer, though, but I don't think I'm forgetting anything major.

      I think Alex mentioned Gale Harold's role in QaF to me while we were watching... I haven't actually seen the series yet!

    2. QaF is really good, though I've recently met (as in the last three years) gay men and women who hate the series and feel that it does a HORRIBLE job representing the gay community. Oh yeah...and lesbians bitching that there aren't enough lesbians in the show. Honestly, didn't bother me at all. I love the show. It's fun, funny, snarky, intense, sad...I love it, but then people keep calling me misogynistic and a traitor to the vagina squad or something. *shrugs*

      I couldn't find this movie on Netflix, so I'm going to see if I can't download it. :)

  2. Okay. I downloaded this movie, and it's actually pretty good. But omg. I don't think I've ever wanted a pregnant woman to be murdered by her husband as much as I do this screechy little whinemuffin. JFC. I think no truer words were spoken in this movie than when the friend bitches at Gale Harold's character (Nate) and says, "She's in a fragile state right now," and Nate replied, "She's *always* fragile."