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.