Wednesday, February 13, 2013
"The Fields": An eight year old boy is confronted with possible horror on his grandparents' farm
The indie rural suspense flick “The Fields”, from Breaking Glass, is based on an incident in the boyhood of the screenwriter (Harrison Smith) in rural eastern Pennsylvania. The film is directed by Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni. The story takes place in the early 1970s, and the filmmakers recreate a world as it looked then, pre-Internet, filmed often at the eye level of a boy.
Joshua Ormond plays Steven, the eight year who experiences the “mystery”. The film is perhaps a little closer to “To Kill a Mockingbird” in substance than typical horror, This is a about how real events, criminal and horrific, are perceived in the mind of a child.
When Bonnie (Tara Reid) has a falling out with her husband, she takes Steven to live with the paternal grandparents – a sign that she has some issues as a mother. The grandmother (Cloris Leachman) is very protective. The kid feels surrounded by the farm, especially the dead corn that is everywhere. A raven flies down to the kid and screams, as if to warn him. (A crow did that with me in October just before Hurricane Sandy, which did no damage where I am; but it seems that birds -- especially corvids which are intelligent and sociable -- know when something is wrong and will try to warn people.)
Steven starts hearing stories about Charles Manson, and meeting a few possibly unstable characters around town. Soon, noises and forms appear outside the windows of the house, and tension mounts. Is the house haunted, or is there someone demented on the loose?
Steven’s father returns to the scene, but can he prove himself a responsible dad? And is the terror real?
The official site for the film is here. There are several production companies, including Expressway Productions, Mr. Big, and MazWa.
The DVD has a lot of very cursory extras.
The music score by John Avarese has a lot of interesting brass work.
Somehow, the corn fields reminded me of Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn” (1984), which I saw in Dallas.
Picture: Mine, Gibson PA (2012), in the Poconos, near the site of the film, I think.