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Fertile Ground (After Dark Originals) (2010)

Leisha Hailey , Gale Harold , Adam Gierasch  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leisha Hailey, Gale Harold, Chelcie Ross, JoNell Kennedy, Stephanie Brown
  • Directors: Adam Gierasch
  • Writers: Adam Gierasch, Jace Anderson
  • Producers: Courtney Solomon, James Portolese, Karri O'Reilly, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Moshe Diamant
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QLX0PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fertile Ground (After Dark Originals)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This sharp, well-crafted entry in the Lionsgate After Dark Originals horror series is a pretty timeless haunted-house movie that sets up a premise and builds with workmanlike tension that's neatly effective in gathering dread and throwing out scares. Nate and Emily are a young New York couple who after experiencing a miscarriage move to an old farmhouse upstate in an effort to heal Emily's psychic trauma and give Nate a place to concentrate on his work as a painter. The place is hardly rundown, but it has a creepy aura that immediately starts to manifest in subtle ways, betraying past events that happened there--none of them very pleasant. An old chest in the attic reveals portrait photographs that display eerie resemblances to Nate and Emily. Various other clues, including newspaper clippings, ancient artifacts, and research done by the absentminded town archivist, also reveal a history of violence that has dogged the house and its previous inhabitants for the past 100-plus years. There's even a decades-old skeleton uncovered in the front yard when the drain-rooter guys send their video camera snake down a clogged sewer pipe. Concurrent with these discoveries, Emily finds out she's pregnant again, an unexpected development that it seems might have something to do with the house itself and the history of mystery that has touched everyone who lived there. The film is divided into chapters that are sometimes a little facile in spelling out the goings on, with headings such as "Starting Over," "Strange Happenings," and "Revelations." There's a touch of the fake-dramatic and an overly ominous portent that hovers over some of the proceedings, but the production design is terrific, the cinematography and editing skillful, and the acting squarely on caliber for the overall tone. Things do get kind of overwrought as the climax approaches: the perfectly cued thunder and lightning builds to an absolute paroxysm of horrific booming and flashing that's timed to the inevitable bouts of screaming. But Fertile Ground is an efficient and satisfying little thriller with just the right touch of natural and supernatural frights and an ending that's pretty genuinely creepy. --Ted Fry

Product Description

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. When Nate’s behavior undergoes a strange and fearful metamorphosis, Emily fears she might be the latest target in a murderous tradition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Problem Pregnancy... May 27, 2011
Format:DVD
After losing their baby, Emily and Nate Weaver (Leisha Hailey and Gale Harold) leave the city, relocating to an old farmhouse in the country. Unfortunately, this decision leads to supernatural visitations, madness, and death. FERTILE GROUND is a solid paranoiac / claustrophobic spooker in the tradition of ROSEMARY'S BABY or THE SHINING. While not as stellar as it's predecessors, GROUND offers plenty of chills, suspense, and mystery. Hailey is especially good in her role as the (possible) victim of a centuries-old curse. Another AFTER DARK success. Well worth a watch or two...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The After Dark Originals series, for me, has been decidedly hit or miss. With "Fertile Ground," my hopes were buoyed by the fact that the movie is actually quite well constructed and shot. It is a professional endeavor with two thoroughly appealing lead actors. And yet, I have a striking ambivalence about the final product. While I wanted to love it and get wrapped up in the story, I could never shake the fact that the picture offered absolutely nothing new to the genre. Every moment in the film you have seen in a dozen other similar movies. While not every ghost story can unravel an entirely new dimension, if you are going to play by established conventions--then make them as scary as possible, in-your-face, and incredibly well done. "Fertile Ground" plays it relatively safe all around: Familiar story, low-key effects, and minimal chills.

Start to end--a by the numbers plot:

1) Tragedy strikes young urban couple.
2) Still reeling, they relocate to a desolate country house.
3) House has malevolent history.
4) Spooky and unexplained phenomenon occur
5) Husband starts to become distant.
6) Final showdown as current owners face down demons of the past.

A lot of films follow this template. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily the problem. I love a number of movies that have used exactly the same formula. There just wasn't a moment in the film where I thought "hey, that's cool" or "hey, that's new" or "hey, that's gross." I didn't hate the movie by any means. It's easy to sit through and enjoy. I just don't think that I'll remember one bit of it in a week. So more than anything, I'm just apathetic. Which is too bad as I actually like the two lead actors (both here and in other work).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MANIC MOMMY May 27, 2011
Format:DVD
A happy couple awaiting their first child are devastated when she miscarries. They try to start over by moving into the hubby's family home. Of course, the house has a murderous past and soon the wife starts seeing ghostly apparitions.
Sound familiar? You know where it's going, right?
This new entry in the After Dark originals is their least original in the series. It's snail-paced set-up doesn't help and its attempted twist is all-too obvious. Despite good performances from Gale Harold (QUEER AS FOLK), Leisha Hartley (THE L WORD) and character actor Chelcie Ross, the end result falls flat. There's no gore and just a little violence which shows good restraint. I look forward to more "original" original movies from After Dark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars understated, nicely told rural ghost story... April 14, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
An "After Dark Original" directed and co-written by Adam Gierasch (Mother of Tears, Night of the Demons, The Toolbox Murders), the suspense thriller Fertile Ground (2011) follows a young couple who move from the city, to a house in the country, where strange thing begin to happen. With a number of ghost story clichés, the film may not quite live up to After Dark's tagline of "a new brand of fear", but the tale may appeal to those with a taste for malevolent spirits.

Artist Nate Weaver (Gale Harold) and his wife Emily (Leisha Hailey), who designs clothes, are expecting their first child, when Emily has a miscarriage. The doctors apparently believe that she can no longer conceive, and looking to get a fresh new start, the couple moves to a house in a rural area, that used to belong to one of Nate's relatives.

The Weavers find a chest with mementos, and old photos of the relatives who lived in the house. Nate gets to work in a studio he has set up in a shed, but then a plumbing problem results in the discovery of a human skull, buried in the front yard. Emily checks with an expert in the history of the area, and learns that a number of violent deaths, and mysterious disappearances are connected with the house. It's a slow burn, as Emily discovers that she is pregnant, begins to see some disturbing things around the house, and later becomes convinced that some evil is about to occur.

Fertile Ground doesn't deliver anything new, but it's competently executed, and nicely produced, telling its story in a mostly understated way, without a lot of jump scares, overdramatic antics, or inane dialog. There isn't much action until the very end, but after a long wait, Fertile Ground has pretty dramatic payoff, with Leisha Hailey (The L Word) delivering a very solid performance while carrying the film, which makes a decent watch if you are in the mood for a little suspense and light horror.
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Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The After Dark Originals series, for me, has been decidedly hit or miss. With "Fertile Ground," my hopes were buoyed by the fact that the movie is actually quite well constructed and shot. It is a professional endeavor with two thoroughly appealing lead actors. And yet, I have a striking ambivalence about the final product. While I wanted to love it and get wrapped up in the story, I could never shake the fact that the picture offered absolutely nothing new to the genre. Every moment in the film you have seen in a dozen other similar movies. While not every ghost story can unravel an entirely new dimension, if you are going to play by established conventions--then make them as scary as possible, in-your-face, and incredibly well done. "Fertile Ground" plays it relatively safe all around: Familiar story, low-key effects, and minimal chills.

Start to end--a by the numbers plot:

1) Tragedy strikes young urban couple.
2) Still reeling, they relocate to a desolate country house.
3) House has malevolent history.
4) Spooky and unexplained phenomenon occur
5) Husband starts to become distant.
6) Final showdown as current owners face down demons of the past.

A lot of films follow this template. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily the problem. I love a number of movies that have used exactly the same formula. There just wasn't a moment in the film where I thought "hey, that's cool" or "hey, that's new" or "hey, that's gross." I didn't hate the movie by any means. It's easy to sit through and enjoy. I just don't think that I'll remember one bit of it in a week. So more than anything, I'm just apathetic. Which is too bad as I actually like the two lead actors (both here and in other work).
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fertile Ground- Kept you wondering
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Fertile Ground. To be honest I only got the move because of Gale Harold, I'm not a big fan of horror movies. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jennifer
3.0 out of 5 stars understated, nicely told rural ghost story...
An "After Dark Original" directed and co-written by Adam Gierasch (Mother of Tears, Night of the Demons, The Toolbox Murders), the suspense thriller Fertile Ground (2011) follows a... Read more
Published on April 14, 2012 by trebe
3.0 out of 5 stars scaring
the movie is really frightening! the old house is a character, a dark character in that plot. this movie seems from 70's, there is no monster or serial killer but fear and doubt. Read more
Published on February 7, 2012 by nana
5.0 out of 5 stars Can you say unbelievable mental thriller?
This is one of those movie that you find yourself saying "I'm so sorry that such a once glowing wife had to end up a killing machine"! Read more
Published on January 16, 2012 by II Samuel
3.0 out of 5 stars Fertile Ground - Mildly Absurd
Not being a screen writer I have to applaud those writers who come up with fresh new ideas or interesting twists on old ideas. Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by FearDanceDotCom
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly done would not recommend
Full of Cliche' themes (possessed house, spirit possession, psychotic protagonist twist) making it difficult and annoying to follow. Read more
Published on October 16, 2011 by D. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
Again, I bought this movie because I am a GALE HAROLD fan. I enjoyed watching Gale act and showing different sides of his personality. Read more
Published on September 20, 2011 by L. Lindsay
3.0 out of 5 stars Tried too hard.
For me, After Dark, Tried to hard with this movie. Does That make sense? Let me explain.I Have said the same thing, on some of the other After Dark originals. Read more
Published on August 30, 2011 by Kaelan
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad; decent concept
This was not too bad and the idea seemed quite good. The two main actors also do a good job of portraying a couple who breaks down mentally after moving into a haunted house with a... Read more
Published on August 4, 2011 by Viva
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Very scary, great movie and cast.. wish the end was different as we never found out if it was in her mind or real. But one of the better horror films I have seen.
Published on August 2, 2011 by Katherine A. Schneider
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