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Fertile Ground (After Dark Originals)

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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: Multiple Formats, 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 (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QLX0PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,005 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fertile Ground (After Dark Originals)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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.


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

Customer Reviews

No real haunting and no real mystery.
D. Williams
You've seen this movie before, it was only better originally.
Dach Nednil
I Didn't hate this movie, and i wasnt crazy about it either.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Butts HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karl P. Madsen on June 5, 2011
Format: DVD
You know what's worse than going on a vacation in a foreign locale, meeting new people, and meeting an untimely, and usually painful and messy, demise? Why, it's moving into a house with a bad reputation, especially if it's an ancestral home. And if you're moving in because of financial problems, to win a bet or you need to make a fresh start, and it just happens to come available at a most opportune time.

And in Fertile Ground, Emily (Leisha Hailey - The L Word) and Nate (Gale Harold - Hellcats) do just that. The film starts out with a pregnant Emily having a miscarriage, and in her depression gives up her lucrative clothing design business. Nate can do his art anywhere, so when the house in the country comes available, they jump at the chance for a fresh start. The house welcomes them in a manner befitting a haunted house; with eerie pictures, a sordid history, possession, apparitions, and mysterious events.

So getting to the house was pretty easy, but leaving is the hard part. At first it's a quaint home with its interesting quirks such as little noises, items that move on their own, and things like unexplained hand prints on windows. The tipping point is the cache of photographs that shows an uncanny resemblance of Nate to his forefathers. This is when their lives take a turn for the worse. Apparitions become more prevalent, the noises are louder, and husbands are more possessed. In fact, the house becomes so involved in Emily's life that she can't leave it. And not in a good way. Friends and family are allowed to visit, once.

Special Features:

Commentary with Actress Leisha Hailey, Writer/Director Adam Gierasch, and Writer Jace Anderson
Storyboard Gallery
Widescreen Presentation
English 5.1 and 2.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaelan on August 30, 2011
Format: DVD
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. I Think that they are trying to make these movies into something they are not. These Are B Movies. Not, Cinema MAgic, Forsay, Avatar..Or Even Titanic. I just wish that hey would tone it down a Notch or two, and Go Back to 8 Films to die for. I loved that idea a whole lot better. Also, the Idea for this film, is not original. Family moves into a house, turn's them into people who lived there before. Amytiville Horror, Anyone?? I Didn't hate this movie, and i wasnt crazy about it either. So far, the Only Great one out of ADO, is Prowl. Now that, was original.
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