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After Dark Originals: Fertile Ground [DVD]

3.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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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.

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

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QLX0PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "After Dark Originals: Fertile Ground [DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the better After Dark films. It sacrifices gore for deeper characters, better cinematography and more nuanced direction. Leisha Hailey plays a wife who has had a miscarriage and moves to the country with her loving husband in order to heal psychologically. Unfortunately the house, belonging to her hubby's family, has a very dark history and is anything but calming. It's a quieter After Dark outing but I think a better film for it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Not being a screen writer I have to applaud those writers who come up with fresh new ideas or interesting twists on old ideas. I also love when they come up with clever and subtle visual devices that allow your imagination to work over time and suspend disbelief. Hard to do when you're dealing with topics not based in reality.

Unfortunately, this movie has none of those qualities.

The problem with Fertile Ground is not that it's bad all the way around. The problem is that it actually starts out totally believable with good acting, especially on the part of Leisha Haley (the wife), and then it just turns cheeserific with ridiculous make-up/special effects and bad acting by Gale Harold (the husband).

This is one of those movies where they should have acknowledge the limitations of their budget and worked with it either by writing scenes to layout the story without cheap special effects and casting in a way to meet the needs of the film. The last 30 minutes in particular made the entire movie seem silly and amateurish.

I'm keeping it at a three because it's not an entire waste of time, but those last 30 minutes really almost brought this down to a 2.
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Format: Amazon 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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Format: DVD
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.
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