The Fields. Film Review


Starring: Tara Reid, Cloris Leachman, Joshua Ormond, Bev Appleton, Faust Checho

Directed by: Tom Mattera David Mazzoni

Rating: 15

Duration: 95 mins

Reviewed by Guy Adams

“Based on true events”. Was there ever such a chilling statement?

Don’t get me wrong, bizarre and interesting things happen all the time and a goodly chunk of them would make excellent movies. In general though my heart sinks when I see such assurances from a film-maker. No doubt this is a hangover from my childhood response: “Oh… I bet that means there won’t be any really good monsters then?”

Now I’ve grown up I realise that monsters crop up only too frequently in ‘true events’ and the iconic Charles Manson (who hovers over proceedings here, albeit from a distance) was certainly one of them.

The problem with life though is it’s slow and disjointed. Things rarely happen in a truly dramatic fashion. It’s all uncertainty, awkwardness and long pauses in the middle. The Fields shares this failing. Though it is by no means a bad film it would have benefited from being given a tighter edit and a less realistic grasp on the slow, empty rural life it portrays. Realism is all very well when it’s a potent effect, here it just feels like something that gets in the way of the tension.

The cast make up for a great deal, particularly Joshua Ormond, the film’s twelve year old star. He gives a quiet, observational performance that keeps you hooked when everything else is just a breeze blowing in the corn. We know there’s something evil hovering around the farm where he’s staying because he knows and he sells it to us perfectly.

Overall then, a mixture of a film. It’s worth your time and the good outweighs the bad but prepare yourself for a stroll through the corn rather than a terrifying sprint.