Thursday, January 17, 2013
Don't Get Lost In Corn Fields
Back in October of 1973, Steven (Joshua Ormond) wakes up hearing his parents fighting, seeming once again from the way the young boy reacts. After hearing them quiet down, he ventures out of his room, only to see his dad (Faust Checho) holding a rifle to his mother's (Tara Reid) head. Feeling they need to work things out (you think?), Steven is sent to live with his dad's parents for a little while. Gladys (Cloris Leachman) and Hiney (Bev Appleton) are more than happy to watch Steven, and are always reminding Steven to stay out the large corn fields that are all around. Of course this is one of the first places Steven goes. While things are taking place, Steven hears about the Mason trial that is going on, and fears that Mason, or his followers, will kill him in his sleep. His fears heighten when he sees hippy type people that have been hanging out in the nearby small town. He also finds a dead girl somewhere in the corn. Is it his imagination going crazy, or is there really something going on?
As you can see from the poster, The Fields is based on actual events. I would think it would be hard to verify that though. The Fields is a brave film really. Directors Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni take their time in telling Harrison Smith's story. This idea is to show the horrors that young Steven is going through. Just not in his mind, thinking Manson is coming to get him, but also from those around him. Sure they aren't really out to scare him, but being young can do that sometimes. From his grandmother telling him that he will die and turn black if he goes into the corn, or what will happen to his eye if a BB hits it. To his grandfather telling him that he could bury Gladys in the garden and no one would know. Even meeting new people, which I have to admit that some of them are pretty odd. This was all well and good, but the story felt like it was building up to something. Things start off slow, but still somewhat interesting. Steven throws sticks into the corn, one gets thrown back. He finds a dead body, and something else out there in the corn. Things get worse at the grandparents house as well, and then it pretty much ends. There is a voice over that sort of ties things together, which is a radio report, but it was still a bit of a let down.
No special effects are found here in The Fields. The acting was a mixed bag. If you are a fan of Tara Reid, don't expect to see her much. While she gets top billing, she only shows up for a short while at the start and at the end. Faust Checho is around a little more, but not by much. Joshua Ormond was okay. There are scenes where he more or less just offers a blank stare a lot, and other scenes where I thought he did a really good job. I especially thought he did well when his character decides to make a stand.The real stars are Bev Appleton and Cloris Leachman though. They are funny and fun to watch on screen. They also have a good chemistry together.
One of the things that I did love about The Fields was the music. I don't talk about the music in films much, but it really stood out in this one. There was a couple of scenes where Steven was playing Godzilla out in the yard. The music that went with those scenes fit so well. The Fields is one of those films where I never thought it was a bad movie, even though the ending didn't really go anywhere. It was a bit disappointing when that happened, but even then I didn't think it was bad. I guess the problem I mainly had with it was it just didn't do much for me. Things got a little tense towards the end, but I didn't feel it was enough to save this one for me. There are plenty of people that do like The Fields though. It comes just below or above average rating on IMDb and Netflix respectfully. If this one does sound interesting to you, give it a try. You just might like it more than I did.
2 out of 5 I would get lost 2 feet into a corn field