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directed by Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni
USA 2011

After the latest bust-up between partying Bonnie (Tara Reid, AMERICAN PIE) and her hothead husband Barry (Faust Checho) ends with a shotgun pointed in her face, Bonnie drops their son Stevie (Joshua Ormond, ROBOT AND FRANK) to stay with Barry's grandparents Gladys (Cloris Leachman, DYING ROOM ONLY) and Hiney (Bev Appleton, THE CONTENDER) instead of her own (hinting at the possibility of sexual abuse by her own father, the local sheriff). Far scarier to Stevie than his one-eyed, mumbling, chicken-butchering backwoods relatives and the late night horror films Stevie watches with his grandmother is the mass media coverage of the Manson murders and his fear that Manson might come after him (exacerbated by the arrival of some creepy California hippies in the area and the first ever black man he meets is named Charlie [Brian Anthony Wilson, LIMITLESS]). When he finds a dead woman in sprawling cornfields bordering his grandparents' property, no one believes him; however, the mysterious disappearance of Hiney's dogs and increasingly violent acts of vandalism lead Stevie to suspect that someone or something is lurking in the fields.

The tide has turned in horror films back to from fast-moving jumpscare-fests to seventies-styled moodpieces long on build-up and attempts at creating atmosphere before reaching a shocking final revelation; however, most of these "old school" films often fail, either because the revelation is a let down or the build-up feels unfocused and obligatory, taxing viewer patience rather than stimulating their imaginations. THE FIELDS seeming piling on of just about everything that might frighten a child simply by being outside of his scope of understanding is actually very deliberate. The final revelation disappoints, however; not because of the reveal itself, but because of the script's insistence on playing the "is it supernatural or not" angle for too long in favor of exploring the more disturbing elements it only hints at, so the climax is a let down. The extreme scenery-chewing antics of Leachman and the actors playing her backwoods relatives can be interpreted as being exaggerated by the perspective of young Stevie (especially since Leachman dials it down for scenes in which he is not present), but top-billed Reid is simply godawaful here (fortunately her screen time limited). A clip from CARNIVAL OF SOULS precedes Stevie's exploration of the abandoned Bushkill Park (a hangout for the hippies and a sinister "ringmaster" figure), and a clip of the final siege from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD precedes the siege on the farm. Former John Carpenter production designer/editor/writer/assistant director/director Tommy Lee Wallace (HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH) is listed as one of the producers and as an extra.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 April 2012 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow Films
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:38:45 1:34:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Breaking Glass Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Films

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes: The Making of THE FIELDS (16:9; 18:39)
• Real Stories & Faces Behind the Film:
• - Fowl Play (16:9; 2:48), Brian Anthony Wilson Interview (16:9; 2:03)
• - Reactions to the Film (16:9; 2:25), How Hiney Got His Name (16:9; 1:00)
• - The True Story (16:9; 3:23), True Stories 2 (16:9; 2:40)
• - The Real House and Fields (16:9; 1:04), The Hotel (16:9; 1:58)
• - Sounds in the Field (16:9; 3:06), Scoring the Film (16:9; 2:39)
• - Reflections on Gladys and Hickey (16:9; 2:05), Making Movies (16:9; 2:30)
• - Making Movies in the 80's (16:9; 2:40), and Old School Meets New School (16:9; 2:27)
• Hey, No Funny Stuff (16:9; 3:23)
• Ladies & Gentlemen, Cloris Leachman! (16:9; 1:33)
• Photo Gallery
• THE FIELDS Trailer (16:9; 2:04)
• Trailers for 5 STAR DAY, ALMOST KINGS, and YOU'LL KNOW MY NAME

DVD Release Date: 24 April 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: 27 August 2012
Amaray with Lenticular Sleeve

Chapters 12

 

Comments

There doesn't seem to be a lot of difference in terms of picture quality between Arrow's single-layer anamorphic disc and the Region 1 edition from Breaking Glass (which is dual-layer but the feature is approximately the same size as the PAL version). Both editions feature a Dolby Digital encoding of the original 5.1 mix (Arrow also includes a 2.0 stereo downmix). Arrow's DVD features no extras whatsoever.

Breaking Glass' R1 disc on the other hand has everything a fan of the film might want with the exception of a commentary by the director's or the screenwriter. Several mini-featurettes are included focusing on the backgrounds of the real life inspirations for the characters and locations, as well as actor and crew interviews, and some behind the scenes on the shoot (the expected bloopers reel turns out to be flubs made by the interviewees rather than the actors in the scenes). The US edition obviously wins hands down for the extras, and they are worthwhile for background if you actually like the film; but Arrow's barebones DVD will do for rentals and perhaps in-store impulse buys.

A Region A-coded Blu-Ray (HERE) is also available stateside from Breaking Glass.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Draw

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Breaking Glass

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow Films
Region 2 - PAL

 

 


 

 




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