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directed by Leigh Dovey
UK 2009

 

When Matt Sadler (Steve Garry, IMAGINING LOVE) wakes up in a field with no memory of the past week, he seems to be the only one concerned. It's not the first time that this has happened, but his wife Rebecca (Natalie Overs) believes he's having an affair, his mistress Anne (Sarah Pemberton, PUB CRAWL) wants to amicably break things off since here other relationship is getting more serious, and the policeman inspector (Angus Kennedy) investigating his reported disappearance thinks he needs his head examined. Attempting to retrace his steps - through intuition rather than flashes of memory - Matt stumbles upon the remote farm of unfriendly Calham (Michael Dacre, THE BUTTERFLY TATTOO) who turns out to be just as much the creepy torture-porn captor that he appears from his first close-up. Although stripped and chained, Matt finds himself witness instead of victim to Calham's murderous activities; but Calham's eagerness to show Matt secret of the neighboring fallow field's "cemetery soil" proves even more disturbing than Matt's continued survival.

The filmmakers and the DVD cover describe the film as "
MEMENTO meets WOLF CREEK set against the backdrop of harvest time" so you know the film will a) toy with the protagonist's perception, b) at least flirt with "torture porn" aesthetics (it actually seems more TCM than HOSTEL), and c) throw in something of either the WICKER MAN or CHILDREN OF THE CORN variety to shake things up (likening the supernatural aspect of the plot to a certain movie would spoil it). Those expectations are realized in the first half; however, at roughly forty minutes in, the film becomes a different beast for a time, focusing on the strange "friendship" between Calham and the horrified Matt once the latter gives him the appropriate number of nudges to make sense of his nightmare visions. While the shifting dynamic between the two characters isn't well explored, the remainder of the film includes a satisfyingly tense sustained suspense escape and chase sequence and a grim finale (sadly undercut by a last shot reversal and a mood-shattering end titles surf boogie-esque song); that said, this low-budget film is a more hopeful example of new British horror than THE WICKER TREE or new Hammer's WAKEWOOD.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 30 October 2009 (UK)

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DVD Review: Monster Pictures/Eureka Video - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:31:39 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.11 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

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director Leigh Dovey and producer Colin Arnold
• Trailer (16:9; 1:20)
• Slideshow
• The Making of THE FALLOW FIELD (16:9; 14:50)

DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Monster Pictures' high bitrate dual-layer presentation seems to be free of any compression artifacts during the dark night scenes and looks spotless during the bright day exterior sequences. A Dolby Digital 2.0 track is the only listening option, but the film's original mix appears to be stereo rather than the standard 5.1; nevertheless, the 2-channel track vividly renders the combination of music and sound design (although one or two bits of dialogue could have used some amplification, or at least SDH subtitles on the DVD). The director/producer commentary and behind the scenes featurette reveal that the "MEMENTO meets WOLF CREEK" poster tagline was probably used to sell the film when it was initially pitched (topics also covered are the intricacies of the film' sound design which often melds with the score and the luck they had with the weather for the many exteriors). The film's trailer and a slideshow round out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Monster Pictures/Eureka Video

Region 0 - PAL

 




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