THE FIELDS – Movie Review
Childhood, for many, is a magical time full of laughter and games and time spent playing with friends, but for some childhood is no refuge from the stresses and terrors of adult life. Such is the case with the young boy in THE FIELDS, whose mother and father are embroiled in their own domestic drama that constantly threatens to boil over and scald their son. But then, no one ever promised that any age, or any place is safe from the violence of a world that often goes mad.
It is Summer at the edge of the glory days of the ‘60s just as reality began to return to a generation of optimists. A young boy is caught in the middle of a war between his mother and father and he is quickly growing up. When the boy’s mother takes him to his grandparent’s home in the country so mom and dad can figure themselves out, what should be a fun and relaxing vacation becomes something far more terrifying when he finds the body of a dead woman hidden in the corn rows behind the home. When he tells his grandparents they think he is just a young boy with too much life drama and too big of an imagination but when he starts to see other things, like someone at his window, and hear people in the field he starts to realize that he isn’t imagining things at all, but that someone or something deadly is coming into play. And slowly, as the strange occurrences mount grandpa and grandma become aware of the danger they are suddenly in, danger that may stem from the hippies that have been camping out past the fields, out where no one would bother them. But now that they see the danger too, now that they have heeded the boy’s warnings, it may be too late.
THE FIELDS is a very effective little chiller that is all about atmosphere and terror. The performances from the seasoned vets like Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman are a bit over the top (though not horrible by any means) but the reserved acting by the lead, the boy, is wonderful. He brings an every-kid aspect to this – a kid that will do things they aren’t supposed to but more out of an adventurous spirit than a malicious one. There is a point in the film where things begin to come to a head and he does something very rash but very brave, something a lot of kids might do in similar circumstances, and I thought that was pretty good filmmaking. This is not a large film, in any way, but a small, quiet film full of dread and What If, and set in at the autumn of the Peace and Love generation. This movie is all about the distrust the hippie movement had sown in the baby-boomer generation and the real danger that lay at the center of certain circles of that movement. The acting is effective, if overt, the direction is very well done, as are the sets, and overall the tone is nailed dead on here.
THE FIELDS is not a horror film, per se, but is a much more effective version of the home invasion films we’ve gotten a lot of in recent years. Which is not at all to say that those films and this one are the same in subject but more in tone, which this one really gets. This is about the slow burn, and the buildup, and when it’s all over, there still enough tension to take you into the credits without feeling false. Now THAT is effective! Not a classic but a very solid film and one to give a look.
7.5 out of 10
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