Fangorias DvD of the month. **DvD Special Features below.
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 08/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Fangoria gives there dvd of the month pick to The Empty Acre, writer/ director Patrick Rea's feature debut. The story is about an unhappy young married couple Beth and Jacob Nance who live with there 6month old son Michael on a farm somewhere in Kansas.
There is a patch of land on there farm that nothing grows on and Jacob's cattle die on, hence "The Empty Acre". One night there son Michael starts crying upstairs when Jacob goes to check on him he finds his crib empty. Beth and Jacob become more and more hostile and depressing as they try to find answers all the while more and more people start to go missing as it seems they are abducted from blackness that rises from this piece of land that nothing grows on.
I wanted to like this film and have liked others Fangoria has recommended however this one just didn't do it for me. For the first hour the camera goes back and forth back and forth, we see the acre, and darkness, then the acre and a plant will die on it, then the darkness creeps in, then some more of the acre over and over, just became repetitive with really nothing happening. Fangoria said the movie is atmospheric and eerie, empty fields, the dark, and woods in general are eerie and creepy if you were to put a surveillance camera on them for a night.
The cover also says " A Masterwork of suspense that brings back the concept of sinister" - Film threat. I really can't remember being on edge at all. A few nights ago I watched Vacancy and was completely shocked at how good it was, the beginning of that movie while there driving in there car your just waiting for something bad to happen. I don't know exactly what there doing with the camera to make me feel that way but I felt it and here I didn't.
I'll add that I am a big fan of what you don't see can be scarier and I'm all for leaving things up to the imagination. I don't need blood and guts or a big digitized ghost and you don't get that here, however you don't get much of a pay off.
Some positives: The writer/director Rea is trying to do something different here as opposed to what horror is out there now, he has you all set up in an eerie place in the woods it just doesn't pay off. He mentions in an article he "wanted to create a story that dealt with being trapped in a situation you can't get out of". I believe there is a primal fear that many people have of never getting out of an unhappy position, whether it be a job, or in Beth's case, her marriage." On this side of things he paints a marriage that is awkward to watch and is filled with despair and paints a good portrait of depression. Also the neighbors that take pride in the gossip of others pain, being two faced, and toxic that like the empty acre suck the life out of people. That is scary and gets to you because we all know people like this, and that is real. However I just couldn't relate or buy into this acre that can't grow grass that has somewhat corny blackish stuff come out of it.
The "Empty Acre" could be a metaphor for how hard life can be at times and how it could suck the life out of you, your hopes and dreams and then spit you out and you don't know where the years went. It probably is trying to say something but to me personally as a film it just didn't get to me, and wasn't that enjoyable.
This had potential and I believe could have been real scary, it just didn't happen. Maybe next time.
** I would recommend renting this before buying.**
-Student Film " The Search for Inflata Boy" and the audio commentary by the filmmakers."