The Fields (2012)
Breaking Glass Pictures, 2012
The setting: Pennsylvania, 1973, on a farm surrounded by cornfields. At the height of the Charles Manson media coverage, young Steven (played by Joshua Ormond) is sent to live with his paternal grandparents because his parents are fighting. While mom (Tara Reid) promises to try to work things out with dad (Faust Checho), we see near the end of the film that she is really just spending more time with her friends at the bar, which plays a part in the marital problems from dad’s perspective.
A good part of the film focuses on Steven’s relationship with his grandfather Hiney (portrayed brilliantly by Bev Appleton) and grandmother Gladys (the legendary Oscar Award winning Cloris Leachman), and had that been the purpose of the film it could have worked. The three actors had great onscreen chemistry and interacted with each other very well, and Ormond should have a bright future in show business. Unfortunately, the movie jumped around to unrelated events and utilized so many fringe characters that had little or nothing to do with the plot, and that relationship is overshadowed by a poorly developed story.
The grandparents and Steven are terrorized by a group of hippies, perhaps inspired by the Manson Family, and while there are two deaths, none of the main characters meets his end. The movie did a great job of building suspense, but always let the air out before capitalizing on it. There was so much potential with this film, and I really wanted to like it, but at the end of the day it simply fell flat.