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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Farm
The Farm
Brain Damage Films // Unrated // October 5, 2010
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeremy Biltz | posted September 11, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
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The Movie:
As a slasher movie, or even just a creepy killer in an isolated place movie, The Farm is something of a disappointment. It is plodding, confusing, and ultimately pointless.

Mickey (Jack Lowe) is in something of a pickle. He and his stoner friend Charlie (Robert Donohoe) kidnapped a random man on the street for a gangster they owed a debt to. Getting cold feet when the kidnapped man is tortured, Mickey kills said gangster, earning the enmity of his organization, bent on revenge and retrieving the large amount of money that Mickey stole during the confusion. In a panic, Mickey flees the city with his vapid girlfriend Juliet (Louise Cargin). They have no particular destination in mind, and wander through the countryside until they happen across quiet, unassuming fellow (never a good sign in this kind of film) John (Cathal Reilly), who agrees to let them spend the night at his isolated farm house.

Things get very creepy very quickly. John becomes quite taken with Juliet, even going so far as to sneak into the couple's bedroom and stare at them in their sleep. (John seems to be able to see effortlessly in darkness so total that others cannot see at all. It does not appear that he is wearing any kind of night vision goggles, though many of the night scenes are shot in what seems to be night vision, and this ability is never explained.) The next morning over breakfast, he talks about the banshee that haunts the farm, and that Juliet heard screaming the night before, and asks Mickey to help him "move something in the shed." Of course, it is a ruse, and soon both Mickey and Juliet are locked in, with Mickey being elaborately tortured in short order.

I will refrain from revealing the ending, except to say that it is less than uplifting, and somewhat annoying. In this, it is much like the rest of the film, and indeed its putative protagonists. Both Mickey and Juliet are deeply unlikable, though Mickey more so. Juliet is simply helpless and stupid. Mickey on the other hand, is constantly demeaning his girlfriend, belittling her, running her down, and whining when she does not instantly comply with his unstated yet unrealistic demands. Why on earth would anyone put up with such an unseemly cad? John, for all of his torturing and kidnapping ways, actually seems preferable to our hero. He doesn't think that it's right for Mickey to treat Juliet so callously, and this is gestured towards as a reason for his violence, though only gestured toward. We are never given a chance to understand why he acts as he does, or even a glimpse into his psyche. Blathering on to Mickey about how leprechaun originally meant "leper helper" while preparing to pour hot tea on him and paper cut him in vulnerable places doesn't count.

On top of all of this, the story moves at an excruciatingly slow pace. Lots of long scenes of people driving, or sleeping, or having meaningless conversations that do nothing to either advance the plot or give us a greater insight into the characters. (The sound mix is not good either, muffling a large portion of the dialogue and obscuring theoretically important exchanges.) We don't even arrive at the eponymous farm until the thirty minute mark. When we do, the thrills are minimal. There is a fair amount of creepiness as we watch the silent John observing the unsuspecting Juliet at various points, but this is a small morsel indeed to sustain an entire film. The performances are competent, at least what is audible, but the characters are unpleasant enough that this matters little. All in all, The Farm is a dud. Skip it.

The DVD

Video:
The image is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, and has a few issues. Shadows obscure the action from time to time, and there is a fair amount of aliasing. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality of the final product.

Sound:
The sound is in Dolby digital 2 channel, and is not good. A great deal of the dialogue is inaudible, making the story difficult to follow at times. No subtitles or alternate language tracks are included. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality of the final product.

Extras:
No extras are included. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality or quantity of the extras on the final product.

Final Thoughts:
The Farm is slow moving and dull, with an ill told story of little interest. A glimmer of a good idea pops up here and there, but is ultimately allowed to die away without being explored. The few points of quality are not nearly enough to overcome the dullness.

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