In select theaters and On Demand from Red Hound Films and Blue Fox Entertainment; help me out and pick it up on Amazon!
THE FARM (2018)
Directed by Hans Stjernswärd
Written by Hans Stjernswärd
Starring Nora Yessayan, Alec Gaylord, Ken Volok, Rob Tisdale, Kelly Mis, Daniel R. Manning
Find out more about this film here!
THE FARM is a bare-bones cannibal slasher/killer family film that obviously wouldn’t exist had TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE hadn’t. It’s got some rough spots, but still manages to stand out as a potent little horror yarn. The narrative of THE FARM is as simplistic as they come. A couple on a road trip stop at a bed and breakfast in the country only to find themselves captured cattle in a well-organized farm run by animal masked mutes who breed, feed, milk, and slaughter humans.
Yep, we’ve seen it before in TCM, as well as MOTEL HELL and various other cannibal films. But setting this film apart from those, we get to follow the meticulous inner workings of this farm, following the animal masked “farmers” as they do their chores which means treat their victims as if they are cows, pigs, and chickens. A large portion of this film follows behind these workers and gives us the tour of how the farm works. And while the concept of cannibalism has been done before, this kind of view hasn’t and proves to be rather fascinating—especially once our couple tries to escape since, by then, we know almost every inch of the farm because of this lengthy tour of the grounds. It’s a nice way to establish the layout and then let the characters run around in it.
That said, the acting here isn’t the greatest. Leads Nora Yessayan & Alec Gaylord are fine, but while an extended amount of time is spent at the beginning to get to know them (a bit too much, in my opinion), they don’t do anything that really gives us any kind of character in order for the viewer to care for them. And while, yes, it is easy to empathize with them once we see what goes on at the farm and the monsters that run it, they still don’t stand out as anything but fodder for the monsters to stalk, scare, torture, and kill.
The gore is quite gruesome and there are more than a few shocking moments, once again where the humans are treated like farm animals ready for slaughter. This dehumanization of the farm’s livestock is quite disturbing and the effects (especially a gutting scene and a birthing scene) make everything pretty rough to handle if you’re the queasy type. There’s also an insemination scene that’s going to make you cringe. Elevating everything to a higher level is the excellent score by Sergei Stern with plenty of screaming and scratching music that I found to be truly bone-rattling.
Reminiscent of minimalist slasher LUTHER THE GEEK (this would actually be a fun double feature with that clucking slasher flick from the nineties), THE FARM is a twisted homage to cannibal cinema with as many faults as it has great moments. Enter THE FARM at your own risk, it’s a mixed bag of horse feed, but enough to entertain.
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