THE FARM (2018) Reviews and overview

 

‘They’re dying to meat you’

The Farm is a 2018 American horror feature film written and directed by Hans Stjernswärd (short: Geppetto). The movie stars Nora Yessayan, Alec Gaylord, and Ken Volok.

Plot:

After having stopping at a roadside diner to eat meat, a young couple is kidnapped and treated like farm animals…

Review:

The Farm is yet another in the long list of down-home flesh-eating films that have sprung up in the wake of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and its sequels, prequels, and reboots. Along the way, there’s been everything from Motel Hell to the more recent Escape from Cannibal Farm and What the Waters Left Behind.

The Farm takes a somewhat more surrealistic approach to the subject with its silent, animal-masked farmers/butchers. Writer/director Hans Stjernswärd seems to be trying to walk a line between a horror film and a vegan manifesto. Unfortunately, the “meat is murder” message tends to overwhelm the attempts at scares, and indeed at entertainment, most of the time.

Nora (Nora Yessayan) and Alec (Alec Gaylord) are a couple on a road trip. After stopping for the night at a hotel that should scare anyone with a double-digit IQ, or an interest in hygiene, they wake up caged on a farm that specialises in human meat. Can they escape or will they end up as the main course in somebody’s catered dinner?

It’s hard to say what we’re supposed to make of The Farm. On the one hand, it has a well-tested genre plotline and some distinctly nasty scenes. On the other hand, it has an almost glacially slow pace and overbearing message. Even those animal masks they wear, while creepy at first become annoying quickly. And on a practical note, anyone who has ever worn one can tell you can’t see worth a damn while wearing them and the elastic breaks easily. But these stay on no matter what and don’t stop them from noticing anything going on.

It’s really unfortunate that The Farm misses the mark so badly because the film’s makers aren’t afraid to use confrontational imagery like a woman hooked up to a milking machine like a cow. Indeed several of the scenes in the middle of the film are unsettling. That part feels almost like a documentary at times, but it never sustains the creepy feeling.

Our leads are also missing for most of this part, which stalls the actual plot. But even when we go back to them for the inevitable escape attempt it feels dull because it’s all too obvious how the film has to end. It doesn’t help that some of the film’s publicity gave the ending away either.

Jim Morazzini, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

The Farm is not a very entertaining horror film. The film’s central message is fairly obvious. But, the reason for the director’s activism put to film is not. Surely, politics is better offered more subtly, than with a hammer to the noggin, or a nail gun to the forehead. As it is, The Farm is a bit of drain on the system and will leave many in a dower mood.” 28 Days Later

“Egor’s cinematography is well crafted, the sound design is atmospheric and Sergei Stern’s score is a masterclass in musical composition, and probably my favourite aspect of the film. There’s good production design, the acting is decent […] The film’s downfall is simply that it just doesn’t have enough on-screen action…” Adam the Movie God

“The film poses as a provocative piece presumably meant to challenge perspectives on food processing. But it doesn’t have nearly enough weight for cursory commentary to come across as anything other than an excuse to wade in trashy scenes of nude victims being terrorized.” Culture Crypt

” …while the violence works for part of The Farm, it eventually loses all its traction, grinding to a halt in its third act. The Farm is one of those films where its main idea has immense potential. Unfortunately, while the picture has some stellar moments of gross violence, it ultimately fails in keeping viewers engaged.” Dread Central

” …certain aspects of the film paired with the brilliant constructions of uncomfortable scenes will give the film life and find its audience. Just don’t go looking for story or character. This film hinges on enjoying the premise and how far the creep factor can take the audience.” Ghastly Grinning

…The Farm has a few issues that rely on its constant attempt at imitating movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre […] sometimes we don’t get to see why certain characters end up in a specific situation. It seems like a few parts have been written on the script, but the director didn’t know how to show them on screen…” Horror World & Reviews

” …it is the sadistic edge that gets muddled by the goofy villains that undoes this […] It’s not a film without merits, as there is some authentically scary stuff, and the gore effects are brutal.” The Scariest Things

Release:

The Farm was released on Digital and theatrically via Red Hound Films on November 16th 2018.

Main cast and characters:

Nora Yessayan … Nora
Alec Gaylord … Alec
Ken Volok … Landlord
Rob Tisdale … Andrew
Kelly Mis … Ashley
David Air … Guy at the diner
Julie Meghan Brown … Women in cages (as Julie Brown)
Gael Carrion … Animal Masks
Jola Cora … Women in cages
Sandra Cruze … Waitress
Rishi Das … Jenson – Waiter
Hollywood Lee DuPree … Baby
Catherine Farion … Women in cages
Ryan Grindstaff … Animal Masks
Anna Jennette … Women in cages

Filming locations:

Riverside County and Santa Clarita, California

Technical details:

80 minutes

Watch the trailer on YouTube