Movie Review: The Farm (2018)

November 15, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Nora and Alec (Nora Yessayan and Alec Gaylord) are a young couple travellin’ down the road to adventure on their way to stay at the ultimate AirBnB of fright flicks; the remote, isolated cabin. On their way there they stop at a local diner and realize the townies are a bit on the fucked up side, but honestly, what could go wrong? Nothing. They have a normal vacation. The end.
Just fucking with you boils n’ ghouls! the pair are separated, and treated as cattle by the animal mask wearing local yokels. You see the folks inhabiting this region treat the men they capture (and yes, there are more victims on hand) as beef, and the women as dairy cows. Will our lovers be able to escape this charming scenario?
Let’s start with the positives on hand with The Farm. First up, Writer/Director Hans Stjernswärd has created an interesting take on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre/The Hills Have Eyes formula in regard to the fact that cannibalistic families are corralling humans as live-stock, but are separating them by sex to use for specific purposes. There’s also some great aesthetic choices in regards to cinematography and a washed-out color pallet , as well as the creepy/cool decision to garb the antagonists in animal masquerade, and long, dialog-less scenes that let the visuals do the talking…which adds to the sense of alienation our heroes feel.
On the negative side; little is presented to make us care about Nora and Alec. We have no idea why they are on the road, Alec blows Nora’s opinions off…and on and on. These are just the folks we are stuck with; period. Also on the downside is a weird dichotomy…most of the violence occurs off screen (lame), and there is violence towards babies (double lame)…so you get a dose of the distributing and a strange sense of “holding back” on the grizzly grue; side by side.  But whatever…I get the main point of this film is to illustrate the crass way we treat animals, while we ourselves act more like “animals” than our wild brethren…but wouldn’t more onscreen bloodshed hammer that home? And the snake eats it’s goddamn tail…
So there you have it; The Farm is an overall slightly derivative fright flick, that nevertheless adds it’s own twist on the cannibal townies narrative…it’s stylish, but ultimately can’t decide if it’s going for disturbing or preachy…a strange conglomerate of disparate elements that ends up working when all is said…and it has me continuing to think about it long after the credits have ended…


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