What The Farm!?
INT. MOON’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Moon enters his bedroom after watching the Super Bowl. He sits on his bed covered with books, notebooks, and loose paper containing random notes about writing and film projects. He opens his laptop to his writing program. He pauses to take his nightly medication with water instead. He returns to his computer and begins typing.
Man, I hope I don’t have to write
a review about a movie like this
That opening is already better than the script for The Farm was.
In this movie, Alec and Nora are driving, coming home from a trip somewhere. After taking a bathroom break behind a closed diner, failing an attempt to help a woman seemingly stuck on the side of the road, getting something to eat at another diner, being spooked by some random guy at the lunch counter, and stopping off for some gas, the couple decides to spend the night at a cabin. Where is this cabin? In the woods, of course, because that’s where cabins live. That night they are kidnapped and taken to a “farm” where people are the livestock instead of traditional livestock.
Yep, that’s the plot. That’s also about as much of the movie that made sense. This movie was graded at a 5, the lowest score I’ve given to this point. Even Lavalantula got a 6! Why did it score so low, you ask? Here’s why.
So, for this let’s remember what the Five Questions of the Rating System are:
Is this movie original/has an original idea?
Does the ending make sense, all things considered?
Does the story make sense, all things considered?
Do the characters make sense, all things considered?
Was I entertained?
1 - The idea of people being treated like farm animals in this manner isn’t something I can recall seeing, so it got full credit from this question. 2 points.
2 - Imma get back to this one, but before I rag on this ending, I have to rag on the characters and the story. We’ll come back to this.
3 - Where do I begin? The story begins with the drive. In the movie’s opening, the couple, Alec and Nora, are in the car when Nora asks, “How much longer?” to which Alec replies, “A couple of hours” and then gives an excuse for how they ran behind schedule. She then asks when they’ll get to another rest stop, but the next rest stop is further than her bladder will allow.
They stop off at this diner that is closed for the day so Nora just does her business behind the building in an alley, where she discovers an old tent and a wallet. We don’t know who’s stuff, but it’s there. She then returns to the car and Alec without incident. The wallet and tent aren’t mentioned or noted again. I suppose that this could foreshadow people just disappearing, but again, nothing about these elements was mentioned or revisited again. At the very least, they could meet someone that mentioned being homeless and being kidnapped behind an old diner.
There’s a point in the movie where we shift the story to follow a member of the farm’s personnel named Andrew. This was the clerk from the gas station that suggest the cabins as a place to stay overnight. He just becomes the focus for a while and it kinda takes you out of the story.
Speaking of the cabin suggestion, I’m confused about how they were “a couple of hours away” and then just a “couple of hours later” instead of being home or just trying to ride the trip out to their destination, presumably home, Alec needs an overnight stay somewhere. Especially in what appears to be the middle of the day. If you were close and just could not drive any further, switch places with Nora. Later in the movie, she had zero issues with driving a car or a bus.
The worse of the story issues had to do with the lead into Act III. For context, once at the farm, Nora and Alec are held in cages, in separate parts of the farm. Somehow, in a manner that isn’t clarified in any way, shape, or form, Alec escapes his cage, finds Nora, and frees her without incident. How did he escape? How did he know where Nora was? Alec’s escape would be vital to the third Act and the fact that it’s not shown, implied, insinuated, or explained is just cheap. Getting 1 point was borderline charity.
4 - These characters make no sense at all to me.
Alec: Ignores any and every red flag presented. He isn’t the worst character in this film, but he’s in the role of the naive person who is ultimately to blame for finding themselves in the situation.
Andrew: One of the few characters that are “in on it” and doesn’t where I mask. He plays the “I’m a grown man but I act and react like a very young child” and the character serves no purpose. The fact that he’s a focus for a period is stranger and I didn’t like him.
The “Staff”: There’s a manager/innkeeper at the cabins and he ends up being the “guy in charge” of The Farm. There are several bits where he’s talking to the staff in the masks and he receives no answer. No words. No nod. No translator speaking for them. Just nothing. But he’s able to understand the answers not given? Really?!?
And then there’s Nora. Of my many minor issues with her character, here is my biggest one: When she awakens after being kidnapped, she finds herself outdoors in a cage. She fights the cage trying to get free to no avail. Then she’s taken to a different facility where she finds herself tied at the ankles to a hanging bar with her legs apart. She is clearly bound but nevertheless trying vigorously to free herself. She is then inseminated against her will and continues to fight and struggle to free herself. Shortly thereafter, two men come into the facility, untie her feet and untie her hands. She doesn’t move. I doubt she even blinked. If she bucked as she did before, she would have likely gotten loose and been able to attempt an escape. She didn’t. Not even a little bit.
I took off a point here because some characters were confusing and some didn’t act in a manner that was previously established.
2 (again) - The ending happens as Alec and Nora have escaped, but Alec is slowed down by a bear trap. With the “farmers” only feet away, Nora leaves Alec behind and gets away. She later rescues a girl who was being held in her building and the two find their way to a bus. The two get on the bus but don’t have keys though they were told where the keys were by another prisoner and they didn’t bother to get them beforehand. They get the keys only to find that all the farmers have boarded the bus and were waiting for them.
The closing shot is of our two escapees roasted like whole pigs on a table as the “farmers” recreate “The Last Supper” by DaVinci. Not in a freezeframe, but just the people standing there. Holding the poses. The biggest question I have is Why? Why this for the closer? Nothing in this movie had religious themes. In only one part was there a connection as Alec and Nora ran into the chapel to hide. There you see Jesus on the wall with a lamb mask. That’s all. To end on such a religious theme note is just confusing. Zero points for this.
5 - I was not entertained. There’s so little dialogue and the dialogue I did get was pointless, such as the Manager on the phone and ordering an increase in production for the nothing that happened later. I got so confused about why they didn’t just keep going for the “just couple of hours” or why they didn’t alternate drivers. I’m still confused about how Alec escaped and for that matter, didn’t release other who could have helped him.
In the end, the 5 rating that I gave this movie was generous and while there isn’t anything redeemable about this movie, go ahead and watch it. Maybe you can answer the questions with something I missed.