Empty Acre, The
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One thing I love about watching movies outside the mainstream is how little of a preconceived notion I have going in. Trailers are an important part of the advertising machine, but sometimes they give away enough of the story that I lose interest. With independent projects, I don’t know Jack, and that’s how I like it.
All I knew about “The Empty Acre” was that the company producing it (SenoReality) had some amazing film quality in their project, Ari Bavel was in it, and it wasn’t a horror film. Not a lot to go on, but again, that’s how I dig it.
“The Empty Acre” tells us a story about Beth and Jacob, a young couple whose dreams of a fanciful life were derailed by the real world. They’re a farm family, it’s a tough life, especially with a baby. If eking out a living wasn’t hard enough, Jacob spends a healthy portion of his day in the local watering hole, and is dead set against Beth leaving the house. Oh, and something mysterious is killing their cattle one by one.
The story unfolds slowly, and deliberately. Nothing happens that doesn’t fit into this confusing, yet intricate plot, and once you have an inkling of what’s going on, you’re knocked over and sent spiraling into an even bigger and weirder mystery.
“Acre” develops the ordinary characters very well, and THEN dumps them into extraordinary events, which created some pretty strong emotional ties with the viewer. I sympathized with Beth when I thought she just had a crappy life, but I really felt for her when the poop hit the propeller.
The movie is able to tell an intriguing sci-fi mystery without a ton of special effects. It’s what you don’t see that’s really frightening. But what you do see is amazing. The town and farmlands become a character themselves as you learn more, and every scene seems sculpted with painstaking attention to detail.
Yeah, the way I’m gushing, you’d think I just found the tantamount of American moviemaking…but it’s not quite there. While the story itself succeeds due to the slow buildup, I felt that a few of the scenes themselves were sometimes a little too long, and repetitive. I get that Jacob is a depressed control freak that likes to drink. This message was hammered home a little too much.
Overall though, I found “The Empty Acre” to be a beautiful and inventive movie, and recommend tracking it down. It’s a refreshing glimpse into a rural world where something really, really bad is happening.
On an unrelated note, SenoReality also sent us a copy of their short “Woman’s Intuition” to check out. Freekin’ brilliant. In nine short minutes they create a story, a great character, and one of the most wicked twist endings ever! I watched it three times in a row just to soak in every frame. Hunt this down as well.
“Woman’s Intuition” is a definite 5 can short, and “The Empty Acre” is an easy 4 ½ cans out of 5. Watch out for these, and snag them up the moment you see them!
Added: Tuesday, August 22, 2006
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