#218 -- Dark Fields (2009)
Director: Douglas Schulze
Dark Fields is about a curse that haunts a farming community. It follows three different generations, and explains next to nothing. It is definitely an interesting premise, but I just didn't understand it. Maybe it's just me, but it didn't make any sense.
Each curse began when a farmer from the community dug up an old top hat, and the curse was ended when the top hat was buried again. I have no clue why the top hat was so special, who it belonged to, or why it was cursed. I do know who began the curse, though. It was an old shaman whose children were killed. So, each time the top hat is found, the people in the community got really sick. And the "illness" was hereditary, so even if someone was out of town, or moved away, they'd still get it. The story follows a college girl who got really nervous when her fingernails fell off and these weird black marks appeared on her skin. So she returned home for answers from her parents. Their answer to the problem was to dance in the rain. Water was the only cure for the illness, and they had ways to make sure that it wold rain when they needed it to.
Remember the shaman I mentioned? The one that lost his children? Well, his answer to that was to make other people kill their own children. So Cari's parents told her the only way to rid herself of the curse was to make it rain, and the only way to make it rain was to kill her little brother. They had already killed her other two brothers, but I guess it didn't rain enough. My question is this: what do a top hat, rain, and killing children have anything to do with each other? Was the shaman trying to get revenge on whoever killed his children? Because that was never fully explained. And if water was the only cure, why not take a fucking bath? I mean, isn't the exact same thing? Certain people would just pour water over their faces to get rid of the sickness, but at the same time they desperately needed that rain. It makes no sense.
Anyways, Cari refused to kill her brother, because she was, obviously, the smartest person in the entire town. Or she was just the only one who wasn't willing to sacrifice an innocent child to save herself. She did kill her father, as he was attempting to kill her brother, and then she and her brother went on the run. Since she couldn't get the job done, the town sent some crazy man after them to kill her brother. He was a zombie, or a vampire, or something. He was present in all three time-periods, and he liked to eat peoples' flesh. I don't know what the deal was with him. He was just a random zombie man in the middle of random stupidity. Oh, and I have another question.
If everyone knew that burying the top hat would end the curse, instead of killing all their children, why wouldn't they just bury the fucking top hat? Why go through all the trouble, all the pain, and all the murder when it could be easily avoided? Because the townspeople were stupid, and the writers were just as dumb. What the characters do makes no sense. If a simple girl like me can figure this shit out, people who've known about the curse since the 1800s should surely be able to learn. But no, they just don't. I have a problem with characters being completely stupid, because it makes the whole movie less realistic to me. Seriously, would any sane person kill their child rather than bury the top hat? I know I'd do anything I possibly could to make sure that my child wasn't hurt, and I'd sure as hell not hurt my child myself. So, if there was such a simple solution, I'd go for that. I think everyone would, except for these dumb shits. It's just not right.
This movie did have a couple of things going for it, but it doesn't make it any more enjoyable. One was David Carradine, who played one of the townspeople back in the 1800s. The effects were also pretty good. When the people were effected by the sickness, the changes looked pretty awesome. And that weird zombie guy looked pretty cool. But all of that was not enough to save it from its own stupidity. In the end, Cari buried the top hat and sent all the children away (because only adults got the illness). Everyone else died. The end, good riddance. I apologize for the spoiler, but you really should be thanking me for saving you from having to watch this mess.