After the well scripted, character driven, found footage film Hollow and the sublime, subtle spookiness of The Devil’s Business comes The Fallow Field. It’s another low budget UK horror which, like the others, is packed full of originality and eeriness, yet it remains very British indeed.
The story follows Matt (Steve Garry), a man who suffers severe episodes of memory loss, the result of which is that he goes missing for days on end. After one such blackout, he returns home to a frustrated wife and an angry policeman, both demanding answers Matt can’t provide.
Deciding to solve the mystery of his disappearances and the nightmarish visions that plague his mind once and for all, he takes a drive out to the countryside where he comes across a remote farm that brings forth a strong sense of déjà vu.
However upon meeting the owner, a gruff aggressive farmer named Calham (Michael Dacre), Matt is plunged into a real life nightmare filled with death and pain as Calham reveals the dark and disturbing secrets behind Matt’s amnesia all of which lie in The Fallow Field.
Much like the other movies mentioned at the start what sets The Fallow Field apart from many other horror movies is its originality and inventiveness especially in its plot and production which most definitely makes the most of the low budget it was made with.
Written and directed by Leigh Dovey the story captivates from the opening creating a strong urge in the viewer to discover the mysteries behind Matt’s memory loss and disturbing visions. Thankfully the film doesn’t disappoint as it goes along revealing more and more and making sure to fully flesh out the characters along the way.
Cleverly opting for not showing too much until the final frames Dovey and editor/ producer Colin Arnold opt for amping up the tension to terrify rather than relying on effects or gore and this gives the film a more visceral and real atmosphere where anything could happen.
Although comparable to a hybrid of Wolf Creek and Memento The Fallow Field offers an alternate take on the psychopath vs. victim scenario that is refreshing as well as unsettling.
The cast of relative unknowns does a great job especially Garry and Dacre as the leads whose stories dominate the majority of the film with Dacre especially horrible as the farmer harboring a sick hobby.
Again like Hollow and The Devil’s Business there is a strong pagan element to The Fallow Fields which increases its status and power as a British horror. This all harks back to the legendary The Wicker Man in the same way Kill List and Hammer’s Wake Wood did.
This quintessentially English element has a great deal of depth and potential as it draws on the UK’s historical and primal past superstitions and arcane magics. This offers something both unique and new in horror from some very old ideas that are seemingly rarely used.
It’s a solid horror with an engaging original story line and very well made, considering its low budget and limitations.
If The Fallow Field is the future of British horror then I can’t wait to see what’s next.