A feeble “Amityville Horror” derivation, “Fertile Ground” finds a young couple beset by spirits bent on making them repeat the unpleasant past. Result is as flat as the surrounding Iowa scenery, with a few rote shock cuts doing little to enliven Adam Gierasch’s direction or the screenplay he co-wrote with Jace Anderson. Pic reps one of the lesser entries in this year’s inaugural After Dark Originals batch.

After Emily (Leisha Hailey, “The L Word”) suffers a traumatic, bloody miscarriage during a dinner party, she and husband Nate (Gale Harold, of “Queer as Folk” and “Desperate Housewives”) leave the city to start afresh in the country. Their new home once belonged to his ancestors, and has a history of strange, fatal incidents. When Emily discovers she’s pregnant again — fitting the pattern for past mishaps here — she starts experiencing disturbing 19th-century visions, while Nate becomes increasingly, inexplicably hostile a la “Amityville” and “The Shining.” Gratuitous chapter headings and unconvincing lead perfs further weaken this third B-horror collaboration for Gierasch and Anderson, whose gleefully crass “Autopsy” (2008) had a lot more oomph.

Fertile Ground

  • Production: An After Dark Films release and presentation of an After Dark Films and Signature Entertainment production. Produced by Limor Diamant. Executive producers, Courtney Solomon, Stephanie Caleb. Co-producers, Karri O'Reilly, Lucy Mukerjee, James Portolese. Directed by Adam Gierasch. Screenplay, Jace Anderson, Gierasch.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-DV), Yaron Levy; editor, Andrew Cohen; music, Joseph Conlan; production designer, Hannah Beachler; set decorator, Elizabeth Mire; costume designers, Alexis Scott, Stacy Ellen Rich. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Jan. 19, 2011. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 95 MIN.
  • With: With: Leisha Hailey, Gale Harold, Chelcie Ross, Jonell Kennedy, Stephanie Brown, Sigal Diamant, Adam Gierasch.