I hate to start any review with phrase “Something weird is going on in Kansas”, but that’s the most you’re going to get out of “The Empty Acre”, at least out of the first ten minutes. Basically, something weird IS going on in Kansas–patches of field are turning up inexplicably–and unanswerably–dead. Cattle are dying where they stand of the most unknown causes. And more and more missing persons posters appear in the post office with seemingly each passing day. No one’s quite sure just what’s going on out in this pastoral community, and the answers will become nearly as disturbing as the questions.
One of the great things about “The Empty Acre” is that it’s single-handedly redefined the concept of “sinister”. There aren’t very many movies any more that will take the time necessary to truly be sinister, but “The Empty Acre” is one of them. It’s very careful, very deliberate, but constantly maintains the mild to moderate level of tension to truly pull off sinister. Very clever effects, including shadow manipulation, adds to the overall effect in a very precise fashion.
In fact, it takes nearly twenty minutes for a body to even show up. But don’t let this discourage you–“The Empty Acre” does a very good job with its pacing. Strange things will happen regularly enough to hold your interest, even as the movie takes its time in presenting events.
Perhaps the only thing wrong with “The Empty Acre”, despite the excellence of its pacing, is that its run time is a bit long. There was quite a bit that could have been cut out to get a faster resolution time, but in its way, the extra run time is worth it as the pacing is so good. If you’re in a hurry, this is not the movie for you. Despite a run time that may be just a bit too long, “The Empty Acre” is still a masterwork of suspense that brings back the concept of sinister. And that’s a welcome return.