by Jason Kelly
Last night my friend and I were searching for a good horror movie to watch, and we found The Rohl Farms Haunting on Amazon Prime. The first thing we did was watch the trailer that was available to us. The trailer didn’t show much, admittedly, but it did pique our interest in the movie, so we decided to dive in and give it a shot.
The movie takes place in rural Wisconsin and it stars Luke Rohl and Cordero Roman playing as themselves. Cordero is at Luke Rohl’s farm to film a documentary about him, although it is not clear which aspect of Luke’s life the documentary is supposed to be focusing on. The entire film takes place from the perspective of Cordero’s camera as he attempts to film this documentary.
The first hour of the movie moves along at a very slow pace. There is minimal activity, paranormal or otherwise, that takes place in this first hour. Cordero and Luke hear a few knocks around the house and go to investigate where they knocks came from. As you might expect, they don’t find anybody outside or anywhere near the house, but they do notice that the door is always left open even though they always make sure it’s closed. They also hear some weird music coming from outside and, yet again, cannot determine where it’s coming from. That’s pretty much the extent of the weird occurrences in this first half of the film.
However, it picks up a little bit of steam after that first hour when Luke and Cordero decide to go looking for deer at night. The drive out to the outskirts of Luke’s farm and use a high-beam light to search for any deer roaming around the property. While doing this, Cordero sees a group of three people standing on the property and staring directly at Luke’s truck. The boys, naturally, freak out and decide to race back to Luke’s house to take cover. A bit later in the film Luke discovers a video tape that was left on his kitchen counter with a sticker on it that says, “Play me”. Luke and Cordero play the video tape and it shows clips from the first documentary they did together (which apparently happened a few years earlier) and the song that the boys heard outside earlier in the film is the soundtrack to the tape.
This is the point when Luke finally decides that he’s had enough of these people messing with him on his property. He grabs a shotgun out of his closet and decides to hunt down the three people who are on his property. His search is not successful as the only person he finds is a friend of his from elementary school. His friend insists that he was only on Luke’s property to smoke weed in a place where his mother couldn’t see him. After Luke and Cordero dismiss their friend they discover that Luke’s shotgun has been taken and, even worse, they start to hear the random music again. Cordero looks outside and sees two of the three people he saw earlier, except this time they are wearing farm animal masks. Luke decides that if these people are going to come into his house anyway then he is going to hide out and try to surprise attack them. Luke and Cordero both hide and, through Cordero’s camera, we see one of the masked intruders come into the house. Luke attempts to fight him but ends up being outnumbered. While the fight is happening Cordero decides to hide in the basement instead of helping Luke, which seems like an extremely cowardly decision. After the masked assailants leave the house, Cordero comes out of hiding to search for Luke, who is nowhere to be found.
The film concludes with Cordero jumping into his car and driving back to his house to ask his brother and his mother for help. He frantically tries to explain to them what is happening to him and Luke, and his mother and brother immediately dismiss it as being crazy talk. Cordero puts his camera down in the living room and goes to argue with his family in a separate room. Through his camera we see the masked assailants break into his house and hide out, waiting for him. Eventually we hear Cordero exclaim that he is going to fetch his camera to show his family evidence of what he is claiming. Cordero never makes it there, as he is captured by the three masked intruders before he can grab his camera and is taken away.
Overall this was not a bad film, but it wasn’t all that exciting or suspenseful either. The film was at least one hour too long. The final half hour was decent because at the very least there was some action or real suspense once the masked people were revealed. Ultimately, however, that final half hour was not enough to save the movie from being a major letdown. There was also no explanation whatsoever as to why this was happening to Luke and Cordero. While random, pointless horror is not always a bad thing it was a necessity for this film. If they insist on spending an hour walking the audience around a farm then they might as well use that time to build a story line around why someone may want to attack or antagonize Luke. The fact that there was no reason behind this attack at all left the audience, and certainly myself, scratching our heads and wondering what the point of the movie was.
Final Grade: C-
Is it worth watching? Sure, if you’re left with absolutely no other movie options. Otherwise, pick something else.