A group of civilians runs for their freedom when they find themselves caught in the middle of a Black Ops program designed to cure PTSD.
First-time director Ric Maddox, alongside writers Sean Crampton and Jordan Wisely, brings the story of an elite ex-Navy seal with PTSD placed in a top-secret government rehabilitation program. Using criminal civilians as bait, can our soldier in question be saved? A twist on The Most Dangerous Game (1931) meets Universal Soldier (1992), THE STALKING FIELDS is an action-packed entry into a potential new franchise.
The dialogue has a uniquely poetic perspective at times but quickly becomes contrasted by innumerable F-bombs. I say this as a person who has a sailor’s mouth, and this felt excessive. The quick-take editing has all the horror genre elements. From the lighting to the angles, it is visually intriguing. I must applaud the creativity in location design. Besides the woods, the military behind the scenes could easily take place in a cleverly lit warehouse walled off entirely with plastic sheeting. That budget must have been astronomical. I have to hand it to the CG team for some legit graphics on each monitor. They had my eyes darting from screen to screen. Bravo for the detail.
Performances are solid as hell. Angela Nordang, Adam J. Harrington, and Rachel Markarian all impress. Jake Davidson plays an eager young soldier, Jason Rawlings Jr. He brings a firey spirit, and I wanted to see more. Michael King nails the role of Price. He is naturally alpha but has ceaselessly charming energy to his delivery. He is a true standout. I think Sean Crampton needed more dialogue. I’d love to see more of his backstory in a second film. Taylor Kalupa‘s delivery is solid, as well. I invite Crampton and Wisely to explore more of her past, as well. These two need a weightier redemption. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention William Gabriel Grier’s performance. I could not take my eyes off him. There is another story worth exploring in flashbacks or a spinoff. The final moments of the script have a classic franchise set up as there is not one twist but two. Overall, THE STALKING FIELDS has all the elements you look for in an action thriller; intrigue, fight sequences, guts, and glory.
Gravitas Ventures will release THE STALKING FIELDS on digital platforms on January 17, 2023.
The film has a running time of 90:27 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.
THE STALKING FIELDS was written by Sean Crampton and Jordan Wiseley and directed by first-time filmmaker and Army veteran Ric Maddox. The film stars Crampton in a breakthrough performance, as well as Taylor Kalupa, Adam J. Harrington, Rachael Markarian, Jordan Wiseley, and Richard O. Ryan.
Drawing from personal experience, both Crampton and Wisely grew up in military families and felt it was important to make a film about the ramifications of PTSD.