SCARECROW | THE DVD REVIEW

SCARECROW is a trashy horror film releasing this WED 23rd April in Australian on DVD from Eagle Entertainment. This film is purely for your B Grade horror fans. It has a very recognisable TV cast and, for me, the trailer looks scary :). It was a telemovie in the US and from Kernel John’s review I am having hideous shaking nightmares of “another” 12 Disasters. SCARECROW is rated MA15+ and runs for 83mins. Enjoy John’s review below and if you see it let us know what you think, is this something you enjoyed more than John? And if you want your own copy you can buy it direct from HERE.

 

SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE 2103 - DVD COVER
SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE 2103 – DVD COVER

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

SCARECROW

SCARECROW is amazing!

…ly bad.  As in truly terrible.  A Syfy Pictures horror film, director Sheldon Wilson returns in yet another of his failed direct to DVD debacles (Ed. Note – was a telemovie in the US in 2013 first).  The film stars Lacey Chabert (MEAN GIRLS, PARTY OF FIVE television series) as Kristen alongside Robin Dunne (SANCTUARY television series) as Aaron.  Several other actors fill out the cast as cannon fodder for our beasty.

Events take place in a number of typical horroresque settings: cornfields, barns, dilapidated farmhouses, forests, and a boat graveyard (apparently, that is a thing); and our hapless victims act in typical horroresque manners: scared, screamy, paranoid, and illogical.  So far, so good.  The film has all the pretence of being a horror flick, expect for one teeny tiny element: the horror bits, namely, the plot, the level of gore, and the creature itself.

 

SCARECROW IMAGE - EVERYONE IN A POLICE CAR
SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE ON DVD – EVERYONE IN A POLICE CAR

 

Firstly, the plot.  It is a horror film, I get that, so you expect it to be light on plot.  To its credit, SCARECROW dispenses with a great deal of boring character back-story to more quickly get on with the stabby stabby.  This is a pleasant change from the usual horror shtick of finding out how Little Timmy was abandoned by his mother when he was only three, but how by his fifth birthday he was determined to be a fire fighter, until at age eight he was diagnosed with late stage– ah damn, Timmy just got speared in the face.  I am not interested in the life story of a Red Shirt, and for the most part SCARECROW does not care about its characters’ history either.  However, the film does not simply start in the middle of an abandoned basement with our hero drowning in a bathtub and Jigsaw playing fake dead in a pool of strawberry sauce.  SAW this is not. No, no, the film begins with Aaron as teacher, bundling a group of six wicked students onto a school bus for a full day of manual labour detention.  I recall a similar scenario during HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE, where Harry’s detention consists of going into the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid to track a unicorn. Physical chores as a form of punishment never seem to work out too well for our heroes and sadly, there are no centaurs to save our hapless band of misfits in SCARECROW.

 

SCARECROW IMAGE - DEAD CHICK
SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE ON DVD – DEAD CHICK

 

So far, so odd-but-it’s-a-horror-film-so-meh-believable. Except Wilson goes that one-step further to explain why these kids are on detention, even though I really do not care.  Two minutes in and I’m already hoping that the dark haired slut at the back of the bus dies first, but no, we cannot get on with the killing until we find out just how naughty everyone has been.  Turns out, they posted pictures of fellow (underage) classmates having sex to Facebook.  So, technically, these rambunctious teens are actually paedophiles.  Great, because I needed another reason for them all to die.  Harry was caught out of bed after hours and was sent to the Forbidden Forest, these idiots break federal law and get put on school camp detention?

So far, so this-is-stupid-even-for-a-horror-flick.  However, the real zinger comes when we find out what the detention actually entails, not that I care, just get on with the slaughter already.  Enter Aaron’s ex Kristen as last surviving owner of her family’s derelict farm.  She brings along her ex-lover and Aaron’s ex-best friend Eddie as well, because no horror flick is complete without an awkward ex-sexy triangle.  Apparently, our nine victims have gathered at Kristen’s farm because they need to transport a scarecrow she has out in the middle of her cornfield back to town.  It is to be the centrepiece of the town’s annual Scarecrow Festival (evidently, this too is a thing).

 

SCARECROW IMAGE - LEG GASH ON SOON TO BE DEAD CHICK
SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE ON DVD – LEG GASH ON SOON TO BE DEAD CHICK

 

Now, I saw THE WIZARD OF OZ, and if there are three things I remember about that movie they are that Judy Garland was amazing, tin does not rust (so what the hell Tin Man?), and that scarecrows are attached to their post by one oversized nail.  One!  It does not take nine Goddamn people to move a stupid scarecrow!  Is this thing made out of lead; does it weigh a tonne?  I have seen heard of more compelling and well thought out storylines in porn.  If you are going to force feed me useless plot then do not make it revolve around a group of paedophiles and their sexually embarrassed minders schlepping miles and miles outside of civilisation to disassemble the Rubik’s Cube of all scarecrows so it can be carted back to town for the annual straw worshipping ritual.  A pizza delivering, pool cleaning, plumber here to check your pipes twist would have made more sense than this tripe.  So far, so JUST-EVISCERATE-SOMEONE-ALREADY!

Speaking of eviscerations, thirteen people die in this film.  That is a respectable body count for a horror flick, and presents the writers with a wealth of opportunities to display their gory touch, opportunities they promptly ignore.  Less than half the characters are killed on screen, with some of the most promising death scenes completely brushed over.  Scenes such as “self immolation car bomb sacrifice,” “death by industrial size garden mulcher,” and “literally being torn in half, legs and abdomen devoured, and having head and upper torso suspended from hook” are not shown in bloody, graphic detail, but are instead reflected purely in the poorly acted horror struck expressions of the survivors.  This is not a thriller horror film, it is meant to be a gory horror film, Wilson just forgot to put any in.

 

SCARECROW IMAGE - ROOF CLIMBING BLACK SCARECROW ABOVE SOON TO BE DEAD DUDE
SCARECROW HORROR MOVIE ON DVD – ROOF CLIMBING BLACK SCARECROW ABOVE SOON TO BE DEAD DUDE

 

The monster itself was also a great letdown.  The notion of a scarecrow as villain had great potential.  Sadly, the creature itself was created entirely through special effects and looked nothing like a scarecrow.  I guess yellow is not a very scary colour, so the writers decided to make the straw black, which was odd.  It looked more like a strange dark tree thing that moved fluidly like water and could hang from ceilings like a vine.  Kind of like a cross between oily coloured brambles, a dementor, and the smoke monster from Lost.  Because all those things just scream “scarecrow.”  Poorly animated, not very convincing, and being as we actually see it kill so few people, not very scary.

Overall, SCARECROW is awful.  A film that takes itself far too seriously to be a B grade classic, but lacks all the elements to make it an A class flick.  Convoluted and meaningless plot combine with a distinctly poor and weak monster plot, the one part of the film I was hoping they would expand on.  The creature has no weaknesses, cannot be killed, but apparently can be trapped if you bury it underground.  Because as we all know, if there is one thing that is the Achilles heel of plants around the world, it is being buried in dirt.

 

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