Ahhh, a Syfy original movie as well as part of the Maneater series. What more could I ask for on a Saturday. Well, maybe a pause on all of the rain we have been getting here. Anyways, RHI Entertainment, the company that makes this series of films, went through some financial troubles in 2011, causing the Maneater series to be put on hold for a while but the series was revived two years later with the release of today’s movie. So let’s see if they were able to keep the magic going as I watch Scarecrow (2013).
The plot: Chad and Marcy are heading towards a cornfield with the intent of scaring two of their classmates when they get there to take the old scarecrow down and bring it to town for the annual festival. With an hour to kill, they decide to head to an old barn and fool around but as they climb the ladder to the hay loft, the ladder breaks and they end up falling into the basement of the barn. Marcy gets a large gash in her leg and the blood starts seeping into the ground. When Marcy sees something moving, Chad goes to investigate and doesn’t see anything but when he turns back to Marcy, a hand suddenly grabs his head and kills him, then kills Marcy. Meanwhile, high school teacher Aaron Harris is gathering 6 teenagers (Beth, Calvin, Daevon, Maria, Nikki, and Tyler) onto the bus for their Saturday detention. Before they leave, he collects all of their phones and locks them in a box at the front of the bus. Aaron drives out to the abandoned farm and when they get there, Tyler and Nikki try to scare Beth, the new girl, by reciting a rhyme about the scarecrow. When she asks what they are talking about, Aaron explains the story about how several people died mysteriously a long time ago, which spun the legend involving the scarecrow. When a car pulls up, Aaron goes out to greet Kristen Miller, the owner of the farm and his ex-girlfriend, but while he is out of the bus, Nikki grabs they keys from the ignition and uses them to unlock the box so she can grab both Tyler’s and her phone. The kids all get out and Aaron introduces them to Kristen, who is selling the farm, and as the kids head through the cornfield towards the scarecrow, Kristen and Aaron start talking. Kristen tell him that she came back to sell the farm and to also see if they could get back together but Aaron is unsure, as he is still hurt from when she left town. When Eddie shows up, things get uncomfortable as the three were in a lover’s triangle and Kristen says that they are adults and should be able to put things behind them and Eddie goes to leave but his truck won’t start. Suddenly, they hear screaming from the field and they run towards the scarecrow to find Calvin tied to it. As Eddie and Aaron cut him free, Aaron calls out for Tyler and Nikki, who did this and are now missing. Suddenly, something grabs Beth and drags her through the cornfield and she reappears briefly, grabbing for Kristen’s leg, before she is dragged off again. Aaron, Eddie, and Kristen go searching for her, with Aaron telling the kids to stay there, but after they, Calvin chooses to run back towards the bus. Kristen eventually finds Beth but she ends up getting dragged off herself but she is found by Aaron and they all head towards the farm house, grabbing Calvin along the way. After they all make it inside the farm house, something starts pounding on the door and Kristen and Aaron brace it while Eddie tells Daevon to put a table up against the nearby window. Suddenly, Nikki’s bloodied body goes crashing through the window before being dragged away. The group begin barricading the doors and windows while Calvin tries to get a cell signal but when he can’t get one, Maria offers to go upstairs and try. Daevon heads down to the basement to gather some more supplies and finds an old shotgun which they can use. Daevon heads upstairs to check on Maria and the two start flirting. Meanwhile, Beth sees the picture that Calvin drew of everyone’s descriptions of the thing and starts panicking. Aaron suggests he pull the bus up to the door and everyone get in but Maria tells him that Nikki took the keys earlier. Eddie says his keys are still in his truck and Aaron says he will go and get help, as they won’t all fit in the truck. Beth continues to panic and says they should all leave so Calvin, trying to get Beth out of there, breaks the back window and makes a run for the truck. Eddie goes after him and when he sees something moving through the cornfield towards the truck, he yells at Calvin to get out of the truck. When he sees the scarecrow, Eddie tries shooting it but the gun misfires, knocking him down, and the scarecrow grabs Calvin and yanks him out of the truck. Aaron and Kristen head outside and when Kristen sees the scarecrow, she throws a Moltov cocktail at it, setting the truck on fire. Daevon, Maria, and Beth head outside and Aaron tells them to go back in the house but when they see the scarecrow appearing on the porch, they all run for the barn as the truck explodes while the scarecrow heads towards Calvin’s body and proceeds to feed on it. When they reach the barn, they discover the hole in the floor and cause the weakened beams to break, dumping them all into the hole Looking around, Aaron sees all of the chains and restraints in the hole and thinks that this is where the scarecrow was contained. Beth finds Macy’s severed body and they notice Tyler impaled on a pole above the hole, causing Beth to start blaming Kristen for all of this, as it is her family’s farm. Eddie uses some rope tied to a broken board as a grapple and they climb out of the hole, just in time to see a police SUV arrive. Aaron, Eddie, and Kristen go try to warn Officer Morris just as the scarecrow appears behind him. Morris shoots it as he flees inside the house and the scarecrow follows him and kills him. Realizing they need his keys to the car, Aaron and Eddie head inside to get them and when Kristen follows, she is attacked by the scarecrow. Aaron manages to get it to release her while outside, Daevon grabs the shotgun from the SUV and heads inside to help. Seeing the scarecrow about to attack Aaron, Daevon shoots it, causing it to knock Aaron into a bathroom and when Daevon goes to try and finish it off, the scarecrow ends up killing him. Aaron runs outside and they all get in the SUV and leave but as Aaron tries calling for help on the radio, Kristen realizes that the legends were true. When the scarecrow appears in the road, Eddie slams into it and ends up crashing into a tree. As they recover, Eddie is critically injured and Aaron tries to help him when the scarecrow regenerates and grabs Kristen. As Aaron tries to help her, Eddie sacrifices himself by grabbing his lighter and rolling underneath the SUV and setting the leaking gas on fire. Aaron and Kristen head down the road to try and catch up to Beth and Maria, who had run off earlier, and soon run into Maria, who tells them there is a farm nearby. When they get there, Maria is angry at Beth, who had gone ahead and tried to get help for herself, but the farm is locked so Aaron and Kristen break the glass on the door so they can go inside. When they get there, they are confronted by Murphy, the farm’s owner, and when they tell him what has happened, he says the legend is true and that the thing was trying to kill the Miller family and was only stopped when it was buried. Murphy leaves, saying that the scarecrow will kill anything that gets between it and it’s prey but he ends up being killed by the scarecrow. Back in the house, Beth says they should just give Kristen to the scarecrow in order to save themselves but when Aaron and Maria tell her no, she leaves on her own. Aaron, Kristen, and Maria head out to the barn to try and find Murphy’s car but the only thing they can find is his mulcher. As Aaron tries to see if it runs, Kristen and Maria hear Beth calling for help so Kristen goes to help her, only for Beth to hold a knife to her throat. As Aaron and Maria try to talk Beth out of doing this, Beth forces Kristen to call out to the scarecrow, planning to give Kristen to it so they can live. As the scarecrow appears, Aaron grabs a hook and rope and hooks the scarecrow, then throws the rope into the mulcher. The mulcher starts dragging the scarecrow towards it and it grabs Beth as it goes, and both of them end up being dragged into the mulcher. When the machine stops running, Aaron and Kristen go try to find another vehicle while Maria keeps watch to see if it starts moving again. As they return, the scarecrow reaches out and grabs Maria’s leg, injuring it as Aaron and Kristen manage to get her free. The three run into the woods and Kristen knows that they won’t make it as they are so she splits up and tells Aaron that she will meet them at the river. Kristen heads back to Murphy’s farm and, cutting her hand on some metal, she smears her blood on his cattle, hoping the scarecrow will be distracted and go after them. As dawn breaks, Kristen catches up to Aaron and Maria but as Aaron picks up Maria to carry her, the scarecrow throws a metal blade at them, killing Maria and injuring Aaron. As the scarecrow appears, Kristen pulls out the blade and decapitates it, then helps Aaron to his feet and they head to the river. Realizing they can’t cross it, they head towards the boat graveyard in the hopes of finding something there to help them across. When they get there, they see a car but the driver is already dead so Aaron has Kristen head towards the water while he tries the radio. When he sees the scarecrow heading towards where Kristen is hiding, Aaron goes there to get her and ends up tackling the scarecrow into the water to save her. Kristen makes her way onto a ship and, grabbing a fire axe for a weapon, she heads down into the bottom of the ship, calling out to see if Aaron is there. She soon finds Aaron and runs to him but Aaron croaks out for her to run just as the scarecrow’s arm bursts from his chest. As the scarecrow proceeds to crawl out of Aaron’s mouth, Kristen leads it further down into the bottom of the ship, where she begins sealing off the cargo hold. She then starts releasing gas and uses the axe to cause a spark and ignite it, then climbs out of the emergency ladder, sealing the scarecrow in the hold. Kristen escapes from the ship as the gas explodes, causing the whole ship to begin sinking into the river, and as she catches her breath, the radio begins playing an ad announcing the start of the Scarecrow Festival.
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting but overall, this was a pretty decent horror movie. The acting was pretty good, with Lacey Chabert (Kristen), Robin Dunne (Aaron), Brittney Miller (Beth), and Carlo Marks (Eddie) all did good jobs in their roles. The plot was pretty interesting but the one fault I had was that they really didn’t explain the legend of the scarecrow or why it was after the Miller bloodline. I think they could have had a much better movie if they had included just a little more backstory to it. The special effects regarding the scarecrow were pretty good, though they did kind of remind me of an earlier entry in the series, Swamp Devil, regarding the creature’s design. I did like how, due to budgeting, a lot of the death’s happened off screen but the set up for them was really good, while the times the scarecrow crawled out of Murphy and Aaron definitely got an A+ for the cringe factor. A nice way to restart the series and a good movie to watch on a dark night.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5