Scarecrow (2013)

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You assume a movie about a killer scarecrow would be loads of fun, but “Scarecrow” starring Robin Dunne from the slightly entertaining Syfy series “Sanctuary” is only a passable bit of horror fare. It places little emphasis on the scarecrow, and more time on the characters. The scarecrow is a very stock horror character with no personality or real memorable moments. It takes a great talent to sap the frights from a scarecrow, and Sheldon Wilson’s film accomplishes just that.

Robin Dunne is a teacher who is taking a group of students from the local high school on a day of detention. Their task is to travel to the local abandoned farm, and bring down the scarecrow display to bring it back to town for their local celebration of the folk tale of the cursed scarecrow. As they ready their day, a young couple intent on playing a prank on the students accidentally falls in to a hole and their blood is soaked up by the cursed scarecrow that comes back to life once more and leaves a body count in its wake. Dunne is the bland but well meaning teacher who has a thing for the farmer’s daughter, as played by Lacey Chabert. The scarecrow is really nothing but a CGI animated model that uses its hay to form some sort of squid like appearance that make it capable of seeping through cracks in the walls, and crawling along the ceilings.

When the students arrive, they’re chased by the scarecrow, and do everything they can to fight it off, despite its relentless hunger for blood and carnage. “Scarecrow” goes on way too long, with a story that never quite knows when to end the horror. By the time the scarecrow dies a fake second death, director Wilson’s horror film quickly overstays its welcome. It zeroes in on Chabert’s character especially, when the characters gradually realize the scarecrow is aiming its attacks toward her. Soon it becomes an argument over sacrificing her to save the others, while Dunne’s character is still hung up on his affection for her. “Scarecrow” definitely has potential to deliver a neat monster, and defies expectations with some surprises. It doesn’t add up to an entertaining or remotely unique horror film, though. In the end, it’s merely just a stock monster on a rampage thriller that’s watchable because of Chabert.