Movie Review: Scarecrow (2013)

Synopsis: A high school teacher takes a group of detention students to his ex-girlfriend's family farm, which is the center of a local legend involving a killer scarecrow. When the students arrive, they discover the legend is no only real, the scarecrow has been released from captivity and has started a killing spree.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Robin Dunne, Brittney Wilson, Carlo Marks and Julia Maxwell.

Review: My wife and I had some time to watch a movie last night. I was in the mood for a horror film and this one was recently added to our library so I wound up picking it.

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this film when I found it and ultimately only added it to our library because my wife and I are both Lacey Chabert fans. After seeing it, my opinion of the movie was mixed.

I thought the film had some good things going for it. For one, I absolutely loved the scarecrow. Not only did it have the ability to strike from a variety of angles, including popping up from underneath the ground, it was impossible to kill it. The only way to stop it was to bury it but it was unclear how someone was supposed to do that.

At the same time, I liked how the movie also included some vulnerabilities for the creature. It's victims couldn't stop it but they could slow it down. That did keep the film from becoming too predictable because it meant any of the creature's victims could find a way to escape if they were able to grab a weapon.

My main complaint about this movie is I feel like it could have given the viewer a lot more information than it did. The film never explains what the scarecrow is or why it has focused on Kristin's (Chabert) family for 100 years. On top of that, I am honestly a little confused about how the creature can be buried when it has the ability to pop up out of the ground. It feels like there should have been a little more to the whole burying thing (like a ritual) than simply putting it in the ground.

Also not helping this movie was the whole school detention set up. Why did the teacher, Aaron (Dunne), bring his kids to that farm in the first place? I find it hard to believe the school would be OK with him using child labor to help his ex-girlfriend. Not to mention, the movie seems to forget there would likely be parents out looking for their kids when they didn't return from detention. As far as setting things up goes, this was kind of a weak link in the overall plot.

Final Opinion: The scarecrow manages to be a somewhat interesting horror movie creature and makes the film watchable. However, the overall plot does have quite a few holes in it and, as a result, the movie doesn't quite live up to the potential it had.

My Grade: C


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