MVD Visual // 2009 // 83 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // October 19th, 2012
The "e" isn't the only thing missing from this film.
A mother of three daughters is hung for witchcraft. The girls' father (Andrew Bolton) is sexually abusing them, but when his attention turns to the youngest (Anna Tolputt) that's when everything changes. Unable to witness the rape of young Primrose, older sister Vanessa (Marysia Kay) stabs their father and, along with sister Proper (Gabrielle Douglas), takes the body to a field where they plan to hide it as a "scarer of crows." But they should have checked to see if he was really dead! Dear old dad has enough life left in him to come back and curse his daughters and their witchy ways for all eternity. If he can't leave their land, neither can they.
Fast forward an untold number of years. The girls have consulted their mother's spell books and brought their father back to life long enough to ask how to break the curse. If they bring him five souls, they can all leave. They can go to Hell too, but the main point is they'll be free.
Enter our modern-day douchebags, er...heroes (Tim Major, Michael Walker, and Darren McIlroy), who want nothing more than to "rape and pillage" the sisters. All except for Daz (Kevyn Connett), that is. But in meeting these women, their fates are sealed. To be honest, these tools had me counting the minutes until their deaths. And we're supposed to want them to stay alive? Though there may not be grisly deaths happening left and right, the threat of "the curse" does compensate.
Oh wait, it doesn't.
Once we know there are five people who must die, we have our body count. We also know, once those people die, the sisters will be free. So, with the rules laid out, it should be a pretty straightforward ride from Point A to Point B. But The Scar Crow commits the cardinal sin of genre filmmaking: breaking its own rules. Five people die and nothing happens. Two of the deaths take place outside of the circle of the scar crow's influence. And the end of the film doesn't just break its own rules, it creates new ones. What a mess.
The best thing about the movie is its special effects, and thankfully nothing is on screen long enough for those effects to lose their appeal. Outside of that, everything falls apart fairly quickly, which is ironic considering at 83 minutes this is an unbelievably slow film. The pace is almost glacial.
Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the transfer is a sort of grainy low budget offering that suffers from a lack of depth. It looks flat and is further complicated by the occasional shaky cam effect. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo is a horrible mix, forcing me to constantly adjust the volume, as the music cues during the montage scenes are so loud they nearly blew my speakers. Contrast that with the dialogue that was too soft and you achieve an annoying experience. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and the film's trailer.
The Scar Crow is an interesting concept that falters in its execution. Too many red flags to recommend.
Guilty of missing the scare factor.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated