All Judge Daryl Loomis has to do to get rid of the birds is take off his shirt.
He'll scare you to death.
That the above is the dullest, most generic horror tagline I've ever seen should tell anyone everything they need to know about Scarecrow, the dullest, most generic horror movie possibly ever to air as a Syfy original movie. That's right, I was once again tricked into requesting a movie from the network where cinema goes to die. After watching it, I am now reviewing it, as is my requirement. Scarecrow!
For a detention assignment, a group of delinquents are bussed out to a remote farm with their teacher, Aaron (Robin Dunne, Cruel Intentions 2), to move a scarecrow into town for the yearly Harvest Festival, or something like that. When they arrive, though, the group gets stuck there with Kristen (Lacey Chabert, Party of Five), the owner of the place, under the threat of her scarecrow, which has come to life for some reason and is killing them one by one in various ways.
Scarecrow is worse than just bad; it's boring. With no characters that are remotely likable and a story that seems way overstretched at 85 minutes, this is a truly painful experience to sit through. What starts with the idea that student detention is now a work farm program turns into a series of inexplicable kills by an absolutely wretched looking CG monster that finally somehow moves from the farm to a giant barge by the conclusion. All the while, you come to hate the characters and root for them to die, or maybe for one's own blindness, which would probably be less irritating.
I shouldn't be surprised, though, given director Sheldon Wilson's resume of Syfy productions like Snowmageddon and Mega Cyclone, but I didn't know that going in. Anyway, he shows off all the skill one might expect from those titles and, while there is nothing in Scarecrow as exciting as a giant storm, rest assured that it's just as stupid.
After suffering through the running time of Scarecrow, I was relieved to find out that the DVD from Cinedigm is a bare-bones affair. The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks good overall, with a crisp transfer, strong black levels, and no digital errors to speak of. The clarity doesn't do the CG any favors, though, but that's not Cinedigm's fault. The 5.1 Dolby Surround mix is strong, but maybe a little too strong, with a low bass rumble that drowns out the sound around it. When that's not in play, the dialog is perfectly clear, but that's only maybe half of the movie. No extras, thankfully; I don't want to spend one more second than humanly possible on this movie.
As far as Syfy garbage is concerned, Scarecrow isn't nearly the worst of the lot, but that doesn't make it worth watching. Not bad enough to laugh at and barely competent enough to watch, the only people I can imagine actually wanting to watch this movie is that select group of Lacey Chabert completists in the world. One day, I hope to meet that person, so I can throw this DVD at them.
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