PLOT: A year after a murder suspect is killed by a vigilante mob, a scarecrow exacts revenge on those involved.
Honestly, that plot summary makes this movie sound far more entertaining than this movie deserves. It’s a great concept, VERY reminiscent of the TV movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow, but it lacks any sort of execution that could make this one worthwhile.
The problem is that the film itself has no propulsion. Through most of the runtime, we’re forced to follow a sadsack Welsh police officer mumble his lines in overly long dialogue scenes like it’s one of those British police procedurals that sort of bleed into each other. Am I watching The Killing or Broadchurch? Is Gillian Anderson in Top of the Lake or The Fall? Who cares, but it was probably the secret pedo father that did the murder. At least with the cop procedurals, you at least have the fun of trying to figure out if Joel Kinnaman is a decent actor. That mystery does not exist in this movie.
The story revolves around Frank Hollister and his buddies that killed Jack Cain a year prior. Jack Cain was on trial for murder, but because his arresting officer forgot to read him his rights, the whole case gets thrown out of court, so a group of vigilantes decide to kidnap him, dress him up like a scarecrow and burn him alive. Now, a year later, Jack is back and ready for vengeance… and I guess random murders, because he’s not satisfied to just kill the people responsible for his death.
I should’ve known I was in for it when the movie started with clips from as many public domain horror movies the filmmakers could get their hands on. Easily, there’s just three minutes of clips from Plan 9 From Outer Space, Carnival of Souls, and more. What this movie didn’t need was padding, but the opening credits sure gave it to us.
The acting is on par with what you would expect from this type of movie. There isn’t a standout terrible performance, but there isn’t a particularly good one. Low tides sink all boats sort of thing. Everyone’s bad, but not specifically bad.
And then, to cap it off, there are just odd creative choices. An entire library of sound effects at your fingertips and you choose THAT sound effect as your gunshot? I thought the gun was supposed to malfunction or something; it sounds like a pop gun. And then, for no reason, there’s a rockabilly band that plays on and off for the last half hour. No lyrics, just guitar riffs distinct enough from “Miserlou” to not have Dick Dale’s lawyers knocking on the door.
When all is said and done, this movie is just flat-out boring. Like, sincerely, this might be the most boring horror film I’ve ever seen in my entire life and I’m pretty sure I’m not being hyperbolic here (Maybe I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House gives it a run for its money). The best thing I can say about this movie is that, as this is the first film out of the gate for this October, it has set the bar so incredibly low that I have a new-found confidence in this year’s crop of movies.
OVERALL RATING: 2 out of 10