I’ve been trying for years to find a good scary movie with a scarecrow as the slasher. What seems like such a perfectly easy concept is apparently not. I’ve seen so many bad scarecrow movies – Scarecrow, Scarecrow Slayer, Scarecrow Gone Wild…was the last good scary movie with a scarecrow Dark Night of the Scarecrow, made 28 years ago FOR TV?
Well, every time a new one comes out, I get a little hopeful. Scarecrows are kind of like that abusive relationship – I keep coming back hoping they won’t beat me, but they never fail to. Still, maybe there was a bright beacon of hope?
Messengers 2: The Scarecrow was released on July 21 and, despite the fact that the first film had absolutely nothing to do with scarecrows, and wasn’t particularly any good, I was kind of wondering about a DTV sequel. From what I’d read, the film was supposed to be a prequel to the original, telling the backstory of the John Corben character, a farmer who’s life took a turn for the worse on the farm that both films are set on.
So…was it any good? Did I finally get a scarecrow movie worth a damn? And what the hell did the scarecrow have to do with a film who’s initial outting was all about Japanese-style scares set on a farm?
Find out after the jump!
In Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, Norman Reedus (Cigarette Burns) plays farmer John Rollins, a down-on-his-luck farmer who has used up the last of his cred with his neighbors and his debtors. He can’t even get credit enough to buy the tools he needs to do the farming that makes him what little money he does make. The crows are eating up all of his corn, and things are not looking good for him. The only thing that gets him through is his very Christian family and moral values. Even when times are down and there’s no money left, his family helps him pull through. Except when he finds a scarecrow in his barn – a very creepy looking scarecrow. Of course, his kid warns him not put it up but, ya know, kids are stupid, so why the hell would you listen to them?
The scarecrow gets put up, and all of a sudden stuff starts going well for ol’ John. His crops start growing, nekkid women bathe in his cornfield, and things’re looking up. Of course, he starts growing away from his family and getting more aggressive. And things just start getting weird … people are dying. In fact, anybody who gets on John’s bad sides end up getting dead. So…is the scarecrow somehow making John bat sh*t crazy? Or is something else doing the killings?
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD….IN….
So…it’s the f*cking scarecrow. Don’t get me wrong, the scarecrow is relatively scary looking. And, even though the film tries to be smart and fool its audience into thinking it might possibly be John, it’s really pretty obvious the scarecrow is the killer (plus, it’s in the trailer). So…maybe these aren’t such major spoilers. Anyway, the scarecrow ends up being the killer and now John has to save his family …
Uh…did these people even see part one of The Messengers? That’s not what happened! Seems to me like this film totally disregarded the backstory of the original film. Not only that, it totally trades Asian-style scares for some weird southern gothic-type horror. It’s really a Messengers film in name only, other than being set on a similar-looking farm. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In actuality, it’s supposedly based on the original idea for The Messengers, but it really is quite a different film. And it’s pretty decent. In fact, it’s a much better film than the first, which ended up being pretty damn awful.
The story is nothing new, but it’s done well enough. Southern gothic horror doesn’t happen too often anymore, so it’s nice to see a competent film in the genre. And a halfway decent scarecrow film? Shocker!
Not that it’s without its flaws – like the first, it falls apart in the last 15/20 minutes, but nowhere near as much as the original. Reedus does a decent enough job in the film, but something about the guy sets me on edge. Maybe it’s because he was so damn weird in Cigarette Burns. Overall though, a worthy time waster. Definitely worth the rental.