If you own a failing farm, and you find a secret room in your barn with a scarecrow stuffed away inside, and your kid then claims it’s evil, do you put it up? Fuck no! You burn that bitch to the ground, salt the freaking earth, and move to the next God damn county, because FUCK THAT.
Unfortunately, John Rollins did not follow my advice. He’s heavily into debt, his marriage is in trouble, his crops are failing, and crows are attacking what little corn he can grow. As a result, he’s given up on going to church. When he finds the evil scarecrow, he decides what could go wrong and puts it up. As it turns out, a lot can go wrong. First, the crows die. John goes out and picks up their corpses by hand. Then a guy shows up to try and sell his house. He gets hit by a semi and dragged for three hours. John finds his wallet and uses the cash to buy seed. Another guy who has the hots for John’s wife, Mary, hangs himself. His ring is found in the field. He tries to set up a counseling appointment but hurts his hand and then misses it while he’s trying to burn the scarecrow. The new sharecropper neighbor’s wife drugs and rapes John. Then John’s family tries to leave, and the local law shows up, only for the scarecrow to kill him, because of course it’s a black magic scarecrow! The family works together to kill the straw-covered bastard before he can murder his way down their yellow brick road, and that’s that. Now if this movie only had a brain, we wouldn’t have had this problem.
We do have a lot of other problems. First, there’s a little kid who shows up a few times and ends up carrying the scarecrow pieces back into the secret room at the end. Who is she? I don’t know, she’s never explained. We see her redo her apparent death in front of John, yet we still get no idea what happened. Second, the weird neighbors aren’t explained either. So what are the ghosts doing? They further the story along, sure, but why are they even there to begin with? Also, this dude’s marriage falls apart over the course of four days (why his wife is so mad he missed church one time is something I don’t really understand), and two deaths happen that are related to the farm, and yet nobody really seems to tie it all together until the last minute. The one cop in town gets murdered by the scarecrow too, and without its magic, the crop is probably gonna die again, so John’s back up shit creek and has to explain why he’s got a dead cop in his barn.
I guess this wouldn’t be so bad, but Norman Reedus is our star lead, and it appears he forgot how to emote during this film. He looks like he’s in bad need of a bath, which makes sense what with being a hardworking farmer and all, but his expression never really changes from bland frustration. It’s not even good frustration, it’s just kinda, “Meh.”
There aren’t many high points. We see the ghost neighbor lady get naked with a water bottle at one point, which feels so stereotypical. Later she sucks on Reedus’ wounded hand, which is more gross than sexy. There are only a few kills in the movie, and even fewer that we can clearly see due to rapid editing. The murder of the one town cop is good, but that’s pretty much it. Also, the scarecrow gets killed by running over it with a thresher, which is kind of cool. While I didn’t care for its head, there is one scene where it shows up in the barn and has to break the sticks in its shoulder for mobility; that’s probably the best moment in the movie, and that’s with about ten minutes left to go, so I don’t recommend waiting around just for that.
Also, this is supposed to be a prequel to the first Messengers movie, but it doesn’t actually link up properly. Hell, the freaking trailer for the second one starts as a trailer for the first one, as if to tell you to go watch it instead. Yeah, go do that. Or just go watch a better horror movie in general.