Dark Harvest

release year: 2004
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 5/4/05

synopsis: Six friends go to visit an inherited house in the middle of nowhere, and end up stalked by angry scarecrows.

impressions: It was just what I expected: direct-to-video horror fare with a good basic plot, but some plot holes and bad acting. It also had occasional problems with camera focus and audio tracks. The premise was good, especially the setup at the beginning, but then characters start doing stupid things, and logic errors abound. Example: when scarecrows attack, going right after the victims and beating on doors behind which said victims are cowering, it does not make sense for the attack to suddenly end, the scarecrow wandering off. Why did it wander away? Where did it go? A tighter plot would have had some consistency in this area. My only other complaint involved the scarecrows themselves: their numbers were indeterminate and they moved really fast, like humans.

things to watch for: There's a skinny-dipping scene, but the camera work doesn't play to it, so instead I recommend the scene at 49:40 where the scarecrow first makes its presence known.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A scarecrow standing in a barn, actually pondering its choice of weaponry while a girl/victim cowers nearby.

acting: It ranged from acceptable to bad. Most of these characters were cliches (I broke them down as white guy, black guy, white guy's girlfriend, blond girl, British-accent girl, and feminist.)

final word: Middle-of-the-pack as far as scarecrow-slasher movies go, worth seeing once if you like the genre.

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