Killer Scarecrow: Scott Donnelly
Reviewed By Ben Walker
So, there’s this scarecrow, right? And it kills people, yeah? I mean, you can get all that from the title, so you’re probably sold either way already, right?
Well, for every Dark Night of the Scarecrow there’s a Scarecrows (the William Wesley one), but, ah…yeah. Scarecrows don’t exactly have a fantastic track record when it comes to spooky stories about them, do they? I mean, you’ve got The Companion from the Creepshow series which breathed a bit more life into the straw-stuffed subgenre, and yes, Harold from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but generally speaking these inflammable idols don’t always deliver the goods when it comes to thrills & chills.
This latest addition to the fright farm is thankfully no Messengers 2: The Scarecrow. It features a pair of friends whose plans for the ultimate Hallowe’en go tragically awry. One year on, and revenge is in the air, as – well you can probably guess what comes to life and what it does. It’s a cookie-cutter stalk & slash kind of tale from then on out, with the standard wish fulfilment love interest, teen angst and melodrama that you might expect, right down to the old man who tries to warn those darn fool kids, but they just ain’t listenin’ goldurnit.
The plot rolls along at an entertaining enough pace, but offers little in the way of surprises. It’s kind of like a bare-bones movie adaptation, with attempts to flesh out characters that scratch just below the surface, and action/scare sequences that offer some good imagery but flash past quickly, soon to be forgotten. More than a few awkward phrases crop up throughout, and readers who don’t like dialogue to be tagged with anything other than “said” or “asked” will likely be gnashing their teeth at times. Still, it all breezes by with enough aplomb to make you curious to see what happens next, though your nails will likely go unbitten.
In short, go in expecting a short blast of B-movie fun and you won’t be disappointed, but you might not walk out clamouring for a sequel.
“A teenage slasher with emotional depth.” – Horrorbound.net. From Scott Donnelly (author of THE WHOOL and THE MILK BOY), comes KILLER SCARECROW, a thrilling young adult horror tale inspired by the teen slasher films of the 80’s and 90’s.
The old, dead oak tree in Benny Billings’ front yard had been irrationally feared for years because of its rumored, haunted history – which makes it the perfect place to showcase his latest D.I.Y. Halloween project…an ominous scarecrow decoration. However, tragedy strikes that evening, leaving many victims of emotional distress, remorse, and death.
More than a year has now passed, and as the people who were there that night continue to cope with its horrific events, the scarecrow – who remains in front of the tree, serving as a selfish and morbid memorial – comes alive. Is there someone who has an evil and deadly agenda stalking the neighborhood during the cold nights? Or is there more truth to the rumored “haunted grounds” in which the scarecrow now stands? As the bodies begin to pile up, the shocking and horrifying truth will be revealed.
Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on Twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.