# Similar Movies Like Dark Night of the Scarecrow
Dark Night of the Scarecrow 1981
About: Bubba, an intellectually disabled man, is falsely accused of attacking a young girl. Disguised as a scarecrow, he hides in a cornfield, only to be hunted down and shot by four vigilante men. After they are acquitted due to lack of evidence, the boys search themselves being stalked by a mysterious scarecrow.
Released: 24 Oct 1981 Director: Frank De Felitta Writers: J.D. Feigelson (teleplay), J.D. Feigelson (story), Butler Handcock (story) Actors: Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons, Claude Earl Jones, Lane Smith Genres: Horror
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Dark Night of the Scarecrow Reviews:

Frank DeFelitta, who also happened to write the novel Audrey Rose, turned to directing for this 1981 horror fantasy. The movie opens with an eerie credit roll set on a pastel-colored windmill backdrop, and this is when we first hear the film's unforgettabley chilling score. Twenty years after seeing this movie for the first time, I can still enjoy it over in my head. The movie later progresses to its undeniably intelligent storyline, which I won't bother describing in feature as that has been done for me by previous reviewers. The atmosphere of this movie is almost unbearably suspenseful at times, and the fact that we never see even a far-off photo of the murderous culprit during the movie adds to the creepiness. Charles Durning gives one of his greatest performances as the selfish, provincial mailman who is stalked by a vengeful killer. This movie is greatest viewed alone late at night!


It's probably for the greatest that this was originally made for TV. That way, "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" doesn't have to rely on blood, disembowelings and gratuitous unique FX for its shock value.All you old-school horror fanatics check this out: here's a relatively newest film that earns each shock and scare it gets with its eerie atmosphere, earnest performances and an especially villainous turn by Durning as tyrannical postman.Everything is sweaty, nail-biting and almost unbearably tense from first frame to last. If you can bear the fright, watch very carefully at the end. I won't say what happened, but it's intriguing how they combined such emotions as shock, fear and love in only two shots. Just watch it and see what I mean.Ten stars. No wonder Larry Drake gets these type of parts.


Dark Night of the Scarecrow is directed by Frank De Felitta and written by J.D. Feigelson and Butler Handcock. It stars Charles Durning, Larry Drake, Tonya Crowe, Jocelyn Brando, Lane Smith and Claude Earl Jones. Melody is by Glenn Paxton and cinematography by Vincent Martinelli.Small city Americana and Bubba Ritter (Drake), a friendly but mentally challenged man, is falsely accused of attacking and severely injuring young Marylee Williams (Crowe). Four of the city residents, with hate and ignorance driving them on, hunt down Bubba and search him hiding as a scarecrow in a field. Murdering him, they claim self defence and walk gratis from court. It's not long afterwards, though, that the boys begin to see a scarecrow in their midst…Some things from films just stay with you from when you were a wee youngster, I still remember the first time I heard the anguished cry of Bubba Ritter stating that he didn't do the crime he was being hunted for. Dark Night of the Scarecrow stood out by some considerable mile as one of the greatest TV horror films I saw as a youth, not for things that I would soon appreciate in movie making as I got older, but just for sheer terror of a scarecrow stalking his prey for divine retribution. How unbelievable to revisit the film three decades soon and search that it is still one of the greatest TV horror films out there.Oh it doesn't terrify now, though it still packages a sense of unease and keeps scarecrows firmly in the realm of creepyville, but it has a style so sorely lacking in many of today's horrors. There is no need to bludgeon us with cut and stalk, showing us gore front and centre, the makers here are subtle, refusing even to place the scarecrow in the limelight like Michael or Jason. There's a smart ambiguity about the supernatural elements, keeping the mystery element powerful as the guilty boys start to crack and head towards their true judgement.Simmering away nicely in the narrative is of course the vile stench of bigotry, and the pain inflicted by such narrow minds. There is also a dark thread left dangling that suggests one of the guilty boys is impure of thoughts towards tiny Marylee, one of the very things he whipped up as reason to hound Bubba for. Some thought went into the screenplay, and it's credit to the writers that it never becomes a moral crusade, while the crafting of the lovely innocent friendship between Bubba and Marylee is beautifully born out by actors and technicians alike.Durning and Drake dominate the film with classy shows, impressive in Drake's situation as he is only in it for a short amount of time, but the work of young Tonya Crowe puts her in the club that houses greatest kid performances of the 80s. Her reactions to Bubba and Otis (Durning) naturally call for various human emotions, and she in turn nails the aspects of youthful innocence and mature awareness of who the creature now is. The photography is textured, the melody equally so, and there's even some shards of humour and irony along the way.I can imagine many of today's horror fanatics going into Dark Night of the Scarecrow and being very disappointed not to receive a Voorhees kind movie, while some more sensitive viewers may search the portrayals of backwater folk as being ignorantly stereotyped by the makers. It isn't for each horror fan, without a doubt, and clearly it's not perfect, but to those who loved it back when it first showed, those who are jaded by how this kind of sub-genre of horror has evolved into bloody overkill and remake/sequel hell, then Dark Night of the Scarecrow is in fact a minor classic. 8/10



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