Messengers 2: the Scarecrow


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Messengers 2 is a straight-to-vid horror film, ostensibly a sequel. Given that definition as your preamble, the quality is about what you would expect, or maybe a bit better. Nothin' special.

On the other hand, the story behind the film's origin is quite interesting. This same script was submitted years ago as the basis for The Messengers, but by the time that project was completed, the script had been rewritten so many times that the final film was completely unrecognizable. Therefore, the original script was still available to be made into another film that would not seem to be a remake. That is this very film. Not only is it not a remake, but it doesn't seem like a prequel or a sequel to the other film either, despite the title, because just about the only thing it has in common with its predecessor is some common characters. For various reasons, the incidents in Messengers 2 could not have happened either before or after the events in The Messengers.

Norman Reedus stars as a corn farmer who is really down on his luck. His banker says that the bank will foreclose if he can't deliver his current crop, but he needs to water his fields in order to salvage the corn, and he can't afford to replace his broken water pump. The bank won't lend him the money for the water pump because they want him to fail and get foreclosed. They have a buyer for the property. The farmer's problems are further compounded by repeated foraging from a large and particularly predatory flock of crows.

The farmer is about to abandon hope when he finds a terrifying old scarecrow behind a hidden door in his barn. The scarecrow looks like a decaying corpse so the farmer is repelled by it, but he nails it up in his field anyway, mostly because he figures he has nothing left to lose.

His luck suddenly takes a turn for the better. The crows all die off. The old water pump mysteriously starts working. The sleazy banker is soon run over by a truck, and the farmer's other enemies start to die off. Meanwhile, the farmer's own behavior shows ever-increasing indications of insanity. We are led to believe that he is committing the crimes, but he keeps insisting that the murderer is his rotting scarecrow.

This film works up a pretty nifty little mystery involving the farmer's erratic behavior and the deaths of his enemies. Some of the scenes are chilling and ominous, while other scenes include some good "boo" scares. Toward the end of the film we are led to believe that he has begun to consider his family to be among his enemies and will therefore add them to his victim list. All in all, it plays out like The Shining, except that the events happen on an isolated farm instead of the isolated Overlook Hotel. In fact, some scenes may make the film seem too similar to The Shining, especially a "here's Johnny" moment, but the derivative familiarity doesn't seem irritating because Messengers 2 delivers some genuinely scary moments. I'm willing to call it a homage to The Shining rather than a rip-off.

Unfortunately, there's some bad news. The script just doesn't make a lot of sense.


Although all the other (non-supernatural) characters in the film are convinced that the farmer has gone Jack Torrance on them, it eventually turns out that the farmer has not committed the murders. He has been telling the truth and the crimes really were committed by a giant scarecrow. In one sense that had to be the explanation all along, because if the farmer had been the murderer, what could explain thousands of dead crows, the miraculous water pump, and a supernatural overnight turnaround in the crops? And yet the farmer is also shown to be insane. We have seen with our own eyes how he, in true Torrance style, talks to people who turn out not to be there. His wife has also seen this, and has seen him claim that his ordinary, dog-eared, and image-free family bible is actually a book of black magic, complete with scarecrow illustrations.

Moreover, the powers of the scarecrow are inconsistent from scene to scene. At times he seems omnipotent and immortal, but at other times he can easily be pushed under a tractor. And if burning him to ashes didn't work in the middle of the film, how can he later be killed by merely getting run over by a farm vehicle?

And why did the wife just return to the farmer's arms at the end, as if the scarecrow's guilt somehow meant that she hadn't just seen her husband talking to non-existent neighbors and doing other crazy things.

The author of this script needed to decide beforehand who caused the deaths - farmer or scarecrow - and he then needed to make sure that all the details meshed with that eventual solution throughout the preceding exposition. If his answer was "scarecrow," he needed to figure out precisely how powerful the scarecrow was, then to maintain that level of power throughout. As the film stands now, it seems that the screenwriter didn't really know the identity of the murderer until he actually got to that moment in the script - and he then discovered that Torrance wasn't to blame, right along with the rest of us, right there in the last minutes of The Rural Shining.


There are no major reviews online, but the IMDb page contains nearly two dozen reviews from sites which specialize in genre films.









4.7 IMDB summary (of 10)








Straight to video.








  • Darcy Flowers provides T&A as the sexy neighbor who may or may not really exist.








Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: C

That rating assumes  a genre of "straight-to-video horror sequels." Obviously an average film in that category is not particularly impressive, but I found it watchable, and I found some elements to be quite a bit better than watchable, although they are offset by some glaring weaknesses.