Friday, April 22, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #33: Scarecrow
Original Airdate: December 10, 2011
Director: Ken Friss
Oh boy is this episode a doozy ladies and gentlemen! I say this because this is the first episode I'm covering that has not one but TWO different endings. Why you may ask? Well I'm not sure but from what I understand, this episode was aired back to back with different endings and The Hub asked viewers of the episode to go on their website (www.hubworld.com which is now defunct) and vote for their favorite ending. I'll elaborate more on the endings later so for now let's jump into the actual review.
A young farmer named Jenny (Bailee Madison) has trouble ridding her crops of crows, so she buys a scarecrow from a mysterious salesman (Juan Riedinger). Jenny soon discovers that the scarecrow is behind a chain of mysterious disappearances.
One of the things I liked about this episode is the mysterious salesman. He's a man who doesn't really say much but when he does, it's usually something related to scarecrows, especially the poem "The Hollow Men" which is actually a real poem. What's really fascinating about him is that he gives off a creepy vibe as everything around him stops but at the same time, you kind of want to know more about him.
The other thing I find to be intriguing about this episode is the atmosphere. In this episode, there's no music in almost every scene which makes this a more quiet episode. I think this was a clever choice because the setting of this episode is a small farming town, presumably in the middle of nowhere. A small town tends to have a more laid back and quiet vibe to it and I think the lack of music really does a good job of capturing that vibe.
But the best part of this episode definitely has to be the different endings! While some may say that the double ending concept is gimmicky, I think both of them work in their own unique ways. Here's how the endings go for those who haven't seen the episode:
Ending #1: The one during the premiere depicts Jenny's brother Bobby (Richard Harmon) setting fire to the scarecrow during the salesman's narration about the end of the world and walking away.
Ending #2: Most reruns have a different ending where Bobby is turned into a scarecrow by the salesman and made to watch the world end.
The first ending is a fresh take on the "End of The World" storyline. While most End of The World stories are loud, in your face, and display tons of destruction, this story depicts the end of the world as quiet and subtle, almost as if nothing happened. Not only that, but it really does a good job of strengthening what was already some great atmosphere.
The second ending feels like they were paying homage to Goosebumps with one or more of the characters turning into scarecrows. Surprisingly though, it's not as cheesy or goofy as you might think. It still manages to fit the usual darker and scarier tone of The Haunting Hour as Bobby and the salesman are the only ones left in the world. There's no one to revert them to human form and because of this, there is no hope for the characters, making this ending, in my eyes, a bit more depressing than the first ending.
Overall, Scarecrow is an episode that I would definitely recommend checking out. I gotta be honest though, I can't decide which ending I'd prefer. I think they're both very strong on their own but I'll still have two overall grade sections to reflect the score of each ending.
Overall Grade with Ending 1: B+
Overall Grade with Ending 2: A-