Dark Harvest II: The Maize
scarecrow | sequel | dark harvest II: the maize | bill cowell | kelleigh murray | alyssa cowell | supernatural | united states | elena pezzino | douglas buczak | lindsay prentice | lauren prentice | ed smolinski | matt smolinski | julie brown | eric lipps
Film: Dark Harvest II: The Maize
Director: Bill Cowell
Writer: Bill Cowell
Starring: Bill Cowell, Kelleigh Murray and Alyssa Cowell
This was a film that I obtained because it was originally listed as a sequel to Scarecrow. Now this one though is a sequel only in name to Dark Harvest. There is nothing connecting the two and there isn’t a scarecrow in this film. It was a rough one to be honest as it was a shot on video from the looks of it. To get into this review, the synopsis is a father’s psychic abilities are put to the test when his two daughters are trapped inside a corn maze haunted by the spirit of two young girls who disappeared a year earlier.
We kick this off on Halloween. The children are trick or treating as we are see our star, Shy Walker (Bill Cowell), trying to eat popcorn. He is also the writer and director of the film. He talks to the children that come to his house and he gets an odd feeling about one of them. We see that he is psychic and he gets images of a corn field, two missing girls from the previous year and that someone hurt them. He calls his wife, Susan (Kelleigh Murray), and tells her that she needs to get their daughters out of the maze. He has a bad feeling and they are usually right when he does. She tries to, but can’t find them. He heads over to where the corn maze is.
The two girls are Keri (Alyssa Cowell) and Ali (Elena Pezzino). They are dressed as vampires and the older one wants to be a horror movie director. They can’t seem to find their way out and they come in contact with the two girls who died the previous year. They are Betty (Lindsay Prentice) and Carla Nettie (Lauren Prentice). They are searching for a missing a locket and want the other two girls to help them find it.
Shy arrives at the maze and heads into it. He cannot find his daughters, but can hear them. They are trying to find their way, but there is a killer loose in it. He is the one who killed the previous two girls. Shy must find this locket, free the girls and to take care of his madman before he turns on his daughters.
Now my recap actually makes this film sound better than it really is. This film was definitely a chore to get through. The best thing about it is being set in a corn maze and that supernatural things happen where they can’t get out. Corn is something that is quite scary to begin with, since you can get lost in them quite easily. That’s about where the good things for this end.
I will admit I try to not harp too much on a film’s budget. This being shot on video is not really a problem with it. The problem though really is the amount of pointless things that were shot and then kept in the film. It runs an hour and forty minutes which is way too long. It actually hurts the pacing, because it just meanders. It makes the film boring. There are shots that linger on things and show us things that have no bearing on what is happening. I think there should have been at least 20 minutes trimmed from things like this. The ending wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t care.
The aspect of him being psychic I didn’t like. I think this was literally just done so they could easily give us back-story to cut down on actually explaining things. I completely hated going this route, especially with what I said above. It focused on things that it really didn’t need to instead of on what would actually help the film.
The acting is very amateurish. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it isn’t great. Bill Cowell is alright. Murray was about the same. She doesn’t get much time on the screen. I’m assuming Alyssa Cowell is Bill’s daughter. Both she and Pezzino were annoying, but they are children so that was fine, it actually was quite believable. The other set of girls were kind of creepy, but the two of them trying to speak in unison didn’t really work for me. The rest of the cast was really just mediocre at best.
Effects for this film weren’t great either. They tried to do things picture in picture effect a few different times and I hated it. There were also some effects used in changing the color of things which didn’t really work for me. The film is shot fine other than that, even for being how amateur it looks.
I don’t really have much else to say about this film. I commend Bill Cowell for making a film. The problem though is that he introduced a story that could have been interesting. There are some cheap things that were done to avoid having to explain things and I think that was a bad move. The shots linger too long on things and that hurts the tension. It is just overall boring. The acting I would say is mediocre. Effects used weren’t great and the soundtrack of the film really didn’t stand out. It also doesn’t hurt the film though. I would say to avoid this one. It is a sequel in just name alone, which is odd because I can’t imagine the previous one did that well and so not sure what it is capitalizing on. This is a bad movie though in my opinion.
My Rating: 1 out of 10