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5 scarecrow horror tales from television anthologies [Series of Frights]

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Series of scares is a recurring column that focuses primarily on horror on television. Specifically, take a closer look at five episodes or stories. each adhering to a general theme of different anthological series or some other film made for television. With anthologies becoming popular again, especially on television, now is the perfect time to see what this timeless mode of storytelling has to offer.

The common scarecrow, a humanoid effigy designed to ward off pests, is a staple of agriculture everywhere. However, their ability to scare does not end with the birds: without warning or awareness, a person can be surprised by these indolent shadows in the dark.

People today know that a scarecrow could never be anything more than an ancient form of pest control, but in the back of their minds, they might feel otherwise. Literature and cinema have each given life to these figures made of straw and dressed in old clothes; What about their counterparts on the small screen? How do you feel when your sensitivity is mixed with terror?


suspense novel (1960-1962)
The Hollow Watcher

Not to be confused with the British series of the same name, this suspense novel The anthology underwent several transformations during its two seasons. The show began with a focus on straightforward crime and suspense stories before finally shifting to horror. Most fans agree that it was a welcome change of pace.

One especially lurid offering seen during the series’ pivotal turn to horror was “The Hollow Watcher.” Set in the fictional Dark Hollow in South Carolina, an Irish bride covers up a murder by putting the corpse inside a scarecrow. However, her crime is not without revenge because the scarecrow, known locally as the Hollow Watcher, is now alive and stalking her.

The more Meg (Audrey dalton) is unraveled by his wrongdoing, more public will think his guilt is manifesting itself as, perhaps even summons, the episode’s namesake. Meg’s anxiety only gets worse once her partner in crime Sean (Sean McClory) arrives in town, posing as his brother. He sets out to prove that this Hollow Watcher is nothing more than Meg’s new husband, Warren (Hugo wheeler) trying to denounce his wife as a murderer.

The lore of the Dark Hollow woods is evidence of the ongoing power struggles in the community. The very idea of ​​a sinister, omniscient scarecrow intimidating people into behaving, as well as making wives more submissive to their husbands, is a clever ruse. Along with a colorful performance and heartbreaking conclusion, “The Hollow Watcher” is a remarkable slice of telegenic popular horror.


Tales from the Crypt (1989-1996)
Four sided triangle

Not long after his memorable role in Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Dream warriors, Patricia arquette starred in one of the strangest and most unforgettable episodes of all Tales from the Crypt. The series has never shied away from its creepy tendencies, and this episode is certainly no exception. However, what makes him stand out is a different happy ending for the protagonist. It was not often that the central character escaped a terrible fate in these stories.

Mary Jo (Arquette) has been hiding from the law on a farm where she is frequently abused by abusive owners. When George (Chelcie ross) attacks Mary Jo, however a sustained head injury makes her believe that a scarecrow is now her lover. He finally tries to exploit the situation, but that’s only until the suspicious wife Louisa (Susan J. Bommaert) becomes fashionable.

A number of Crypt The episodes are persistent when citing the show’s brilliance and impact, but Tom holland other James Virtuecollaboration, based on an account of the penultimate issue of CE’s Shock suspensions – awakens vivid memories for those who grew up with the crypt. “Four-Sided Triangle” haunts audiences with indelible images, including the cheery facade of the scarecrow so out of place in the story at hand, the deserved punishment of the villains and, most surprisingly, a cruel assault scene involving the characters of Arquette and Ross.

Holland and Virtue reworked the original material by having Annie (now called Mary Jo) suffer her ordeal and then flee from her captors. The comic saw Annie already in love with her straw doll before lewd Abner (George) made a fateful change with the scarecrow. On top of that, Louisa doesn’t feel the pointed end of a hairpin like her comedic counterpart Hester. These changes add depth and agency to Mary Jo while offering a more complete ending. There is also the ambiguity in the ending of the episode where viewers have to wonder if Arquette’s character was playing George and Louisa the entire time so that she could escape.


RL Stine’s Haunting Hour: The Series (2010-2014)
Scarecrow

Classic Teen Anthologies Are you afraid of the dark? other Goosebumps each includes scarecrow tales (“The Tale of the Silent Servant” and “The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight,” respectively) that come to life and do someone’s bidding. And because of that, these stories, by the way, turn out to be more similar than different. Meanwhile, another horror series, also aimed at younger viewers, believes that the end of time will be caused by scarecrows. This episode of the Haunting hour takes place in a rural-urban strip and centers on two brothers who earn money through agriculture. While Bobby (Richard Harmon) excels at raising cows, her younger sister Jenny (Custodian Madison) fight because the crows continue to eat their crops. A stranger (John Riedinger) then comes to town and sells the girl a scarecrow. Bobby’s suspicions about the mysterious salesman later turn out to be correct when his parents and the other residents begin to disappear.

Although RL Stine’s name appears prominently, very little of his writing was used for the series. The creators of the program Billy brown other Dan angel wrote occasionally for the show, and one of his best collaborations with the director Ken friss is “Scarecrow”. All of this seems to run from the mill until it is very clear that the titular creature is part of a systematic attack not only against the main characters but against the entire world.

Bobby’s friend senses a feeling similar to cosmic terror when she calls him in a panic, screaming “This is the worst feeling I’ve ever had. It’s like everything is there and everything is nothing, and I hate it. I know it’s coming“All before disappearing along with everyone else. As long as scarecrows are alive, they are not simply inanimate objects enlivened by magic. No, they really are converted people. in scarecrow by an invisible force.

As the population shrinks to straw, only Bobby is left alone with the sinister salesman. Interestingly, two different endings were made and aired for this episode – a happy one and a gloomy one. The first sees Bobby defeating the antagonist and presumably saving everyone, while the other is a nihilist. Unable to rescue the city, Bobby himself eventually becomes a scarecrow along with the rest of society.


Junji Itō Collection (2018)
Kakashi

Followers of Shintoism are familiar with the kami (or deity) known as Kuebiko. This folk spirit is invited to own peasant scarecrows to help with the fall harvests. Afterward, the scarecrows are stacked, then set on fire to release Kuebiko back into the ether. While Kuebiko is benevolent and helpful, the straw statues seen in Junji Itō’s story “Kakashi” (“scarecrow” in Japanese) are more ambiguous.

Like the short manga on which it is based, the anime adaptation seen in Junji Itō Collection focuses on several grieving people visiting the graves of their deceased loved ones in a rural village. Other mourners follow suit when a father erects a scarecrow over his late daughter’s grave. Figures begin to change in appearance over time; inexplicably take the faces of the deceased. The weirdness doesn’t end there as the scarecrows now fulfill the wishes of all the souls they embody.

“Kakashi” is not a particularly terrifying entry in Itō’s arsenal of macabre tales, but the mangaka It vividly illustrates human pain and the extent to which people see their dead friends and family again. There are also mildly disturbing moments like a mother’s suspicions (she believes her husband played a role in her son’s death) that are confirmed thanks to a scarecrow.

Although “Kakashi” is one of the author’s shorter works, it was adapted as a feature film in 2000. The dark and unknown horror film J is quite different from the sleeveand incorporates elements of the Kuebiko myth as well.


A scare show (2019-present)

The company

Once they come to life in horror stories, inert things like toys and scarecrows turn malevolent possibly because they lack a soul. And if they had a soul, perhaps they could better resist the pull of evil. It is cause for reflection when the same ideas are related to humanity. A scare showThe episode “The Companion” describes the above theory when an abused child bumps into a menacing scarecrow on an abandoned farm. It is only after she accidentally wakes him up by removing the stick and holding it idle that she learns that the scarecrow was created by a lonely widower.

Harold (Logan allan) flees to the abandoned farm because his older brother Billy (Voltaire Colin Town Hall) chases him there. While the initial threat finally goes away, Harold stays behind to deal with the inspired and vicious scarecrow. Meanwhile, Harold finds a letter written by the partner’s deceased creator, Brenner (Afemo Omilami); He explains that he did the thing to ease loneliness after his wife passed away. However, the scarecrow was no friend, as he killed a child. So before Brenner died, he restrained the beast with his cane, led it straight through a heart-shaped Valentine sitting in the center of the scarecrow’s chest, and left it hanging on a pole outside his farm.

David bruckner other Matt VenneThe adaptation of the set from the 80s absorbs the essence of the base of the episode: a short written by Joe R. Lansdale and their children Keith and Kasey, and first published in 1995 Great writers and their children write spooky stories – while also leaving room for more drama. The full brothers subplot doesn’t exist in Lansdale’s writing, but that on-screen element makes this story feel more at home in. A scare show. After all, the changes in the original films ended when the abused children took revenge on their torturers by taking supernatural measures.

Bruckner maximized a meager budget and produced one of the most attractive and atmospheric entries of the first season; the special effects alone for the scarecrow are awesome. All of this is not dragged down by a smooth plot, either. “The Companion” does an excellent job of including the trademarks of A scare show, in addition to maintaining the famous spirit of the movies.

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