Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dark Night of the Scarecrow1981

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow Photos

Movie Info

Misguided townsfolk, blinded by bias and fear, mistakenly kill a mentally retarded man after someone accuses him of raping the young girl he had befriended. Shortly thereafter the entire town is beset by a supernatural terror. The story originally aired on television.

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Charles Durning
as Otis P. Hazelrigg
Tonya Crowe
as Marylee Williams
Lane Smith
as Harless
Jocelyn Brando
as Mrs. Ritter
Tom Taylor
as DA Sam Willock
Ivy Jones
as Mrs. Williams
Jim Tartan
as Mr. Williams
Ed Call
as Defense Attorney
Alice Nunn
as Mrs. Bunch
John Steadman
as Mr. Loomis
Dave Adams
as Deputy
Ivy Bethune
as Mrs. Hocker
Jetta Scelza
as Mrs. Whimberly
Modi Frank
as Waitress
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Critic Reviews for Dark Night of the Scarecrow

All Critics (6)

A haunting story coupled with engaging performances by all cast members, I feel like I just won the horror lottery by discovering this gem; and it's a movie I look forward to revisiting many, many times in the future.

October 12, 2011 | Rating: 4.5/5

It may seem old fashioned today, but this very quality makes it surprisingly effective.

October 15, 2010 | Full Review…

It's not a bloody-gory film, mind you; it is, after all, a TV production. Yet it does imply a lot of grisly goings on.

September 27, 2010 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

Made-for-TV horror movie from 1981. That's really all you need to know.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dark Night of the Scarecrow


A really interesting made-for-tv horror film that plays more like a thriller with dramatic elements. I wasn't really scared by it but I can see why people might be creeped out by it. I think that the length of the thing runs down the pace of it a bit (this was made for television with commercials in between, after all), but other than that, it's a pretty effective revenge tale.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Dark Night Of The Scarecrow has got to be the best tv movie since Duel. Frank De Felitta's film leaves a lot to imagination to guess and with that in mind, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow leaves it up to your imagination to guess whats going on. Which makes it truly terrifying. Seeing how terrifying this film really is, it's hard to comprehend that this is a simple made for TV film, but it is, and with that in mind, this film is truly a masterful work of Horror. The film proves that you don't need loads of gore to create, tense, horrifying situation, and much like John Carpenter's Halloween, its up to your imagination to try and guess whats going on, and like I've previously said, it makes for a much scarier picture. Dark Night Of The Scarecrow is a well acted, well paced and directed film. Charles Durning plays a great villain, as the head of a lynch mob who kill a mentally challenged adult falsely accused of hurting a little girl. It's not soon after, that Bubba(the mentally challenged man, falsely accused of hurting the girl) comes back to life in a guise of a scarecrow and hunts and kills for the killers who killed him. As the film progresses, you learn to really despise Charles Durning's character. The film is very well crafted and spawned the entire Horror subgenre of the Scarecrow. Like I've previously mentioned, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow is the type of horror film that leaves your imagination run wild. Thus it makes this film way more scarier than most Hollywood Horror fare. Dark Night Of The Scarecrow possesses a terrific cast with one scary original story , A very unique and original made for TV film. An essential Halloween viewing experience.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Long before the days of SyFy there was a time when you could look forward to "movies of the week". Some of my favorites are Salem's Lot, The Manitou, The Intruder Within and this little gem that was made to cash in on the slasher craze going on in theaters. Not perfect by any means but it has a fair share of chills and atmosphere.

A.D. Villarreal
A.D. Villarreal

Super Reviewer

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