Dark Harvest 2: The Maize (2004)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 16%
Overall Rating
Ranked #5,752
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Connections: Dark Harvest

A father's psychic abilities are put to the test when his two daughters are trapped inside of a corn maze haunted by the spirits of two young girls who disappeared a year earlier. --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: October 16, 2009
So, my hunt for a decent scarecrow themed slasher continues to Dark Harvest 2, even though the first one was nothing short of horrible. Turns out that not only was Dark Harvest 2 even worse, but it wasn't even Dark Harvest 2. Bill Cowell made a movie called The Maize, and at some point, the Dark Harvest title was slapped on it, complete with another wicked looking killer scarecrow on the cover. Never mind the fact that this has nothing to do with scarecrows at all.

It's Halloween, and Walker just sat down with a bag of popcorn when the day's first Trick or Treaters ring his bell. Seeing one of the kids dressed as a murderous butcher triggers his involuntary psychic ability, and he begins seeing visions of two young girls being killed in a corn field. Shaken, he walks back inside, and sees the girls from his vision on his TV; it's the one year anniversary of their disappearance. The newscast is being filmed in a nearby corn field, where a corn maze has been set up for Halloween. Walker realizes his vision is telling him the girls' killer isn't done yet, and it just so happens his wife and two daughters were spending the day in the maze, so he rushes out to protect his family. When he gets there, he finds something supernatural is going on in this maze, to say nothing of the murderer wandering around with a lead pipe.

Let's ignore the fact that whoever decided this would be a suitable sequel to Dark Harvest should be fired; what's more important is whoever decided this was a suitable movie period needs to quit the business. The storyline goes absolutely nowhere, the majority of the running time is spent watching either Walker or his girls wander through the maze yelling for each other, with plenty of additionally padded scenes in between there. Things like watching Walker dig for literally five minutes on end; then after Walker's initial vision, Cowell feels it necessary to truly drive it home that he's psychic. He calls his wife and says "You know that feeling I got when Keri fell down the stairs" (cut to Keri falling down the stairs and whining for a few minutes) "and when that kid almost got hit by the car" (cut to Walker grabbing a kid out of harm's way in the parking lot. We get it. He's psychic. And the little time that was spent on the plot made absolutely no sense, and you can tell there wasn't a second of actual thought behind it. The two dead girls' ghosts spend some time wandering around the cornfield too. Wonder where that inspiration came from.

The only thing worse than Cowell's script is his camera work and editing. He constantly had picture in picture boxes floating around showing the same scene from a different angle. And he did like his angles. Hell, there was a few times he literally held the camera upside down; once he actually just flipped it over as he filmed. For the life of me, I'll never understand how he thought that was a good idea. Plus, the acting is horrendous across the board. Cowell himself takes on the lead role of Walker, and proves himself to be just as pitiful in front of the camera as behind it. The only other two roles that have enough screen time to warrant mentioning is the Walker girls, Alyssa Cowell and Elena Pezzino, who prove once again that children actors suck. I'm assuming that Alyssa is the director's daughter, and she returns to the role in The Maize 2. The fact that there's an actual sequel to this at all is not only incredible in its own right, but is also gets further damage cause by renaming this to Dark Harvest.

This might be the poster child for inconsistent ratings: rated R for some language. No nudity, no gore, no violence. No anything that someone picks up a movie in this genre to see. I can't think of a single reason that anyone would want to see this movie. The most positive thing that I could say is that Dark Harvest 2 does feature some great cover art, even if it is the very definition of irrelevant. 0/10.
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