A bunch of forgettable teenage characters are on a detention. As punishment, their teacher (who looks the same age as them) drives them to a creepy, derelict farm that local legend says is haunted. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
After getting a big wad of his money and the bus keys lifted from his pockets by his students, the less-than-competent teacher stands by an enormous field of full-height maize and tells them not to get lost (which of course some of them promptly do). Exactly what a beautifully planted and maintained field of healthy corn is doing at a long-abandoned farm is a bit of a mystery. But it does have a scary looking scarecrow in the middle, which is rotten and falling apart. And for some reason is due to be taken down and moved to the town's scarecrow festival. But before long a CGI monster (which looks nothing like a scarecrow) starts to attack the characters in a number of unimaginative and gore-lite ways.
There are several problems with this film. The characters are mostly not interesting enough for a viewer to care about. The creature is completely CGI, and it's actually well created. Unfortunately if you've seen SyFy movies before, you'll be so familiar with CGI monsters you probably won't find it remotely scary. There are some great filming locations. But I'm not convinced an old ship is a natural setting for scarecrow story. I can't help wondering if the third act was written around an interesting location they had access to. The overall story isn't particularly original, and events do seem to be heading to an ending at the 1-hour mark. Unfortunately this isn't the end, and the 30 minutes that follow become tedious and sometimes feel dragged out to fill the running time.
Admittedly the film does have more tension than a lot of made-for-TV horror movies, but there are so many false jump scares they destroy any credibility it might have. Especially as these mostly involve characters turning/walking into each other - with a sudden, loud blast of 'shock' music. Yes it makes you jump, but it's only as frightening as somebody popping a crisp bag behind your back.
On the positive side, the photography is good, and the practical special effects (not computer generated) are actually quite impressive. The acting performances won't win Oscars but are fairly good for a TV movie.
With a better script and a lot less CGI, this could have been a decent horror movie. It doesn't offer anything new to the genre, but if you want something to make you jump without having to engage your brain too much, it's ok. Otherwise, you'll probably find it all done a lot better elsewhere.