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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Scarecrows (movie) » User review

A 1988 horror film directed by William Wesley

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Does it possess a cult status? Do people actually like it? Maybe, for both, but I hope not.

  • Aug 17, 2012
Rating:
-4
* out of ****

I literally have nothing to say for this film and just how bad it is. It shoots itself in the foot from the get-go, opening with a horrifyingly misguided sequence set on a jet that is flying above a farmhouse and field which introduces us to five mercenaries/criminals, one of whom abandons ship with the money that the team had just stolen from somewhere (presumably a bank of some sorts). The guy who lands on the farm grounds is named Burt, and you'll be annoyed by the mere sound of his name by the twenty minute mark at least since the other anti-hero characters won't stop threatening him via radio. As the others descend from the jet so that they may exact revenge by way of bullets, Burt is checking out the farmhouse and the scarecrows that surround it. Eventually, he gets stabbed by one of them and, yes, dies a horrible and bloody death.

One of the characters at one point says "I think this place is possessed by demonic demons!" What he suspects is correct; the farmland has a dark past behind it, or in this case not so far behind it, which somehow allows the scarecrows to come to life, explaining the stabbing. The scarecrows kill all those who trespass on their territory and proceed to turn the newly dead into scarecrows as well. It's essentially a never-ending process; which could indeed be said for the film itself. It's a slasher flick devoid of reason, talent, wit, or intelligence. I'm astounded that I even heard of it in the first place; and offended that Netflix predicted my rating would be just a half a star short of three (out of five).

The director is William Wessley. He borrows everything in this film from others before it; such as, for example, "The Exorcist". It's difficult to look at the opening titles for "Scarecrow" and not think of William Friedkin's masterpiece. And then it steals from countless other slasher flicks before it, emerging with none of the charm or suspense but at least some of the gore. The kills are bloody but not necessarily graphic. The camera shies away from the best stuff, rendering it mostly ineffective. But the gore effects are essentially the only department in which I can somewhat praise Wessley's "craft"; of which otherwise he has absolutely none.

Whether it's silly dialogue, absurd over-acting, or a complete lack of atmosphere; "Scarecrows" is clearly not your best killer scarecrow movie. All the time, I was wondering just how bad a filmmaker you'd have to be to screw up an idea like that. Scarecrows are awesome, good material for a horror film, and yet this movie does nothing with them. Oh well, at least they look decent as far as creepy scarecrows go, although they're still nothing special. Overall, it's a terrible mess that unsuccessfully attempts to blend an action-thriller with a horror movie. Sometimes, a mess can be at least mildly exciting and even intriguing. Yet "Scarecrows" doesn't even get past boring.

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About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie

Wiki


Scarecrows is about five bank robbers who steal three million dollars from Camp Pendleton and take two hostages, a pilot and his daughter. As the robbers fly towards Southern waters, one of the robbers steals the loot and parachutes into a dark field. The remaining robbers land the plane and head for a broken-down house. The house has a demonic history, which causes scarecrows guarding surrounding graves to resurrect and slaughter any trespassers, dooming their victims to live on as scarecrows for all eternity.

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Details

Genre: Horror
Release Date: 1988
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
Runtime: 83 min.

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