I like to spend the entire month of October preparing for Halloween, mostly by watching all the scary movies and B horror flicks I can get my hands on. Scarecrows starts with the credits in red, letting you know you’re in for a delicious treat. And let’s just let it out there in the open, I’ve always found scarecrows to be creepy and scary.
Scarecrows begins with a greedy criminal deciding not to share the loot from a great heist – sure it isn’t a rare theme, but something had to set up why this man was alone in the country and why the other guys were hunting him down, right? Problem is, there are all these damn scarecrows everywhere. And they’re obviously pissed off. Oh, they are alive and don’t seem to die easily.
Like any B horror worth watching, there’s not much by way of the plot to distract you from the sheer creepiness of killer scarecrows. There’s also the necessary blood and gore for the gross-out factor. Scarecrows was obviously made with a smaller budget as static shots of scarecrows and creepy scenery fill in a large bulk of the movie. A lot of the dialogue takes place over the paramilitary radios; I can’t decide if the voice-over adds to the disturbing atmosphere or emphasizes the cheesy acting that is characteristic of the genre; perhaps it does both. And yes, the movie shows the same shots of the same freaky scarecrows multiple times, but somehow each time seems more ominous and disturbing. The most disturbing part of the movie is when the dog eats the blown up remains of a scarecrow and his victim.
There is no explanation as to the origins of these creepy cornfield creatures, nor any clues as to what happened to the residents of the farm. Were the three former inhabitants the scary scarecrows running amok or did they come to the same fate as the thieves? The lack of background does serve to make the idea of scarecrows with a vengeance seem even scarier. The director, William Wesley, makes excellent use of the dark atmosphere by playing up the menacing shadows. But other than that, Scarecrows is really just out to give you the creeps and a scare. And there is no better timing than with Halloween around the corner to pick up the DVD of the cult classic.
There are absolutely no special features — the DVD menu has three options: play movie, language selection, and scene selection – so the nitty gritty movie is all you get. However, it is in widescreen format enhanced for 16:9 televisions. The sound is in English Dolby Surround, with options for Spanish Stereo or French Dolby Surround along with English or Spanish subtitles. Scarecrows is an 83-minute flick from 1988 and certainly worth watching this Halloween.Powered by Sidelines