According to IMDB this is the story of teenagers who are kidnapped and made into scarecrows and left in a field to die. The tagline is “It was supposed to be the Summer of their dreams”.
What can I say? I had not heard of Scarecrows before sitting down to watch it, but I still had expectations. If you enjoy this genre of movie like I do, then you will get exactly what you expect, with a few delightful surprises.
My first thought is the cinematography is more than I expected. Very clear editing with professional shots. Keeping to real settings gives Scarecrows a natural feel and suits the mood and theme of the film. For camera shots and editing you’d think this was a higher budget film. Whomever was in charge of their filming locations did a fantastic job. Typically, in this genre you get too dark, too grainy or too shaky. Not so with Scarecrows. The lighting was natural with daylight being bright and night being shadowed nicely but never too dark to see all of the action.
The acting would be the next thing I really noticed. It was nice to see a low budget horror movie having decent actors in the roles. Very little seemed forced and unrealistic. These actors definitely took the roles seriously even when the script added humour (intentional or not). This is not one of those movies where you definitely like or hate a character. Yes, the actual roles are pretty cliched, but this ensemble does a good job of living up to the “young, not so bright, mixed group of friends trying to have a good time when everything goes wrong” cliché.
There isn’t much I can say about the plot. If you are familiar with teen horror movies then you already know what you are going to get. The story flows with no major gaps in what you are watching. There are a few lines that are uttered that will make you laugh (at least on the inside). The reactions of the characters seem mostly realistic considering the circumstances which is a credit to the writers as well as the actors and director. Don’t expect it to be terrifying. Don’t expect a great story with a brand-new concept. Don’t expect a big budget story line that has had numerous rewrites and you will come away having enjoyed a bit of time in the world Stu Stone and Adam Rodness have created.
The only really negative thing I found while watching Scarecrows was the soundtrack. In places it was just fine, it delivered the creepy sounds we all have come to expect when watching a movie from this genre (really, how else are we going to know action is about to happen if there’s no deep, pounding music to let us know?). At other times though, the music seemed so out of place it actually took me away from what I was watching. Most of the horrible, mixed up music occurred in the first half of the movie and it did get better and more suitable as the movie continued on. I’m not certain if the 70’s style porn music was supposed to be taken serious or if it was supposed to be humorous but it really doesn’t belong.
Often a movie from this genre will have either decent acting or a good set, but Scarecrows manages to have both. Put together with a well-rounded script that is predictable but not awful and you have a movie that will entertain you but that you will probably forget about right after watching it.
Scarecrows will be available on your favourite Video On Demand service on December 11.
Cast: Hannah Gordon, Mike Taylor
Directed by: Stu Stone
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment