The premise for Scarecrows is really straight-forward. A group of mercenaries have managed to rob a bank & escape in a plane piloted by their hostage who is doing it on the threat of his daughter’s life. Being criminals the group are an untrustworthy bunch, proved when one decides to go into business for himself.
He grabs all of the money & bails out of the plane, thinking that he’s gotten away. Unfortunately for him though he lands on the outskirts of a farm that has some terrifying scarecrows on display. Scarecrows that come to life & start hunting him down.
Meanwhile the rest of the group, furious with the betrayal, land the plane & set off after the thief. For them it’s all fun & games as they tease him over the radio all while getting closer & closer. All fun & games… until he disappears leaving them confused about where he has gone.
Regrouping at the farmhouse they discover it empty & set about trying to find their absconded crew member. Unfortunately for them though the scarecrows have other ideas. What started off as a simple heist has now become a desperate fight to survive the night against a group of straw stuffed killers.
Good fun. That’s exactly what Scarecrows is. There is no explanation about anything. It simply says, here are the criminals & here are the scarecrows. Now enjoy the bloody mayhem that occurs.
Scarecrows aren’t used that much in horror, probably because they’re just not that scary but these ones are up there as some of the most horrible villains in horror. It’s not just the manner in which they kill (which is always very violent), it’s how they tease & seem to be enjoying themselves.
They seperate the group & slaughter them. They take the bodies & stuff them with straw & the stolen money, hang them from trees & make them one of their own. All awesome stuff.
It helps that the film isn’t shy on gore, using its effects budget to create miracles. Several times the movie will make you wince & that’s no easy task when it comes to seasoned horror movie fans.
The human cast pale in comparison but still do a decent job of it. Initially they’re nothing more then a bunch of forgettable dicks but by the end individuals traits have come out making a few more definable. Also in one case it even makes them a more likeable character.
The only real issue with the human cast is the occasional cheesy line of dialogue but it doesn’t dent the overall enjoyment of a damn fine horror movie.
It’s always a pleasure when a movie from the golden era of horror manages to stand out from the pack. Scarecrows isn’t just another 80’s horror. It can proudly hold its head up as one of the better offerings from the most inventive era of horror.
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