18th Dec2018

‘Scarecrows’ VOD Review

by Chris Ellis

Stars: Hannah Gordon, Mike Taylor, Umed Amin, Maaor Ziv, Jason J. Thomas, Derek Christoff, Andy Dynes, Austin Duffy, Sammi Barber | Written by Adam Rodness, Stuart Stone | Directed by Stuart Stone

Scarecrows-Key-Art

It’s not particularly good… some people may have now given up reading the rest of this review proving how showing your hand early can be the worst thing to do. In the case of Stu Stone’s sophomore effort Scarecrows,  this is something he should have taken heed of.

Within the first five minutes, the biggest plot point has been revealed as we find that a farmer with a grudge against trespassers has replaced straw and cloth scarecrows with a much more authentic version. This leaves Stone relying on the empathy that we should be feeling for his protagonists and this is where things begin to go wrong but just like Stone’s last scene, let me take you back to the beginning.

We join our couples Ely (Umed Amin) and girlfriend Ash (Hannah Gordon) along with Farbsie (Mike Taylor) and Devon (Maaor Ziv) mid road trip as they seek to find an idyllic lagoon at which to spend the weekend. Our intrepid adventurers quickly fall into their respective stereotypes, Ely is the uptight virgin, Devon is bitchy (imagine Aubrey Plaza without the talent) and Farbsie is the wisecracking ladies’ man (channelling Stiffler from “American Pie” crossed with Barney from “How I met your mother” only without any of the charm. Ash escapes relatively unscathed by way of having no discernible personality.

As the gang travels along, logic unfortunately decides that it’s not worth joining them. There are few people that would wander across a deserted farm with no trespassing signs, even fewer that would do this after having a finger land on their windscreen just down the road. However, they venture onwards with the crackling interaction between them that no doubt a fourteen-year-old would find hilarious however most will find tedious. I will give credit to the one joke that works involving Farbsie’s need to skinny dip, minus points for using the same technique in the next shot that makes it appear the films budget didn’t stretch to paying the licensing for a full song.

A missing car and an “hilarious” accident with a fence take two of our intrepid explorers out of play as they are left in the cornfields to await rescue. In the spirit of these things, are protagonists wander around making themselves easy pray for the watching Father (Jason J. Thomas). A visit to Father’s workshop for a quick piece of torture porn and an introduction to the Son (Derek ‘D-Sisive’ Christoff) follows, unfortunately I believe the ‘holy spirit’ pulled out due to scheduling conflicts or had quite possibly just read the script.

What follows is the typical chase… trip… kill… possibly dead… no, pattern of every other slasher flick before an ending that takes us back eighty minutes previously and our audience wonders if they could do the same.

So, in the end we find a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be, not stalk and slash enough for the Halloween or Friday the 13th fans, nor horrific enough for gore hounds and definitely not funny or smart enough to be a Tucker and Dale-esque parody. Scarecrows is as patchy as its title suggests.

Scarecrows is available on VOD now from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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