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Lou Diamond Phillips,
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Five people heist the Camp Pendleton payroll, kidnap a pilot and his daughter, who are forced to fly them to Mexico. Enroute a double cross has one of the thieves parachute with the loot into an abandoned graveyard surrounded by strange scarecrows. Two of the team jump after their loot and their former partner. Everything happens during the course of one very dark night. Written by
John A W Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scarecrows shows what you can do with a very flimsy plot line and a low budget. Rather than concentrate on characters or story, the film leans more towards aesthetics; as the tale is portrayed within a very creepy atmosphere, and the central monsters of the title capitalise well on their natural scare factor. Like clowns, scarecrows are eerie creations and it's clear that director William Wesley knows that, as their dark and foreboding image makes up the backbone of this tale of terror. The only real theme that is put on display in this film comes from the idea of greed, as it is that very thing that gets all the central protagonists into life-threatening danger. The film follows a bunch of soldiers that have stolen a lot of money. They take a pilot and his daughter hostage and force the pair to take them to Mexico; but the ride has a hitch when one of the crooks decides that he doesn't want to share the money, and parachutes out of the plane with the loot. His partners in crime are soon on his tail, but the story has another twist when it turns out that the field they've jumped into is infested with scarecrows that want to do more than keep the birds off the crops!
This film isn't very well known and it's not hard to see why. Scarecrows is very short, running at about seventy minutes when you don't include the credit sequences. The film also feels very low-key, as the focus is more on the atmosphere than anything else, which can leave the film lacking at several intervals. Scarecrows is basically a glorified zombie movie, and pretty much plays out like one as the characters are picked off by their unworldly adversaries. The fact that the entire film takes place in what appears to be real time and in only one location ensures that it benefits from a claustrophobic tension, which benefits a film like this greatly. There isn't a lot of gore here, as the killings don't tend to be very bloodthirsty, and most of the violence takes place off-screen. The killings aren't bad, however, and I was impressed with the way that the film handled the scarecrows' victims after they had been savaged. Overall, this film certainly won't win any awards, and you won't really be missing much by not seeing it; but any horror fan that gets the chance to see Scarecrows probably won't be disappointed.
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