DECEMBER 16, 2007
“Hey Curry: how are we gonna live in Mexico, if we’re dead?”
That line is hilarious, but unfortunately, like about 80% of the (less funny) dialogue in Scarecrows, it is spoken by an off-screen actor. It’s really jarring to hear a bunch of disembodied voices over shots of houses, cornfields, and airplanes throughout the film, and you never really get used to it.
This is a shame, because otherwise, this movie’s pretty good. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Quentin Tarantino and/or Simon Barrett are fans of the film, since both From Dusk Till Dawn and Barrett's Dead Birds (a great flick, if you haven’t seen it yet you should) are very similar (Birds moreso than Dawn), and in certain aspects, superior. Scarecrows has a father and daughter taken hostage by the robbers (like Dawn) and is a very atmospheric, low-key effort set entirely in a farmhouse (like Birds). And both are about robbers being killed by monsters (note - I am dubbing this a zombie film because the guys that get killed by the scarecrows come back as murderous, mindless drone things).
I was surprised to see Peter Deming’s name in the credits, as he is one of the few directors of photography whose name means a damn thing to me (he also shot the Scream sequels, Evil Dead 2, From Hell, and a few David Lynch films). His career is uneven at best (he also shot Son In Law and Joe’s Apartment), but he does great work here. The shots of the scarecrows creep me out throughout the film. Take a note, Lionsgate – killer scarecrows CAN be scary!!!
It’s sort of a shame that writer/director William Wesley has only one other film to his name (Route 666, which was a complete disappointment, to put it mildly). He knows how to stage scenes and keep a film moving despite an obvious low budget (I suspect many of the voiceovers are the result of needing to deliver exposition without filming a whole scene), and it would be good to see what he could pull off with the necessary resources. None of the actors are particularly memorable, but they aren’t bad either (one guy kind of looks like Nathan Fillion, which is always a plus).
Also the dog in the film is “awwww” worthy.
What say you?