The Canadian horror Scarecrows (2017) plays along with its formulaic structure, however the self-mocking character of this endeavor’s rewarding enough to make for an entertaining genre offering.
Four teens go on a weekend trip to the beach in Ontario. On the way, the group make a stop to see a lagoon, which is located right next to a cornfield. The lovely day turns grisly, when they enter the farm – against the will of its creepy owner.
“You should be scary to birds, not humans“, says a high-as-a-kite girl to a creepily looking pile of hay and clothes, formed into a human lookalike. Paraphrasing her words, horror movies should be scary, not funny. However, there are exceptions, and sometimes, the two can be combined.
The director of Scarecrows (2017), Stuart Stone, shamelessly incorporates the most awful cliche known in the genre. The script brings two stereotypical couples – horny guys and their slightly less driven girlfriends – to the open wild. Their heads are beaming with ideas about consuming their relationship, the guard’s off. What could possibly go wrong, right?
Surprisingly, the protagonists of Scarecrows (2017) achieve something that most of their horror-peers cannot – they are likeable.
The two gonzos who bring their second halves on the trip are like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber movies. Mike Taylor and Umed Amin – the two actors playing the roles – form a well-paired duo, because they are aware of the dumbness of Scarecrows (2017) plot, and fully embrace it.
The same goes for their female partners. Hannah Gordon and Maaor Ziv are having equal fun with every next twist conceived by Stone. The entire cast enjoys this mockery, which gives them freedom to deliver the utterly bad lines in a graceful, if kind one-note-humor manner. They gain the audience’s sympathy, which is a rare skill for b-movie horror fodder meat.
While we’re at it, director Stuart Stone isn’t honestly a bonafide screenwriter. Joined by co-writer Adam Rodness, the two fill Scarecrows (2017) with an abundance of cringeworthy moments. One of the absolute tops was a scene in which Mike Taylor tries to slip past a barbwire surrounding the cornfield. His leg gets trapped, skin is cut, and there goes the only muscled guy’s stamina.
Other ideas for plot or character development aren’t too creative. either. Stone and Rodness are faithful to the horrors they’ve likely watched as kids, with Children of the Corn (1984) providing Scarecrows (2017) a vast pool of ideas to draw from.
Scarecrows (2017) is still, and nonetheless, a fun ride
Albeit Scarecrows (2017) is not a good movie, this fact doesn’t preclude it’s an entertaining one.
There is a bunch of scenes to curl your hair, where gore and special effects make the terror of a scarecrow monstrosity real. The scares are mainly provided by the farmer – a chubby, kinda fetishy-pornstar version of gunslingers from Sergio Leone movies. Which totally blends in the movie to be honest. In the end, it’s as corny as his farmland, and guarantees more than an hour of gore-filled, Canadian-born fun.
Scarecrows (2017) – Culturally Hated or Loved?
While it’s nothing new or innovative, this Canadian horror flick brings an enjoyable experience for the avid fans of the genre.
Hate Grade: 5/10
Director: Stuart Stone
Cast: Hannah Gordon, Maaor Ziv, Mike Taylor, Umed Amin
Music: Jamie Rise & Stuart Stone
Cinematography: Marc Forand
Where to watch: not available on any of the popular streaming services
Want more horror reviews? Read why you shouldn’t watch “Gehenna: Where Death Lives” and why “Terrifier” is a sweet campy tribute to the era of 80s’ slashers.
If you liked Scarecrows (2017), you might also enjoy:
- Scarecrows (1988) – another flick about cornfields and their evil protectors, which is just as campy and B-movie quality,
- Scarecrow (2013) – a ver close kin to Stuart Stone’s film, which follows six teenagers who are attacked by an evil scarecrow in a small town,
- Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019) – a modern take on short horror stories from cable tv, with a cool cornfield-set story