Director – Steve Lustgarten (Vampz, Power Slide)
Starring – Raider Rhotenacher, Mark Popejoy (House of Pain, RoboWoman), and Wende Popejoy
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 2.5/5
I’m a sucker for scarecrow flicks but it’s rare that I find one that I actually like. Even though I’m disappointed by most I always have fun watching a new one I had never seen before. Over the years I’ve reviewed some clever spins on this Halloween season favorite but very few are able to bring the story on home.
Sometime back Wild Eye Releasing released the horror film American Scarecrow. As I said earlier, I’m a sucker for these types of films so I reached out to them for a review copy. They were kind enough to send one my way and I want to thank them for the opportunity.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a contractor and his crew who finds themselves in a rough spot when a clients check bounced. A banker who is aware of their situation asks them to remodel a home they foreclosed on. They reluctantly accept and go out into the county to fix up the old farmhouse. The first night their they uncover a journal which paints a gruesome about the family that once occupied the home and their son who returned from combat not the same anymore. The longer they are their they uncover strange things before finding the little girl of the missing family and soon her brother, now wearing his military fatigues and a scarecrow mask, is ready to kill everyone he comes in contact with. **Spoiler Alert**
I was pretty excited to check this one out and though it was extremely rough around the edges it still had some fun moments. Sadly, those fun moments are overshadowed by the film’s lack of a story and characters that you wanted to watch die the moment they were introduced. It’s alright for a first time watch but I could recommend so many other Wild Eye releases to watch instead.
The acting in this one is decent to say the least but the character they portrayed just got under my skin. They are very unlikable and I couldn’t watch them die quickly enough. I don’t know if that’s how they were written or I’m getting older and bitter but I didn’t like the characters which made the already non-existent story drag on.
The story for this one would have worked perfectly for a short film around 30 minutes or so. Instead, we get a horror tale that is stretched so thin that it forgets what it is doing in several of the scenes. Like the scene where the woman walks into a room and takes her shirt off before going to bed. That is all the scene was. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good breast or two but that scene was absolutely pointless. If the movie would have just followed the group going to the house, working, and encountering the scarecrow it would have been tolerable. However, the way it is you have so many pointless scenes that just bore the viewer to tears.
Finally, the kills could have been fun but they look as if they were rushed. In one scene they don’t try to blend the prosthetics with the actor’s skin which made an unintentionally funny moment. Overall, American Scarecrow has a few entertaining moments but was really lacking in several aspects. I wanted to like it and I hate writing a negative review for a Wild Eye release but this one just wasn’t that fun. If you want something new and you dig indie features you might have some fun with this one but don’t expect a film that will stick with you.