By all means, please stop me if you’ve heard this before. A group of young people are off to have a good time and are driving down a lonely open road. They crash, the cell phones don’t work and an evil something starts to kill them. Anybody? No? Never heard that before? Then I will continue describing After Dark Films ‘Husk’, lent on consignment to the Sci-Fi Channel and featuring a murderous scarecrow. ‘Scarecrow Slayer’ anybody? ‘The Messengers’? No? Anybody?
Let’s meet our young people with the crappy cell phone service, shall we? There’s Chris (C.J. Tomason) who’s kind of the asshole of the crew and the guy I believe will be the ‘WE ALL GONNA DIE GUY’ in this movie. There’s Brian the Jock (Wes Chatham), Brian’s girlfriend Natalie (Tammin Sursok) who probably shouldn’t be going on this guys only trip, but it’s always good to inject some estrogen in a movie like this, and we do need a Final Girl don’t we? Don’t we? There’s Johnny (Ben Easter) who we have no category for outside of him being ‘first to go guy’ and then there’s Scott (Devon Graye) the geek.
So our young people are cruising down the lonely road when the windshield of the Suburban is mercilessly attacked by crows. They crash, they are unconscious, they come around eventually and find that Johnny is missing. Maybe Johnny just went up to that house that is deep in the cornfields? Cool, so the Jock and the Geek make the journey through the cornfields to get to that house and this is where they stumble upon a couple of weird things, such as an abandoned old car that has dead crows stuck to its windshield, not unlike their own car, and a really demonic looking smelly scarecrow. Still they soldier on until they reach this house and lo and behold there is Johnny. Kinda sorta. Let’s just say Johnny’s looked better.
While the Jock and the geek are freaking out in the weird abandoned house with the one working light, the asshole and the hottie are freaking out back by the road, particularly the hottie who is seeing things running around in the cornfields. Something is not right and she’s going to find out what that something is and that means running into the cornfield to find her man. Not a good move.
As we mentioned earlier there is a crazed scarecrow, blessed with super speed and supreme slicing abilities, running around straight terrorizing these kids, but why? There’s nobody here to tell us why, but fortunately for us the geek has somehow acquired transcendental mental powers and he has the 411 on what’s going down. But will he be able to put these new skills to use and somehow save himself and his friends?
Right off the bat we are pleased to inform you that there is nothing inherently wrong with director Brett Simmon’s movie ‘Husk’. Like most of the movies coming out of After Dark Films the productions value are high, the movie looks and sounds great and the cast of relatively unknown actors is more than up to the task of running and screaming and dying. From top to bottom ‘Husk’ is a solid, airtight production.
While cinematic competency is appreciated, this does not mean that ‘Husk’ is a good movie. True enough when compared to a lot of the stuff we see on the Sci-Fi Channel on Saturday night at 9:00P.M. ‘Husk’ is pure genius, but separating it from that I’m afraid the end result is a paint by numbers horror flick that just feels a little bit too generic.
The stock characters don’t do anything too terribly different that many a slaughtered young adult hasn’t done before them, outside of the geek that acquired the transcendent mental abilities and how that magical occurrence came about is far beyond my simple powers deduction. The Run / Scream / Hide / Run / Scream / Hide motif became a little repetitive after a while… again this is something that is pretty stock in horror movies… and of course we have characters doing stupid stuff to get themselves killed. I also don’t think Simmons exploited all of the opportunities to scare his audience with the movie being more of a creepy tale than actually being a scary one, and also leaning more towards action as opposed to horror. I wouldn’t have minded a little info on how the possessed scarecrow managed to control the crow population of this little town and don’t corn fields need to be tended to? Was the scarecrow jumping in the tractor harvesting this corn and taking it down to the market when he wasn’t terrorizing young adults? Just curious.
‘Husk’ isn’t a bad movie by any means and it does a lot of things really well, it just doesn’t do these things all that differently from the many, many movies that have come before it.