Monday, 11 April 2011



It's always the way: you wait years for a scarecrow-themed horror film and then two show up in the space of a few weeks. In this instance, even as the agonies triggered by the desperately pathetic The Scar Crow have only just started to drain away, we now have this, the second of the new batch of After Dark DTV horror quickies. And it's much better: not just better than The Scar Crow (ignoring the fact that having your entire spinal column ripped out by the Predator is less painful than watching The Scar Crow) but it's better than Prowl, the other After Dark offering released in the last couple of weeks.

Husk has a quintet of blandly photogenic teens crashing their SUV into a ditch after being divebombed by kamikaze crows (pleasingly, the collective noun for crows is "a murder") for no adequately explored reason. Being idiots who've never watched The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, they decide that the best plan is not to walk back the scant four miles along the road to the petrol station, but to cut through the eight-foot-high cornfields to the spooky farmhouse, and then to act all surprised when someone, or something, rushes towards them with a sharp knife and hangs them upside down on a scarecrow pole to die. Are the scarecrows alive? Why do the dead teens go up to the sewing room in the spooky farmhouse and create sack masks?

It's fair to say that Husk isn't much of a film: none of the characters are that sympathetic and the bulk of the action takes place in the dark, and the ending is more of a sudden stop that leaves you wanting to know exactly what happened. On the other hand, the film does a nice job of fooling your expectations of who's going to survive and who's going to be bloodily (rather than gorily) despatched, and who's got the best plan for getting out alive. Overall it's really not too bad at all: watchable and occasionally surprising, with the minimum of blathery soap-opera backstory for the idiot teens. I didn't mind it: it's a solid enough rental.



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