Thursday, 11 August 2011

Review - Husk (2011 - Dir. Brett Simmons)

Another one from After Dark Films. Like Prowl, it looks like this was made for a small budget. Not necessarily a bad thing. The director of photography does a good job of making a cornfield look suitably appealing. The leaves are used to frame the actors and depth of field is used well to create... well, depth. One of the problems with Husk is that it is too beautifully shot. Horror films need a bit of grain and grime to create an unnerving atmosphere. The dirt in this looks too clinical. This seems to be an issue will all new horrors on Blu-ray.

So, here we have another killer scarecrow film (see Dark Night of the Scarecrow for more bird scaring action). Five teenager types break down, due to some suicidal crows, and have to walk through a cornfield to a creepy house for help. So far, so standard issue.

Husk does some things well. The characters, for once, are not too irritating. You don't immediately want them all to die. Another plus point is that the characters don't get killed in the order that you would expect. The design of the big bad scarecrow is suitably creepy. You know that he is going to slowly turn his head to face the camera and he doesn't disappoint. There are some low-key funny moments, my favourite being when they are looking for their lost friend:
Scott: "Johnny's gone."
Chris: "What? Do you mean you found him?"
Scott: "Yeah, he was upstairs in the sewing room."
Chris: "What the funk is he doing in there?"
Scott: "Sewing."

What are the problems then? It's just not scary. Most of the jumps are of the loud noise variety. If I want to be scared by loud noises I could go and stand next to Brian Blessed. There is one good jump in there but I won't spoil it for you. I was quite bored at times during the film. There is a limit to how much 'running around in cornfields' I can stand. The ending's a bit of a duffer too.

You've got to give After Dark Films credit for bringing new horror to the screen, but I can't help feeling they would be better pooling resources for one good film rather than two below average ones. I would think twice before watching another. Don't believe the front cover either; it's not 'filled with grisly gore'.

If you like this you could also try:
Prowl, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, The Pack.

1 comment:

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