So, BlockbustMyBalls finally sent me 2 new slashers to watch, and I decided on Husk. It's a film in the After Dark set, so I'll most likely add some more of them to my queue to watch. I've enjoyed some of their past efforts, such as Dark Ride and The Hamiltons, so it'll be fun to explore the quality of the rest. Oh, and SPOILER time!
Husk is in a genre I've always enjoyed, that of killer scarecrows on the loose. The story opens up on a group of young guys travelling past endless cornfields, having a conversation about some kind of risky jump one of them wants to take. The conversation distracts them while driving, and the vehicle slams into a bird. The impact pretty much turns the bird into a Jackson Pollock painting on their windshield.
When they pull their truck over to the side of the road, we start getting to know them all. The trio who caused the accident are Scott, Chris and Johnny. In addition to them, we also meet Natalie,who was sleeping in the backseat, and her boyfriend Brian. Wave hello, everyone!
Chris, the one in the glasses, gets out to look at the damage, while Brian checks Natalie for signs of a concussion or other injury. Brian yells over to Chris, just to confirm that he, too, is in okay shape. This is quickly turning into that scene at the end of every episode of The Waltons, where 9,000 characters have to wish each other a good night. Come on guys, don't screw this one up...I love a good killer scarecrow flick!
Chris wanders around toward one of the cornfields, trying to get reception on his phone. He learns from the others that Johnny has somehow managed to wander away, and is now missing. He continues exploring their surroundings, while Brian calms Natalie down by snuggling up to her. Yeah, because nothing says "an afternoon quickie" quite like a car accident.
Chris spots a building past the field, and urges the others to go with him to look for assistance. They all bundle up to protect their skin from getting smacked by cornstalks, then begin the journey. Well, maybe not all...Chris and Brian enter the field, leaving Natalie and Scott with the wrecked truck.
Once they actually enter the rows of corn, it proves to be rough going. Brian seems to be plowing right on through it, but Chris gets into a coughing fit trying to keep up, which slows down their progress considerably. Uh, why did you bring the chess club guy, as opposed to the OTHER fellow athlete you had with you? Smart decision.
Well, nothing happens to them. Yet. Instead, we see Scott and Natalie bond over cigarettes. When the movie switches back to Chris and Brian, they're talking about having a party with as many women as they can handle. So much for generating any suspense by splitting them up a little.
Oh, and then they discover a rusty mailbox in the field. Beyond that, they find abandoned vehicles. And then, finally, they see a scarecrow. Yay! Chris, who just minutes ago could barely walk, decides that he should climb the post that the scarecrow is resting on, to try and get a position on the house. He sees it, and climbs off of the scarecrow. And still, nothing happens...
Back at the truck, Natalie is now wandering around outside, but staying close to the vehicle. She checks on their supplies, while Scott looks like he's trying to hot-wire the truck. Natalie strolls away from the vehicle, and uncovers a sign that says "GEN HILL". Then she spots someone hiding in the corn, and chases after them. Scott hears the commotion, and quickly catches up to her.
Then, more wandering with Brian and Chris. They find the house, but it looks long-abandoned. The interior is filthy, and they both agree that no one lives in the house anymore...so, of course, they resume calling out, "Hello? Anybody here?" Genius.
Scott and Natalie discover a scarecrow as well(okay...NATALIE discovers it....), and Natalie thinks it might actually be a human corpse. She runs back to the truck, and Scott follows. After a brief debate, they agree to try to follow Chris and Brian through the cornfield. Hmmm...what if she found Johnny?
Still wandering around in the House That Crap Built, the Dork-namic Duo hear some machinery. They enter a room with a bare light bulb lit up, and see a vaguely human-ish shape working at some kind of generator pedal, presumably to keep the light on. Brian gets closer to the figure, and asks if it's Johnny...
Then more running through corn. Fun. Natalie finds the house, and calls out Brian's name. Then Brian and Chris get close enough to the figure at the generator device to see that it is, indeed, their friend Johnny. Or was. His corpse is somehow making the machine work, and when he stops, the light goes out.
Natalie is still shouting for Brian in the corn, and hears something near her. Whatever it is, the thing attacks her, and knocks the frightened girl to the ground. Despite her screams and struggling, the attacker drags her away into the field. Bye!
Everyone hears her screaming, and the remaining 3 guys reunite. Scott tells Brian that he saw a brief glimpse of the thing that took her, and points in the direction that she was dragged in. Chris, being a wus, remains at the grungy house as the sun sets.
Scott and Brian run around in the dark, and find Natalie hanging from a chain wrapped around her wrists, looking fairly dead-ish. When Brian tries to undo the chains, some unseen mechanism hoists her body higher off the ground. Brian finds another body in the corn, then hears some whispering in close proximity, and then he and Scott get Natalie's body off of the chain device.
Scott gets back to the abandoned house first, and tells Chris that they all need to leave. Brian, carrying Natalie over his shoulder, takes a break to rest. As he tries to find any signs of life in her, something rushes at them. Brian starts to run away, and is hit by a chain. He has a scuffle with 2 of the zombie scarecrows, and he stumbles out of the corn to warn Chris. Before Chris can even react, a scarecrow tries to get him too, but he breaks free. As the 2 teens catch their breath on the ground, they see a scarecrow move back into the wall of corn.
Back in the house, they tend to their wounds and look for weapons. As they argue over whether or not to escape or fight, Brian accuses Scott of letting the monsters have Natalie to save his own ass. Then they search some more.
After determining that the cars are probably useless, Chris spots another scarecorpse. He falls into Dumb Horror Movie Rookie country, and decides to have a better look at the figure, which leaps at him. Brian saves him, but the attack somehow gives Chris visions. That sounds entirely logical, huh?
Anyway, he has a vision of a farmer and his son performing a ritual sacrifice involving spilling the blood of a chicken. As the farmer praises the boy, he sees his other son standing in the corner, not getting involved in the ritual. The farmer drags his second son over to a fresh chicken, hands him the knife, and tells him to start cutting. Then the vision ends. And that, kids, is the story of how Colonel Sanders started his empire. Or How I Met Your Mother. I forget which.
Back in the present, Brian gets his shit together, at least mentally speaking. He and Scott then move some furniture around and trash the house while looking for supplies. Scott thinks that he sees someone in the next room, and decides to explore some more.
He finds a room with electricity running in it(in the form of a single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling), and calls out to Brian. Then a zombie version of Natalie shambles in, and starts sewing. The door slams shut, trapping Scott with the undead girl. Luckily, his friends hurry to find something to break the door down. Unluckily, Natalie attacks Scott.
They finally get the door open, and Scott runs out of the room. He tells them that Natalie attacked him, which makes Brian go bananas looking for her. Chris runs outside and has another weird vision, in which he sees the same rebellious farmboy from before stab his brother through the back with a pitchfork.
Then something attacks Chris in the corn, and he is strung up by his feet. A scarecrow shows up, and slices his exposed stomach with Freddy Krueger-ish claws. Then his friends find him, and he tells them about his visions. Brian decides to investigate by himself, and Chris follows him back into the house. Then Chris gets the crap scared out of him when Scott shows up and grabs him.
Somehow Chris gets one of the abandoned trucks started, and flies by his shocked friends when they hear the engine. He crashes the vehicle into a scarecrow, and it eventually "wakes up"on the hood of the truck, and tries to get to him by smashing the windshield. It goes after him 2-3 times, then vanishes.
Brian gets his hands on a shotgun, which proves to be no match for one of the scarecrows. After he dies, we get another vision with Chris seeing the evil farm kid going after his father. Oh, and he hid his brother's corpse by dressing it as a scarecrow, and placingit in the middle of the field. He then finds Scott, and tells him that the killer is the ghost of the murdered brother, who jumps from scarecrow to scarecrow to claim each new victim.
Chris finds zombie Brian, and tries to speak to him. When Brian stops sewing, he appears to let Chris take his lighter and escape the room. Then Chris finds Scott, and they waste time looking for the shotgun.
Scott gets badly injured in an attack, and Chris suggests that they go in different directions. Chris then hides in the corn and waits for zombified Brian to come after him. They face off, and Brian impales him in the gut. Chris seems to defeat him, but who knows at this point?
Then Scott is dragged into the corn by one of the undead scarecrows, and he goes into melee combat mode. As they fight, he discovers that Chris has also been captured. Chris screams at him to run, and Scott does as he's told. Unfortunately, he's also attacked again, just as he sees a car coming down the road.
The film ends with Scott sprawledon the ground, whispering for help, as the motorist opening his car door to come looking for him. Between them is a killer scarecrow, trying to decide which one to kill first. THE END.
Well, not the worst killer scarecrow movie I've ever seen...which is kind of sad to contemplate. I obviously had trouble telling who was who in this film, and the "visions" served no purpose in the plot, so it seemed somewhat generic. Also, only 1 female in the cast? That was a bonehead decision: this movie needed more characters and plot. 2 killer trees out of 5.
And what did I learn from watching Husk?
-Well, obviously no one's names.
-Scarecrows love to teleport from body to body....especially if they get a chance to do some major sewing.
-Dead birds leave 1,000 gallons of blood behind when they die.
My next movie is a prequel, Wrong Turn 4. I'm praying that it's better than my last few.