“Crush The Skull” is an indie horror-comedy, which is something that is pretty hard to pull off. Comedy always works well with horror, but usually when jokes and gags are used sparingly to help alleviate some of the tension built up by the film, but making a movie that is equal parts is much harder, because how do you make something scary while constantly making fun of the situation but also how do you make something scary if you keep deflating the horror with a bunch of silly jokes? Throw on top of that the fact that this is obviously a low budget movie with a somewhat ambitious idea, and you have a recipe for something that threatens to not come together and leave the audience dissatisfied.
Somehow “Crush The Skull” does manage to find a nice middle ground between the two genres. Ollie (Chris Dinh) and Blair (Katie Savoy) are a couple and they are also burglars. A screw up in the beginning gets them in some debt that they need to get out of quickly, which forces them to make a bad decision and agree to work a job set up by Blair’s incompetent brother Connor (Chris Reidell) and his one-man crew Riley (Tim Chiou). Very shortly after starting this job, the foursome realize that they unknowingly broke in to the home of a deranged killer of some sort, the type of creepy weirdo who apparently kidnaps girls and keeps them locked up in a dingy basement of torture and murder, and they have to try to get out of this makeshift prison before they become the killer’s next victims. A simple yet effective set up that is a blend of “The Collector” and “The Ladykillers,” this movie is mostly quite solid and entertaining, though it definitely isn’t perfect.