Thursday, August 4, 2011
Another weakness that Husk turns into a strength is its short running time. It clocks in at about 82 minutes, which means that there is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 minutes of filler left on the cutting room floor. Director Brett Simmons does his best to keep the story moving forward – the momentum is slowed by the first clumsy inserts of the backstory – and make something out of a story so simple as a magical scarecrow is going to kill you in the cornfield.
Husk was one of the movies I left sitting in my Netflix queue when I quit the service. Whatever algorithm they use picked it as the horror film I would most like to see. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it, though I don't know how much was due to judging it as a low-budget genre film. I do know that it looks better and is less distracted from the story than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) or A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) remakes, and I'm sure at less than 10% of the budget of either of those. I would still recommend Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) – a TV movie devoid of any type of gore but with more dangerous things hinted at than the murderous scarecrow – over Husk, but I think Husk is the type of film that makes good use of the horror/suspense genre's easy conceits and plays them for more than can be expected.