Husks works on a very basic strength. It is one of the few recent horror offerings that shows a group of characters that could exist in a number of cinematic settings. Husk’s core cast plays upon the common stereotypes that most horror movies are known for, and then pulls the rug out from under you.
Husk loses it’s only female cast member within the first quarter of the film. I’m neither some radical misogynist or a sexist (ok, this might actually hinge upon who you ask), but I am a realist and I call it like I see it. In a world where people are systematically taken out by supernaturally charged scarecrows… The weakest links will be targeted first. This is where husks, for all of it’s supernatural trappings, is grounded in a world that still has a smidgeon of logic. Each character in the group is tested and each has their moments of self discovery when faced with their own mortality. Shit. I really am getting far too philosophical for a movie about killer scarecrows. HOWEVER… These characters, for all their faults, do appear to actually care about each other, and, despite having their own battle plans that do threaten this solidarity, are willing to threaten their individual safeties for one another.
And this is where Husk really engaged me. Note to filmmakers.. People really do want to care about the characters on screen. It makes a difference. I mean it REALLY makes a difference. So much of a difference that it takes a film like Husk, one that really isn’t intent on reinventing the game and sets it apart from some of it’s lesser peers.
So, we’ve pointed some of this Horrorfest’s entry’s strengths out… Let’s move on, shall we? Husk’s largest fault actually lies in it desire to tell a horror story complete with it’s own brand of logic. It works a little too hard to contain a mythology that actually devalues it’s finer points. Husk works a litttle better when we are left to wonder about the underlying mystery and cause of the phenomena rather than when it tries to spell it out for us. We are left with a backstory that does little to explain the ferocity of the attacks we are witnessing and it tends to leave the viewer a little underwhelmed. Does it’s shortcomings tip the scales though? Luckily the answer is no.
Our trio of core cast members including Devon gray, who many of you will recognize from the flashback portions of multiple episodes of Dexter, C.J. Thomason of tv’s Harper’s Island and Wes Chatham (sorry Wes..nothing horror related in your bio to mention) hold this film together and keep us watching till the credits roll. The is a chemistry here which makes their friendship very believable and ultimately makes this a recommended viewing.
For those anti-socialites out there who could care less about platonic love among men… Which still sounds pretty icky in any context… the scarecrows are of the fast, pissed off variety which makes the threat in husk as real as it’s characters.