M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved starting with the year I began reviewing the genre officially October 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011. I have posted my best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2010 and September 30, 2011 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on March 29, 2011. Available On Demand, digital download, & BluRay/DVD!
#27 – HUSK (2011)
Directed by Brett Simmons
Written by Brett Simmons
Starring Wes Chatham, C.J. Thomason, Devon Graye, Tammin Sursok
I’m a big fan of scarecrow horror dating back to when I saw DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW as a kid when it was broadcast on TV. But I also know there’ve been some pretty shitty scarecrow films out there and when I heard that HUSK was going to have some killer scarecrows in it, I plodded forward with a skeptical wrinkle to my brow.
Had there been a camera been on me while I watched this film (and the voice in my fillings often says there always is), you would have seen my wrinkled brow smoothen as I realized that HUSK is probably one of the best straight up horror films I’ve seen in quite a while. The writing is pretty fantastic. The concepts are original and scary. And the cast of annoying youngsters…well…actually they weren’t that annoying. I found myself rooting for these kids to make it out of this cornfield alive and that’s saying something with the cliché being that the kids in these films are always annoying.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. How many times have you heard of this when describing a horror film: five kids set out for a summer trip to a cabin…? Yeah, I know, when I read that, I rolled my eyes too. But writer/director Brett Simmons plays with a whole lot of clichés here and has put together a quite unconventional film that zigs and zags unexpectedly from start to finish. And Simmons doesn’t waste time with lengthy exposition. The film starts. Kids drive into a murder of crows and crash their car into a cornfield. Creatively horrific shit happens and doesn’t stop happening until the final second of the film.
I don’t want to ruin a moment of HUSK for anyone. It is filled with grisly gore and genuine scares. HUSK also features a cast of actors who are likable and Simmons has created a horror so intense that you will find yourself doing the impossible…rooting for the kids to survive. If there is one criticism it has to do with the climax of the film where the kids try to take out the threat themselves rather than just get the hell out of the cornfield. I know if I had to face the grisly horrors of HUSK, I would leave first and plan on destroying the threat forever from far far away from any cornfield.
A couple of times a year, I drive from Chicago to my home state of Ohio. On that drive there are miles and miles of cornfields. I now have to thank the twisted mind of Brett Simmons for making that ride truly terrifying with his little film HUSK. It’s a horror film that flips every convention, is filled with creative horrors, and thrills right up until the final frame.
I don’t care how you see it, just see HUSK. It ranks right up there with DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW as one of the best scarecrow horror films. I can’t wait to see what Brett Simmons has in store for us all next.
THE 2010-2011 COUNTDOWN!
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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