Hush goes down a familiar path but with added flair and talent, this nifty home invasion thriller offers ingenious suspense and nail biting tension. Strikingly frightening, Hush is the reason the horror genre can be so respected.
Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a deaf mute writer working on her next novel when one evening she is stalked by a psychotic killer (John Gallagher Jr) in her secluded home.
Up and coming genre filmmaker, Mike Flanagan, follows up his excellent film Oculus, with an inspiring cat and mouse thriller. Bolstered with intelligent characters and a creative use of sound design, Flanagan goes against the genre cliché of employing bursts of loud noises to assault an audience’s senses and instead drops out audio completely. The film has little to no dialogue and silence is used as a story telling device, truly submerging the audience into Maddie’s point of view.
The back and forth between Maddie and The Man is gripping. Siegel does a terrific job of playing a character with a perceived handicap, not only do we see her vulnerabilities but we’re also showcased her unexpected advantages. We buy into Maddie’s reactions and her thought process as she tries to fight for survival. Gallagher Jr is also very good here, as the mysterious motivated antagonist it is refreshing to see him playing against his type, the viciousness of his character almost has a charismatic pull, as he appears to enjoy mind games with the same pleasure he derives from physical violence.
Flanagan keeps the pace tight at 82 minutes. He doesn’t hold back on gore, but he also does not rely on it. There is some early obvious foreshadowing in the opening scenes and at times one almost wishes Flanagan played more with the sound technique of dropping out the audio. But, now I am just nit-picking.
Hush is a terrific film, from the opening eerie introduction between the two characters, to the creative final act. This edge of your seat thriller is easily a contender for best genre flick for the year.
9.5 / 10
“I bet if I hit the right spot I could make you scream”