Hush Written by Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Starring Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emma Graves Intrepid Pictures
Release Date: Friday, April 8th, 2016
If you’re a horror movie fan, you are constantly on the lookout for something of substance and quality. Sometimes, rarely, one of those films finds their way into the mainstream. Last year it was David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows that took horror fans by storm. Too often though, more than any other genre, horror gets bogged down in cash grab sequels, and pointless tone deaf remakes. When all the theatres can churn out are another Paranormal Activity or Purge film, fans must look to other places. Enter the wonderful streaming universe. This week, I was messaged on Facebook by a fellow horror-nut who recommended Hush, currently streaming on Netflix. When I looked it up and saw who the director was, I quickly grabbed for the remote.
Hush is directed by Mike Flanagan. Flanagan is one of the best genre directors you’ve never heard of. His two previous horror films, Absentia and Oculus were both excellent. Where Flanagan excels in his ability to take a seemingly tired plot and make it wholly original and somehow remove the tropes and cliches of the genre. For instance, the biggest horror trope in the modern era is the “jump scare” used excessively by the never dying “found footage” subgenre. Flanagan’s films start with a feel of familiarity, then swerve to create something brand new. Hush for instance, reminded me at first of both the classic Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn, and Adam Wingard’s You’re Next from 2011. By the end though, it was like no horror film I’d seen before.
Hush stars Flanagan’s wife and co-writer Kate Siegel as Maddie. She’s an author who has moved to a secluded and wooded area to finish her latest book. Within 20 minutes of start time she is being stalked and pursued by a masked killer outside… see what I mean, you’ve seen this movie before. I forgot to mention, Maddie is a deaf mute, silent since 13 because of bacterial meningitis. When her neighbor suddenly bangs on her door bloody and screaming for help, Maddie hears nothing. A masked man stalks up on neighbor Sarah (Samantha Sloyan) and brutally and methodically stabs her to death. The scene goes on just long enough to become truly uncomfortable.
But the killer isn’t in this game for quick and easy kills. Figuring out quickly that Maddie is deaf, he sneaks in and begins manipulating the situation. What follows is a truly epic game of cat and mouse that continues up to the final minutes of the brief 81 minute run time. I don’t want to give any more details away or spoil anything else, but I will tell you the killer is an actor you’ll recognize, but do a double take when you realize how against-type the character is. There is also at least one scene that had me audibly going, “No Way!”
Director Flanagan knows how to build tension in the tight spaces and doesn’t need to drag things out time wise. Every minute of the run time carries some weight of importance, and you instantly start to identify with Maddie’s sense of dread and loneliness. This was such a breath of fresh air, and it’s obvious Flanagan is being noticed as well. He has two more horror films scheduled for 2016 release; Before I Wake starring the young star of 2015’s Oscar nominee Room, Jacob Tremblay as well as Thomas Jane and Kate Bosworth, and Ouija 2, a sequel to the surprise 2014 horror hit. The latter is due out in October around Halloween. Hush is a must see, original and scary home invasion thriller.
Hush is currently streaming on Netflix, free with a monthly subscription. Also go out of your way to see Oculus (also on Netflix) and Absentia, available for free with an Amazon Prime subscription.
Hush Official Trailer 1 (2016) – Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr. Movie