Hush: The Best Horror Film of 2016 (so far)
After watching Hush make sure to listen to our podcast that covers the film. You will love it!
Hush is a fantastic horror film that does a lot with little and Netflix should be stoked they are streaming it exclusively. I love the film because it plays very practically and features a nameless villain that doesn’t need a backstory or motives. Hush is smart, exciting and Stephen King loves the heck out of it.
Hush was recommended to me (thanks!) and I’m bummed I didn’t get on the bandwagon sooner. It does everything I appreciate and director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) proves once again he can make stock horror elements fresh. Hush isn’t exactly original, but it takes the best of the genre and makes it better. It is perfectly fine to tell a familiar story when you have a good story and capable actors.
Hush tells the simple tale of a resourceful woman surviving a night of horrors. Our hero Maddie (Kate Siegel – who also co-wrote the script) moved out to the country to finish her second book and alienate herself from a bad relationship (I’m guessing). In a true horror coincidence she happens to be deaf, but her deafness isn’t a major hindrance when fighting off the brutal masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.) who sucks her into into a game of cat-and-mouse. Her inability to hear or speak is what allows her to initially stay alive because the killer sees her as easy prey and wants to play with her before he kills her.
The back-and-forth between the two is a lot of fun because their interactions keep defying expectations. There are no monologues, jump scares or “dumb dumb” moments (listen to our Forest podcast). What I love the most is how Maddie keeps digging deeper into her reserves and finding ways to not die. You understand why the killer is playing the games and his underestimating of Maddie is what makes the movie fun.
There are some minor gripes and I still wonder why a deaf woman who lives in isolation doesn’t own a gun. However, they are only minor complaints and the positives far outweigh the negatives. I was really impressed with Kate Siegel’s performance because she was able to blend determination with vulnerability. She doesn’t become an unstoppable force (think You’re Next) and she isn’t fodder to be cut up. I love that she had a hand in writing the script because she was able to form her character on the page and create someone who feels real.
Hush does a lot in its lean 81-minute running time and I totally recommend you check it out on Netflix. Also, check out this very informative piece that Flanagan wrote on his Facebook page. I love how he breaks down the villain. Let me know what you think!