Film Review: Hush (2016)

Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: John Gallagher Jr, Michael Trucco, Kate Siegel and Samantha Sloyan
Duration: 81 minutes

hush mask

Browsing Netflix on a Saturday night I stumbled across 2016 horror Hush.  The Netflix description didn’t tell me a whole lot but I decided to see what kind of direction 2016 horrors were going in.

First off, this film lacks pretty much any story at all, so if you’re looking for an intriguing and complex story line then I wouldn’t suggest this film. Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) is a published writer living in a small cottage in the woods. We soon discover that she is deaf but can read lips exceptionally well after seeing a dialogue between her and her friend Sarah (Samantha Sloyan).

hush cover

After the introduction I wasn’t totally captivated by the atmosphere and lack of story, but the fact that the main character was deaf was enough to keep me watching.

The film was actually pretty interesting, as we were led in and out of Maddie’s head.  From hearing the perspective of the killer, to hearing the powerful silence of her world.

Although I didn’t think Hush was necessarily a strong piece of cinema, there were a few things that I did enjoy about it. The sound design in this film was actually quite well executed. The scenes that were ‘in Maddie’s head’ could have created problems when creating tension with sound, but the film still managed to create an atmosphere that was quite unnerving, utilising the silence and the vibrations.

I also enjoyed how a lot of the objects that we saw in the early stages were then later used to hinder the attacker.  An example of this is the fire alarm in her house.  She knows when it’s going off as it flashes frantically, as well as being so loud that she can actually feel the vibrations. When this was first introduced I thought nothing of it, until later on she used this to her advantage in a clever way.

Finally, I simply liked the new perspective that Hush brings. Once the killer figures out that she cannot hear then he begins to use this to his advantage to torment her. There are a few moments in this film that I found to be really innovative and was great to see people with disabilities being portrayed as something other than totally hopeless.

To conclude, as you probably guessed, I have a very love hate relationship with Hush. I liked the innovation and new ideas that were brought to the table, but in the end, the lack of story has made me uninterested in a re-watch or recommendation.

Verdict: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Murray McLellan (@CaptainKroch)

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