Hush (2016) Horror Movie Review


In the realm of home invasion thrillers, “Hush” stands out as a film that strips down the genre to its bare essentials and delivers a heart-pounding experience. Directed by Mike Flanagan, “Hush” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2016 and quickly made its way to Netflix, where it has since garnered a reputation as a modern horror classic. Mike Flanagan has credit for directing many popular horror movies such as Ouija: Origin of EvilOculusBefore I Wake, and Absentia.

The film’s premise is deceptively simple: Maddie, a deaf-mute writer played by Kate Siegel, is targeted by a sadistic killer in her remote home in the woods. The catch? Her disability makes her unaware of the danger lurking just outside her door, turning her sanctuary into a silent battlefield. This setup provides a fresh take on the genre, offering a unique perspective on the terror that unfolds.

Flanagan’s direction is commendable for its restraint and precision. He avoids the common pitfalls of cheap jump scares and instead relies on the tension of the situation to drive the fear. The sound design is particularly noteworthy, playing with the presence and absence of sound to immerse the audience in Maddie’s silent world. The film’s use of silence is not just a gimmick but a crucial element that amplifies the suspense, making every creak and whisper a potential sign of impending doom.

The performances are solid, with Siegel delivering a compelling portrayal of a woman fighting for her life without the ability to hear her attacker. John Gallagher Jr. plays the intruder with a chilling nonchalance, adding a layer of unpredictability to the character’s actions.

Critics have praised “Hush” for its effective use of suspense and its intelligent script, which finds almost constant ways to introduce blood-curdling tension. The film has been described as an effectively straightforward exercise in suspense, one that further positions Flanagan as a filmmaker with a strong grasp on horror’s fundamentals.

However, “Hush” is not without its criticisms. Some have pointed out that the film’s second half feels repetitive and prolonged, and certain devices in the finale come off as cheap. Despite these minor complaints, “Hush” is largely successful in what it sets out to do.

“Hush” works best when the viewer knows as little as possible about the plot’s direction, allowing the film’s devices to surprise and engage. It’s a testament to the power of simplicity in storytelling and the effectiveness of well-crafted suspense. For those seeking a thriller that offers a unique twist on familiar tropes, “Hush” is a must-watch.

In the Nutshell

In conclusion, “Hush” navigates the bloody waters of home invasion thrillers and incisive slashers for a contemporary horror puree that is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats. It’s a sharp, finely tuned thriller that goes down familiar paths but with flair and skill, proving that sometimes, less is indeed more. I give 5 out of 5 stars. (Highly recommend)

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Genre:  Home-invasion horror

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