Review : Hush (2016)

Hush was directed by Mike Flanagan and is available on Netflix. The main characters are played by John Gallagher Jr and Kate Siegel, who also co-wrote the script with Mike Flanagan.

Maddie is deaf and mute. In order to write her next novel, she retreats into her secluded house in the middle of the woods. One night, a man lurks outside, trapping her inside and threatening to kill her. A sadistic game begins as Maddie fights for her life.

Hush is the perfect example that great horror movies are not found in mainstream cinema nowadays. Don’t be put off by the fact that the movie didn’t get a theatrical release as it is one of the best recent horror thrillers you can watch.

The concept of home invasion movies is extremely scary to begin with. A home is a safe haven so the idea of a threat trying to break in is frightening. Add to that a character who cannot hear or scream for help, and you are in for a thrilling and chilling experience. Hush is a very well-made film. The sound (or lack of sound) is central to the atmosphere and the director uses it to perfection. There is not much dialogue in Hush and yet it doesn’t feel dull for one second. It is intense from beginning to end and will keep you biting your nails throughout.

The performances are also very good, especially from Kate Siegel. Her lack of reaction when the killer first enters the house is unsettling and terrifying. Her condition makes her vulnerable yet she is a very strong character while remaining believable and realistic. All the characters feel very real, even the killer who is not over-the-top and comes across as a real-life sadistic psychopath you could read about in the newspaper.

The killer takes his time and the physical violence doesn’t start right away. He lurks around the house and stays outside, reinforcing Maddie’s isolation. She becomes trapped inside her home just like she is trapped in silence.

Hush doesn’t rely on gore, which is quite minimal for a horror thriller. Instead, the director made the smart decision of creating an atmosphere filled with tension, mystery and fear.

In a film industry overflowing with remakes and sequels, Hush is a breath of fresh air and is one of the most creative thrillers I have watched recently. I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you already have a Netflix account !

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