Fresh concept. So this is about a secluded deaf-mute writer who lives in the middle of the woods (Kate Siegel). She already has the deck pretty well stacked against her with life in general, so imagine how tough it is going to be when a masked murderer shows up at her door on one fateful night. This is directed by Mike Flanagan, the same man who helmed one of my top ten horror movies from the past four years: Oculus. He clearly has a good understanding as far as what works for getting underneath your skin on a psychological level, and with Hush, he has created a really interesting dynamic for a chilling and unique premise.
The fact that this woman is both deaf and mute makes you a little bit more understanding than you typically would approach your standard horror movie characters.
In standard Blumhouse form (who apparently has a hold on half of the horror market), this is a movie that you know cost next to no money to shoot. Jason Blum knows that money doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, and given the limitations of the main character, the makers of this were forced to be more creative in coming up with ways this girl could potentially deal with this situation. Of course, there are some follies of the horror genre that they can’t side step here, like the question of: if she had this condition, why does she live by herself in the middle of nowhere? And moreover, if she absolutely had to live out in the boonies, why doesn’t she have a higher caliber security system? That said, it is well executed in the story that it presents for the most part.
Yes, even mute people need a smart phone.
The thing that this most reminds me of is 2008’s The Strangers, and I’m sure you will agree with me if you have seen both films. It’s a home invasion movie where the intruder is essentially a cat that enjoys playing with its meal, and there isn’t a really good reason behind it all other than, well, “because you were home”. There is, expectedly, very little dialogue, and I love it when a movie can do as much as possible without even speaking. Hush is a good find, it is readily available on Netflix, and at a mere 80 minutes, you should check it out if you are a fan of the genre.
Hush (2016) ***1/2
– Critic for Hire