Directed by Mike Flanagan [Other horror films: Absentia (2011), Oculus (2013), Before I Wake (2016), Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), Gerald’s Game (2017), Doctor Sleep (2019)]
A deaf woman living in the isolated woods must fight for her survival against a serial killer. Sounds mildly generic, yes? I thought the same thing before starting the film, but as the movie goes on, Hush presents us a very solid entry to the home invasion subgenre of horror.
Firstly, the atmosphere and suspense throughout the film is top-notch – knowing the main character can’t hear, yet seeing the killer creep up behind her is likely to get your heart racing. It’s a tense movie, almost from beginning to end. And despite what others say, I don’t think it’s a predictable one either.
The ending was satisfying and came as a surprise to me, especially given the set-up; I expected a far different ending than the one they gave. The gore also stands out – while our killer’s main weapon of choice is a crossbow (used to good effect), he’s not averse to knives, nor is our deaf woman averse to wielding a hammer. There’s not massive bloodshed by any means, but some scenes do stand out, such as one of the main characters’ hands getting stomped on until two fingers were bent completely out of shape. Just looking at that mangled hand was painful.
The killer himself is interesting also – while at first he’s the masked mute killer, that very quickly shifts. In fact, for most of the film, he doesn’t wear his mask, which I thought was both a cool and brave move, something that you don’t usually see. Some people criticize the killer as being weak, but I thought his performance was up to par – he’s a likely crazy guy who gets off on killing people. You don’t need the strength of Jason or evasiveness of Michael against most people.
The deaf woman, Maddie, was played convincingly well by Kate Siegel, whom I don’t know, but if her other performances are as good as this one was, she has a good future. The killer too, played by John Gallagher Jr., should be praised. Despite not being an overt physical threat, he’s still obviously very much a menace.
As aforementioned, the story itself may not be original, aside from the deaf protagonist, but everything came together very well. Hush is a tense movie with a satisfying conclusion and gore that’s worth waiting for. Very solid film overall; I highly recommend it.