2016 Kate Siegel, John Gallagher, Samantha Sloyan, Micheal Trucco
Horror films have always been a genre that gets criticised for it's fluctuating levels of quality. For every Halloween there has always been films like The Visit or the more recent disaster The Forest to tip the balance. There have been many film churned out over the course of this year already and very few have really stood out. Hush however, is certainly a diamond in the rough.
The film centres around Maddie, a deaf and mute writer living in a woodland retreat who is stalked by a savage killer. We are introduced to her character immediately and get an early sense of how different her life is and how she copes with being deaf/mute. The large house setting and strong female lead made me think back to the excellent 2013 film You're next'. Hush's villain even uses a crossbow as his primary weapon much like the killers in You're Next.
The difference between these films however becomes very clear as the violence ensues. Despite her supposed disadvantage Maddie is actually able to use this to her advantage in the sense that she is very observant. This very interesting because whenever the killer seemed in complete control, she always had a strategy in mind. Viewers are treated to quite a twist early on regarding the killer, this flipped the film on it's head for me and caught me off guard. The film appeared quite light hearted at times (despite it being a horror) so when the blood started flowing in such a gruesome fashion it was always a shock. The cruelty of the killer really made me sit up and pay attention, it also made me root for the character of Maddie even more.
The plot occasionally suffered from some classic cliques among the horror genre. There was the predictable phone lines being cut then the neighbour showing up mid chase. This was an obvious excuse to add one more to the body count.
All in all though I didn't scrutinise the film for these, this is partly down to the pacing. The film built up a huge amount of tension and moved along at a fairly rapid pace. the cliques came and went because the characters instantly grabbed my attention again. No silly decisions were made and I just felt like I was watching real people react to real life traumatic situations.
Despite it's short and sweet run Hush packs in a fair amount of surprises and more than enough thrills.
Hush is a great modern horror film that leans on a familiar genre but also add it's own twist and flare. Carefully written characters and a great build up of tension make for a gripping experience. There are a few horror cliques here and there but well executed pacing and a real progressive sense of escalating chaos still make this film one not to be missed.