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Hush [2016]

Hush [2016] bursts onto the screen instantly and does not joke around as an intense and claustrophobic thriller both environmentally and psychologically.  This was not expected from director Mike Flanagan who brought us the cringe worthy and jump scare imploded Oculus [2013].  But this short, indie style thriller centered around a deaf and mute woman (Kate Siegel) being terrorized by the perfect psychopath (John Gallagher), paints the perfect setting for Flanagan to redeem his careers and really jump start it, finally.  With a limited release and most of its publicity within the depths of Netflix, Hush is the gold found in the middle of the year that everyone should want to put their eyes on.

Keeping the Audience in the Dark:  From the start of this film, the audience really cannot have the slightest idea what we are in store for.  Siegel’s performance early on as the deaf and mute isolated author let us believe she is more vulnerable than that nice old lady that lives down the street from us.  Of course, the film flips those expectations on the audience after a couple heartwarming scenes.  There are several times in the film that Flanagan utilizes what we see on screen to deceive our perceptions of what exactly is going on.

Shove Your Stereotypes Where the Sun Don’t Shine:  Recent low-budget, indie horror/thriller films have been doing Oscar-worthy work when it comes to shaking away from those cliche stereotypes we expect in these types of films.  Hush delivers in the same way.  A scene in the film builds up to a jump scare -- and then nothing happens.  Our lead is running for her life -- and she does not fall in a stupid way.  A weapon that could be used to defend oneself is dropped -- it is either picked up or becomes useful to the plot later.  Imagine a horror/thriller where everyone, the protagonist, the threat and even the supporting cast are all smart about their decisions.  That is Hush.

Uhhh Are These People Even Acting?:  That is actually what needs to be asked when watching this film.  It would be a surprise if Kate Siegel was not actually a deaf and mute author.  Hush also would make someone think twice before asking John Gallagher for his autograph now after what he did in the film.

Not Completely Original:  Hush, just like most of those recent horror/thriller successes, makes a little too much use of other films that inspired the director and writers (which was actually Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel).  A film released a few years ago called Penthouse North [2013] had to have been a direct influence for the film.  It is nearly the same idea but the woman is blind instead.  However, Hush is executed way better than the other.  Or even think of the very popular The Strangers [2008].  Yet another film that comes to mind frequently when watching Hush.

A seriously fresh take on this subcategory of the horror/thriller genre as the delivery is nearly perfect, but Hush does rely on past films far too much when it comes to story.

Hush [2016]
4.0Overall Score
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