Time: 81 Minutes
Age Rating: Sadistic violence
Kate Siegel as Maddie Young
John Gallagher Jr. as The Man
Michael Trucco as John Stanley
Samantha Sloyan as Sarah Greene
Emilia Graves as Max
Director: Mike Flanagan
A deaf writer (Kate Siegel) who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.) appears at her window.
Mike Flanagan is one of the best horror directors working at the moment with Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil and would go on to direct Gerald’s Game (and is going to direct Doctor Sleep, the adaptation of the sequel to Steven King’s The Shining). Hush is no exception, its another solid and gripping horror flick from the director. Home invasion horror movies aren’t very uncommon but Hush still manages to be executed in a good way, being rather effective and tense, and it definitely deserves a lot more attention.
Hush is a straightforward horror movie, a masked killer is trying to kill the vulnerable but capable protagonist, conflict ensues. They don’t dwell too much on setting up the characters than it has to, but it’s not like things feel underdeveloped, its developed as much as it needs to be. The movie doesn’t do innovative things for the home invasion subgenre, but it still has its creative moments. It does have a unique aspect to it, with the protagonist being deaf, it could’ve just been a cheap gimmick to make it somewhat stand apart from all the other thrillers but the execution of the movie is done in a way that it doesn’t feel like that. There isn’t much dialogue in the movie, after the first scenes of the movie, it’s pretty much almost all visual from then on, and with that its done rather effectively. Hush is only 82 minutes long which was really the perfect length, it doesn’t drag on for an unnecessarily long time and the characters and story are simple enough that it doesn’t require a longer runtime.
Kate Siegel was great, likable and engaging as the lead, she has to do all the character work with pretty much just her body movements and you could really buy her as a deaf person. She was believably vulnerable and yet believably capable of surviving everything the antagonist throws at her. The unnamed masked killer, played by John Gallagher Jr. was good as well. He gives off an unnerving and creeping vibe, even when he has a mask on and is quite effective, despite not really having any reason or motivation behind his actions and goals in the movie. Those two are really the only notable actors, the other actors are fine enough in their roles but really their characters are just throwaways.
Mike Flanagan is no stranger to making horror movies, so it’s no surprise that he directed Hush well. As previously said, a lot of the movie relies just on visuals, and Flanagan was great at visual storytelling here. The tension is also done really well, you’re not quite certain which way things are going to go, there’s a real sense that our main character might not make it out. It also does not hold back at all with how brutal and violent the killer can be, really emphasising how dangerous he is.
Hush is quite an overlooked solid horror flick ever since it came out in 2016. It’s not like one of the greatest horror movies or anything (and I probably wouldn’t even say it’s one of Mike Flanagan’s best) but it is quite good and worth the watch if you like horror movies. It’s a decent and creative little thriller that deserves a little more attention than it’s being receiving.