Critic - No.107
Director: Mike Flanagan
Casts: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco
Plot: A deaf and mute writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight against a masked killer who appears at her window one night.
Half of the battle is won when a film has a vulnerable protagonist against a deadly, twisted antagonist. The biggest strength of this film is the carefully engineered format that speedily intensifies step by step. It is very interesting to watch the mystery writer, Maddie (Kate Siegel) facing her own night of terror and due to her imagination backing; she comes up with ingenious ways of facing the slasher (John Gallagher Jr).
The way director Flanagan focuses his total runtime on just two characters, makes the screenplay very sharp. He maximises the intensity by the help of natural sound design, heart racing darkness and confined setting. There is a fair share of gory moments that just happens then being forced.
Flanagan is a rare breed of contemporary horror director who still prioritises suspense over gore or technicality distractions. Oh and of course, a guy who seem to love practical effects.
‘Hush’ also fondly reminds us of the ‘Scream’ series here and there but there this feels sharper and emotional. The reason might be its simplicity and the two excellent actors. While Gallagher Jr terrorizes with his merciless attitude, Siegel posits us directly into her helpless situation.
Technically, ‘Hush’ is extremely resourceful and intelligent. The sound design is vital for a subject like this and Flanagan has used it to make his product more intimate. The silent scenes are not completely silent with each movement of Siegel is followed in detail. Being shot in one location, the unconventional and raw cinematography makes the movie more engaging.
After being presented in Toronto International Film Festival 2015, ‘Hush’ was fondly picked and distributed by Netflix, enabling it to reach out to the audience around the world. These kinds of films will definitely be a motivating drive for independent filmmakers.
‘Hush’ is not a film without its flaws. Given the genre, there are moments where it enters the region of clichés. However, in its concise runtime, ‘Hush’ is a sleek, skilful and simple craft that stays genuinely true to its genre.
With a few ingenious suspensefum moments and excellent performances, 'Hush' is an intense claustrophobic slasher flick
CELLULOID METER - 4/5: