If you are in any way a fan of the horror genre, HUSH is a film you need to see as soon as possible. It’s now streaming worldwide on Netflix, and, along with The Boy, is the best horror film I’ve seen so far this year. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was watching it, and I for one hope it gets a home video release very soon!
Kate Siegel, who also co-wrote the project with director and husband Mike Flanagan, stars as Maddie, a deaf author living out in the middle of nowhere. She’s in the process of getting over a bad break-up and minding her own business when a man in a white mask shows up at her door. What follows is a truly terrifying game of cat-and-mouse, with the unnamed assailant tormenting Maddie as she literally fights for her life. That’s pretty much it in terms of HUSH’s story; luckily the director’s execution of such an elementary scenario plays out very, very well, and the overall effect is one I wish we saw more of in modern horror.
The simplicity of the plot and singular location is what initially attracted me to HUSH, particularly because mask-wearing men and home invasions have always been two things guaranteed to creep me out (clowns, too, but thats another story!). Choosing to have a deaf protagonist makes this dual tirade of terror even worse, and it allows for plenty of voyeuristic camera work that ends up being one of the film’s best aspects. The sense of dread that accompanies knowing a villain is behind their intended victim is an age-old scare tactic, but it’s one that’s still ridiculously effective, especially within HUSH. Is there anything worse than not being able to hear someone creeping around your house? If there is, I don’t want to know about it.
HUSH doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, yet it still manages to be a taut, terrifying thriller. It’s the perfect runtime for a horror film, clocking in at just under ninety minutes, and not one of those minutes feels wasted. It’s also got a decent amount of blood and gore, a talented cast and a great script. I honestly can’t find fault with any of it — it’s another absolute gem from Blumhouse and co., and I already can’t wait to re-watch it. This one is very highly recommended to fans of horror and thrillers, and if you don’t have Netflix, it’s the perfect reason to get it!
– JENNY DAVIES