In 2014, we enjoyed a horror film with Doctor Who star Karen Gillan called Oculus.
So when we heard its writer/director Mike Flanagan had made a new film, Hush, now showing on Netflix, we had to give it a watch.
Unlike Oculus, this is not a supernatural horror film, but a home invasion, scary film. Now the home invasion film has been done many times before, examples such as When A Stranger Calls or You’re Next but this is something new.
The film lead; Maddie (Kate Siegel), is an established author, who is also both mute and deaf. We know she has broken up with her partner and now lives in a very secluded home. We learn this through a conversation she has with her neighbour, Sarah (Samantha Sloyan)
After this conversation, Sarah goes back to her home as she is awaiting the return of her partner, John (Michael Trucco) which leaves Maddie to return to writing her latest novel. We find she has writers block and is struggling to write an ending for. Distractions are a plenty, to the point, she even tries a few times to call the ex!
The film, however, changes gear during a video call to her sister, Max (Emilia Graves). Max claims to have seen something move in the background, which Maddie puts down to her cat, named Bitch!
Once the call ends, we soon learn it wasn’t the cat, but a masked character known simply as Man (John Gallagher Jnr)
We know his intentions when we see the dead body of Sarah! We also know that he has figured out about Maddie’s conditions when he listened in on her call with Max. Furthermore, he knows she is alone, with no one expected to visit! Maddie does not know this and after
Maddie does not know this and after the initial threat, she writes on the glass panel in the door,with her lipstick that she has not seen his face, so with her boyfriend coming, he should leave and she will not tell anyone about him.
The Man knows no one is coming! Then, unlike many other films, he removes the mask and we see the face of her potential killer, taking away all her slim hopes of this ending. Now, I must admit I’m not sure how I felt about this, the mask was pretty scary and John’s face was quite familiar as friendly Emmett, from recent viewing 10 Cloverfield Lane.
It is certainly a change to see an unmasked killer and does not harm the film either way, with just an 81 minute run time, the film is very fast paced, as the 2 evade each other. With Maddie being death, the film is mostly silent, which makes a change from some of the loud, crash bang horror films of recent times.
You really feel the pain of Maddie in sequences where she is hurt, as she can not scream out! In fact, everything she tries leads you to think she will lose this game of human cat and mouse!
Even when John, Sarah’s partner turns up, you know it won’t end well for him. The film also unlike many other horror films is also very well lit, so you do see everything clearly. In fact, even the Man’s weapon is different, using a Crossbow, no guns or machetes here!.
This does mean some scenes involving injury do show us quite a lot of blood! This certainly does not have the feel of the current trend to make PG13 horror films and only shows how serious the Man is to kill Maddie! We know also he has killed more than what we have seen, as he has a count of kills on his Crossbow!
Another thing this film does differently is through Maddie show us various different endings. What would happen if she stays in home; Go outside to confront the Man; Wait and see if she bleeds to death etc
In fact, even to the end when Maddie describes the man at the end of her latest novel, you never know if she will live or die! We will let you find out if she does.
It is no wonder Stephen King describes Mike Flanagan as one to watch, and following Oculus, this film only confirms that. We can’t wait to see what he does next!
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