Director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus”) is at it again with his latest micro-budget horror film, “Hush.”
With the praise of his previous horror film hot on his heels, Flanagan has quite the reputation to uphold. Not surprisingly, his latest flick easily stands as an incredibly tense and horrifying thriller and a testament that the horror genre has not gone stale.
As the deaf and mute author Maddie (Kate Siegel) struggles to finish her second novel, she suddenly finds herself stalked in her secluded home in the woods by a psychotic killer, played by John Gallagher Jr. (“10 Cloverfield Lane”). Thus begins a terrifying game of cat and mouse, where the cat is all too eager to play with his disabled food.
Kate Siegel kills it as Maddie. She grasps the desperation and determination of her character perfectly. Her strength and conviction to survive the horrific events she has been forced into is admirable and inspiring.
However, there is one scene in particular that is awkwardly shot in the third act.
Maddie’s inner voice, the only sound she hears, helps her plan out and assess all possible outcomes. This is portrayed with her discussing these scenarios with herself at unnatural camera angles. Fortunately, it leads to a fantastic setup for an explosive conclusion.
John Gallagher Jr. does an equally impressive job, giving a chilling performance.
His character’s psychotic nature is bone-chillingly portrayed as he goes against the cliched nature of horror movie villains. He’s unpredictable; acting beyond reason to mentally and physically torture his victim. This compulsion to be erratic leads to some eerie moments that are shocking, disturbing, and wonderfully creative.
The restriction or such a small set allows the pressure to build quickly and keep the panic consistently high. The film refuses to let up, constantly throwing out reminders of the danger Maddie is in and how psychotic her attacker is. It seamlessly sews together a collection of awful events to create quite an intense experience.
“Hush” is absolutely superb. It’s a gorgeous work of cinema and art that effortlessly ramps up a frightening amount of tension quickly and smoothly. The protagonist’s disabilities are brilliantly played off, as both she and her stalker use them to their advantage.
Available exclusively on Netflix, “Hush” is one film that must be experienced.