Mike Flanagan’s Hush mimics a typical home-invasion movie, but slowly-paced plot delivers a more meticulous approach towards the psychology of the victim. Therefore, the boggling paranoia reaches to a certainly entertaining level – it’s a must-see for the fans of chills.
A deaf woman, Maddie (Kate Siegel), lives in a remote cabin in the woods, channeling her efforts to write a book. One day, she is invaded by a stranger in a haunting mask. The man begins a sick game of hide and seek, in which Maddie seems to be the obvious loser.
The very idea of trespassing and harassing someone in their own home seemed to be the topic of many horrid features – think of movies like Funny Games, The Strangers or The Last House On The Left. All of the aforementioned titles had one thing in common – the presence of a switch to change the focus from the killer onto the victim. Flanagan’s invader is literally a nobody – a random guy with a peculiar tattoo on his neck and psychopathic eyesight, but no story attached, no background. What’s more, Flanagan doesn’t reveal too much about the victim too – just the necessary details so the story keeps the momentum going. What really interests the director though, is the psychology of a killer-victim link. The dependency and the fear, which slowly evolve into rage and desperate will of survival of one and the sick, terrorizing attitude of the other. And Flanagan does that almost flawlessly – his story terrifies not only with the premise of the home being invaded. It terrifies as the victim becomes deprived of any traces of security and then pushed to the limits.
Hush is sparing with words, leaving the dark atmosphere to work with the viewer’s imagination. What matters here is the psychology, the details of it and not the over-structured story. The minimalist approach to the script is reflected in the cinematography too – the camerawork avoids fireworks, not resembling the previous horror gem of Flanagan, Oculus, which was more creatively shot. Finally, the soundtrack remains steadily in the background, praising the old-timers for thrillers, like screeching strings.
Hush was undoubtedly fun to watch. As other films regarding psychos killing for no exact reasons, the film delivers the shivers, but centers around different aspects of such blood-curdling experience. It’s a film that you shouldn’t watch alone in a house, unless you wish to have a hard time sleeping.
UMP Grade: 31.5/50
(Cinematography: 6.5, Plot: 6.5, Acting: 6, Soundtrack: 6.5, Quaintness: 6)