Horror filmmakers are always looking for a variation on a classic recipe that will make their film stand out or at least make it tasty enough for the horror fan to come back for seconds. Mike Flanagan did it with his film Absentia, a tale about a haunted tunnel and the disappearance of a woman’s husband. Flanagan dished up another helping of entertaining horror with the wide released Oculus. Horror Chef Flanagan brings us his third dish of horror with classic ingredients mixed with his own style of spice in Hush, coming to Netflix on April 8th.
In Hush, co-written by Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel , a deaf woman named Maddie is trapped in a secluded home in the woods by a psychotic killer.
Kate Siegel’s Maddie is a well portrayed and believable character that the audience will feel a connection with. There is not a large amount of dialog in this film, 15 minutes in total, so much of her performance relies on gestures and facial expressions. Her feelings of fear, anger and pain come across strongly through the screen. I loved the strength her character shows throughout the film.
John Gallagher Jr (10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, SHORT TERM 12) plays the psychotic killer perfectly. My skin would crawl every time he appeared. He made this character his own and it never felt like he was just a rehash of killers we have seen before.
As you can imagine, the sound design in this film plays a very important role in the movie, especially in scenes where we see things from the perspective of Maddie, during which all sound is removed. You do not realize the how much you rely on sound until there is an absence of it. There is a particular hair-raising scene in the beginning where Maddie is cooking and completely unaware of the killer tapping a knife on the outside her locked door while staring straight at her. The music also helps to maintain a level of tension in the movie. Mike Flanagan’s talent for atmosphere shines in every scene and brings the viewer in to share the sense of the claustrophobia that Maddie feels.
Hush kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I highly recommend horror fans seek this film out on Netflix April 8th.