Rating: B-/ Hush is a fairly typical home invasion/slasher flick with a intriguing twist- the victim of the unfolding mayhem is more or less completely deaf, making her easy pickings for an unhinged thrill seeker with a neck tat and a bad attitude. Or so he thinks. Maddie (actress/ co-writer Kate Siegel) is a kind and independent hearing-impaired young woman who’s retreated to a cabin in the woods to finish her latest novel.All the wants is some peace and quiet while she tries to overcome her crippling bout of writer’s block, but the otherwise unnamed ‘man’ (John Gallagher Jr.) has other ideas, as he stalks Maddie with a crossbow, intent on not only murdering her but also making her life a living hell before doing so.
Maddie, however, proves to be a formidable adversary, and soon Maddie’s will to live is pitted against the killer’s bored, calculated cruelty. This is the kind of movie where the victim’s chances of survival are elevated considerably by the slasher’s preoccupation with drawing things out as long as possible. This particular nut has a hard-on for scaring his victims half to death before he actually kills them, and Maddie uses this to her advantage as her night quickly devolves into a wicked little cat-and-mouse game, from which only one person can emerge alive.
Like all slasher movies worth their salt, Hush makes you wonder how you would react to an extreme situation like the one the heroine is thrown into from the comfort of your sitting chair. Would you run? Would you hide? Would you curl into a fetal position and shit your pants? Or would you fight back, using anything you can find to protect yourself from being picked off by a bloodthirsty asshole? It’s a scenario that thankfully few of us will ever find ourselves in, but it’s an interesting one to mull over nonetheless.
Do any of us really no how we would react under those kinds of circumstances.At just over eighty minutes, Hush is brief, ridiculously simple, and utterly watchable. It also does a good job at making you care about the heroine somewhat through a few well-placed characteristics although the majority of the screen time is devoted primarily to her frantically trying to outwit the killer.
The writing is also smart in the way that all the seemingly unimportant early elements turn out to also serve as major plot points when the bloodshed starts. If an apparently minor detail is featured at the beginning, you can probably guess that it’s going to be a pretty big deal later on. This assures that not a moment of the sleek run time is wasted.
I thought the lead actress’ performance was weak in spots and despite the disability angle it’s really not all that much different from any other film of it’s ilk, but Hush all and all is a fright flick worth savoring; a tad derivative, yes, and not certainly not as innovative as it wants to be, but also very competent and enjoyable for fans of horror. It’s well done enough that even those uninitiated into the genre should enjoy the skillful use of suspense, as long as they are willing to suspend their disbelief and don’t have too much of a weak stomach (the nearly nonstop violence might be grueling for some.) While many modern horror films are terrible rather than terrifying, Hush proves to be a entertaining (if unspectacular) little fright film, which intrepidly makes the best of it’s small budget, and offers a few good shocks to boot.