Hush (2016)

Rated R

Running Time: 81 Minutes

Director: Mike Flanagan

Starring: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Samantha Sloyan, Michael Trucco, Emma Graves

Plot: A deaf author, Maddie, is living in a secluded house out in the woods while finishing her next novel. Meanwhile, some unnamed dickbag decides to kill her, but not before trapping her inside of her house and toying with her for a while. Like I said, he’s a real bag of dicks, that guy.

Review: I watched this for a few reasons, first, it was kind of storming outside and the ambiance seemed right for a thriller; second, Netflix kept aggressively pushing the suggestion every time I got on; and finally, people in my life have asked me incessantly if I’ve seen it yet, almost as if they, too, were programmed by the Netflix algorithm. Now that I’ve watched it everybody will have to… pick something else to pester me about probably. That’ll show em.

Hush was actually pretty damn enjoyable. It’s a conventional home invasion story, but having a deaf protagonist was an interesting wrinkle in an old formula. The way they used sound in the movie was pretty effective at building tension without getting too gimmicky. All of the actors were pretty good. I looked all five of them up and they’ve been in some things you’ve probably seen or at least heard of, but aren’t big enough to be real recognizable, and I think that helps in this type of movie. It would be way less scary to me if I was watching Anna Kendrick get attacked by Ben Foster (or whomever).

While a running time of less than 90 minutes isn’t usually the hallmark of a good film, it actually works here. Enough time is spent getting acquainted with Maddie that I didn’t want to see her butchered by some weird woodland psychopath, and the movie is tense without being drawn out. All of that to say that I was surprised that it didn’t seem rushed, but it didn’t. Now, I did wish that it had been a little less predictable. I’m not going to be worried about what happens in the forest if Chekhov’s gun is still in the house unfired. I also think that Maddie could have been a little more resourceful than she was. I’m not saying she was a dummy by any means, but if that dude had pulled this shit on Macaulay Culkin the movie would have been over in a crisp forty.

Despite a couple of shortcomings, the movie is still above average by my estimation. Besides, there are all of seven other things you can get done in 81 minutes, and most of them require more work than sitting on your couch, so why not watch this instead?


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