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Tired and irritable, Zakes Abbott drives home along the motorway, his girlfriend, Beth, asleep beside him. Failing to spot his exit he speeds across the causeway, cutting up a white van and barely avoiding an accident. Apoplectic with rage, the truck driver gives chase, and as he violently overtakes the tailgate flips up revealing a woman bound and bloodied in the back. But before there is time for a second look, the door is slammed shut and Zakes is left bewildered and wondering if what he saw was real. Later at a service station, Zakes' fears grow when Beth goes missing, and as he begins a frantic search, he is enticed into a deadly game of cat and mouse on the deserted motorway. But being the sole witness to the earlier scene, how does he convince others of his desperate need for help? Playing on our most primal fears, this taut suspense thriller challenges a world where we constantly turn responsibility over to someone else and asks the question: what do you do when there is no ... Written by
When Zakes is looking for Beth in the service area, he crawls under a lorry in the lorry park in the pouring rain, in the next scene inside the service area, he appears clean and dry, surely he would be covered in oily marks. See more »
After the coda, credits start appearing. After the producer credits, an epilogue is shown, of one of the criminals (obviously uncaught) shopping at a bookstore, and picking up a book by the protagonist describing the criminal operation and its end. See more »
Harmless enough thriller, harmlessly enough covering some familiar territory, about some rather harmful situations that the director efficiently executes.
When the end credits to Hush have finished rolling and people give it a good while before concluding where it is they stand on the film, the easier; more cynical conclusion to reach would be that of arriving at the point which sees the onlooker merely dismiss the project as 1971's Duel with a little bit of 1986's The Hitcher. Where Duel was a rather intense and really quite frightening exercise in style-driven shocks and scares, with The Hitcher somewhat of a droll, mean-spirited romp through not-much-at-all territory chopping and tailing the realism out of the premise in its manoeuvring of Rutger Hauer's killer around so as to spawn further bloodshed, the two films fed off of that same notion of cat-and-mouse; the chaser and the chased; the victimised and the victimiser, thus eventually leading to a few decent set pieces and a lot of the lead questioning his predicament.
The best scene from either of said examples, perhaps ironically, was probably that instance in Duel in which the film takes a break from the predominant locale of the open road and allows our terrified lead a good look at several truckers in a diner stop. Is one of them the psycho? How will the game change now that the trucker knows what the lead looks like? Hush's trick, its U.S.P., appears to be that of the fact the roles of the above are reversed: the sadistic; truck driving; serial killing; open road dwelling madman is effectively himself on the run from the young-gun out to thwart him, and beside this as well as several other things, Hush as a stand-alone piece works better than it might have.
The film will begin with a young couple from the north of England driving along a rainy motorway at night; the intriguingly named Zakes Abbot (Ash) is driving and beside him in the front sits Beth (Bottomley), his girlfriend. Together, they formulate a couple whom were once close enough to have gone on holiday to Egypt; but are presently suffering on through more testing times in the relationship - the writer/director Mark Tonderai establishing a good ear for the sorts of dialogue couples in this scenario provide, a sense of authenticity about proceedings which will later come as the key word in relation as to whether or not numerous exchanges later on work as examples of terrific drama. The rain is hard; looking outwards of the windscreen at the open road is tough to do because of it and Beth sits beside him attempting to fall asleep with the help of a blindfold she sports, so there is this overall sense of diminished visibility about proceedings a sense of diminished visibility which embeds itself into proceedings precisely when a large, nondescript lorry charges past and Zakes catches what he believes to have been a glance at a desperate looking woman in a kind of cage situated in the back following the rearing up of its rear door. Thus the film begins in earnest when, at a stoppage, Beth herself goes missing and the chase is on.
Then there is the issue of the driver of that lorry, the man here played by a certain Andreas Wisniewski who himself is an actor with the rather idiosyncratic honour of being the first man to have been killed on screen by Bruce Willis' Die Hard regular John McLane; a strong, silent character whom is rarely shot from above the waist and skulks around like some kind of hooded reaper spreading his death and gloom up and down the motorways of Britain: think the killer from those I Know What You Did Last Summer movies minus the hook. Tonderai toys with the character's nature, the man remaining anonymous but relatively human-like for as long as possible for the predominant exchanges before the introducing, through certain means, a golden retriever dog to aid Zakes in his quest as the film pushes on into the final act. The rather apparent introduction of a specific non-human entity to the already established quest of a relatively uncanny nature that the human is taking on is an action going on to hint at, or indeed formulate, the triangle of non-human/anti-human/human components only alluding to a greater degree of uncanniness or other-worldliness that the antagonist does in fact possess. Another example featuring this idea of a character driven framework of standardised convention at work might include 2007 film I am Legend, a piece which suffered considerably when the non-human entity was removed from its text thus fragmenting the threesome.
The film is essentially a test for Zakes to prove his worth, born out of his flagging relationship with Beth, by bailing her out of trouble and saving the day. The framework is not one we haven't previously seen; it follows on from a host of examples, ranging from Neeson's character in 2008's Taken in regards to putting right the estrangement he had from his daughter, to Bruce Willis' aforementioned character from 1988's Die Hard and his to his wife. Zakes' continuous utilisation of the mobile phone that he owns, on this ever-escalating race against time, sees both he and the audience persistently reminded of them during happier times via a shot of Beth in Egypt on that holiday, a reminder of what's at stake and an ongoing indication of the happier times from before that await the lead should he succeed in his overall quest. Hush works on the very specific level upon which it operates with engaging proficiency: a chase thriller with a spin on who's victimising and who's chasing; a concept movie which gets on with proceedings and an overlying character driven process of putting one's flair and ingenuity, key components for Zakes' dream job as a writer, into practise. Where it isn't groundbreaking, it knows what it is; the end result a rather taut thriller which is good value.
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