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Having been one of the lucky ones to have spent considerable time on UK
motorways at night (and specifically the M1) I was immediately
intrigued by the locale for this debut horror from Mark Tonderai. For
me the originality of setting alone sets this horror apart from the
countless tired horror locations: the haunted house, the woods, the
abandoned hospital, etc, etc.
Overall the film is a fairly nuts-and-bolts by-the-numbers horror, which deserves credit for the originality of locale, decent performances, slick direction, with a few genuinely tense set-pieces (particularly the final showdown set-piece, which stands clearly above the rest). However, it is fairly unambitious with character detail (after the opening argument), and there are a few of the usual (and easily avoidable) horror clichés - we even get the hiding in the toilet cubicle sequence (albeit with a slight variation).
You get the sense that Tonderai had his set-up and finale worked out fairly early on but didn't know what to do with the story in between. The central third, while featuring a few decent scenes with the police, takes a couple of left turns into co-conspirator territory, alluding to a networked operation. The scenes with the security guards and the 'escaped' girl feel like they were put in to fill time and up the body count rather than deepen the story as a whole. Personally I felt that a more stripped-down lone bad-guy approach would have been strong enough.
The film owes something to Spielberg's 'Duel' in theme and narrative drive (no pun intended), and there are similarities in tone to the marginally superior Australian horror 'Wolf Creek'
I watched this not expecting much, and yeah some of the acting was a
bit dubious but overall I was very impressed. When I started watching
it I sat there with my finger on the stop button, but that button was
never pressed as I was truly hooked. I really felt for the lead
character and thought he played the part well. I was also surprised by
a few twists here and there which would give Hollywood a run for its
For a movie that was obviously on a budget (made with help from the lottery) I think it can stand proud with the multi-million pound big boys from the USA.
A good thriller worth watching
I find it amazing how people get very critical about films which in some cases weren't advertised as big block busters. OK this isn't going to win any Oscars but hey its wasn't as bad as some people think. I do find these films frustrating sometimes when you dissect them and say well i wouldn't have done that but hey if that is the case then tell all those idiots who still swam with Jaws and still go to holiday camps. It had suspense and some good moments, i thought it was better than i was lead to believe and wouldn't recommend it but if you do hire it then you wont be too disappointed and just enjoy it for what it is a low budget film with some good moments.
better than expected British thriller about a mad man in a truck abducting girls. Zakes Abbot discovers this one night when he drive behind the Psycho's truck. is it better to leave it be? or get involved? hell soon find out the consequences of his decision. the last 20 minutes of the film , i found myself yelling at the screen saying "be quiet", "stupid woman" and "moronic dog". decent acting by the lead and superbly directing for first timer Mark Tonderai. the film could have easily be 30 minutes longer, especially since there was a few questions i wanted answered. the lack of these answers is the only reason i gave "Hush" a 7 in stead of an 8.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this in London, UK at the closing night of the Raindance Film
Festival. Granted, there were a couple of things that were a little
strange. Most notably, the lasers at the end?
However, not bad for his first feature film, proudly sponsored by lottery money - the guy made it for 1 million GBP (british pounds) and did really well with the threat.
Unlike some other horror films, such as Wolf Creek, where they could have easily avoided the guy and run away several times or killed him instead of getting killed, Hush really is tough because he is on the highway, constantly pursuing this killer that he can't even see.
The film quality is obviously lower than usual films, but it simply adds to the grittiness of Northern UK. I was pretty pleased with the main guy's acting as well from an unknown with a heavy Northern accent. I mean, if it wasn't for his unwavering intensity and acting ability, the film would have been crap. The actor had to fully hold up the story on his acting and intensity alone in many scenes.
Well done and looking forward to more stuff from you on the UK scene!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The British social phenomenon known as "white van man" - usually a middle-aged Caucasian with a clean-shaven head and a white van he uses to deliver goods and services around the country - gets the cinematic treatment in this decent thriller from writer-director Mark Tonderai. William Ash and Christine Bottomley play Zakes and Beth, a young couple who, whilst driving along Britain's main arterial road, the M1, espy a woman apparently being held against her will in the back of a truck. After stopping at a rest station to gather their thoughts, Beth is, in turn, snatched by the mysterious trucker. Will Zakes put on his man-pants and rescue her? Filmed on location in Yorkshire, this British blend of Duel and The Vanishing (with a tiny bit of Blow-Up for good measure) is a pretty decent effort, especially considering it's Tonderai's first feature film.
Hush is written and directed by Mark Tonderai and stars William Ash,
Christine Bottomley, Claire Keelan and Stuart McQuarrie. Music is by
Theo Green and cinematography by Philipp Blaubach.
Warring young couple Zakes (Ash) and Beth (Bottomley) are driving up a dark and rain-soaked M1, when all of a sudden a grime covered truck swerves in front of them and the tail-gate lifts briefly to reveal a caged woman in the back. It signals the start of a fight for survival for the pair of them......
The setting is suitably bleak, anyone who has had cause to be on a rainy British motorway at night knows how mind-numbing it can be. Even the stops at the service stations serve as mundane experiences, where the staff are on auto-pilot and other patrons are zombie like in the banality of their routines. Into the fray are a young couple who are on the cusp of breaking up (though Zakes in that macho way is ignorant to this fact), this is where Hush manages to rise above merely being a horror picture cobbled together from bits of other genre pictures. It examines how a fractured relationship reacts to a terrifying reality thrust into their lives, and with barely half a dozen principal characters in the story, this clearly isn't going to be a psycho truck driver movie that sees the antagonist offing a number of dim-wits with gory care-free abandon.
Director Tonderai has done an impressive job with such limited resources, there's a realistic tense atmosphere brought out by the low budget. His staging of certain scenes really grab the attention, with a container base set cat and mouse sequence of events truly breath holding stuff. He doesn't compromise the pace of the movie with pointless filler, it's a standard three tiered horror structure (meet the principals/put them in peril/do or die finale), but the film always remains honest to its core ideas, with Zakes reacting to his various predicaments in a way that is not beyond the realms of reality. There's also some nice camera touches (under carriage tracking shot) and smart use of appliances (light sensors), so why is Hush not more loved and lauded?
Fact is, is that hardened horror fans from the last twenty years will not be able to get away from that old familiar feeling of deja vu. From the cat and mouse on asphalt core story, to scenes such as a toilet hide out, there's territory that has been well trodden in better movies. There's a couple of twists, one that genuinely surprises, but one which is so telegraphed it annoys greatly. Then there is the use of the hand-held camera, which has become a staple requirement, it seems, of fledgling horror directors. Here it is used to dizzying great lengths, so much so it grows tiresome entering the last third and had this particular viewer wondering if the contents of his stomach was about to unload! There's also, perhaps inevitably, some implausibilities that are likely to test the patience of some.
Undeniably it has flaws and struggles to shake them off at times, but the good far outweighs the bad here. And given the small budget and fresh ideas the writer/director puts into what is becoming a stagnated formula, Hush is actually something of a small triumph and well worth seeking out if you are stuck for a tension pumped thriller. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Zakes is just an average guy surviving on a average job when something
happens, like many of us he is willing to tell someone and attempt to
do something, but after the pass of responsibility is given to someone
else he believes it's not his problem any more.
This film shows how small things we do to people, like letting someone's tyres down because of a reason such as supporting another team it can have drastic affects in the long run.
Zakes has lost his girlfriend in more ways than one, and the white truck becomes more of his problem than it did before, not once does he state he is trying to save the other girl he saw just his girlfriend, he's not trying to be a hero he's just doing what someone would actually do.
Some area's of the film could be criticized such as the car running out of fuel, but we all know how quick fuel runs out when we're on the motorway and when the car stutters and starts to slow, old car's like that do struggle to keep up pace. If anything the fact it didn't breakdown is more unrealistic. I've heard the battery dying was another cliché but the girl who is on it removes the battery so he can't ring anyone, as she puts it back in later on to ring the man.
The camera only ever leaves Zakes when it goes to his girlfriend when Zakes is doing his posters other than that your constantly with him, or being flicked to the security guys for a brief insight into how his girlfriend went missing. This constant sticking with Zakes is essential to keeping the fear factor, such as when he has to hide in the truck the camera is on Zakes, and you can only hear the footsteps, you do not know if the door is going to open or not. The fact Zakes 'talks' to himself and swears is a key part, as in so many films of this type they do not swear or say anything, the fear in his voice and eyes is apparent and William Ash does a brilliant job in bringing you into his feelings, of being terrified of something your chasing.
Zakes goes through a hard time in this, especially after he finds out his girlfriend has cheated on him he still wants to save her. Showing love is a powerful factor and everything isn't over when the worst happens.
Overall this film is easily under-rated, how it slipped under the radar compared to other over-hyped garbage we constantly see is unknown, but this film, given the right advertisements would have easily been a well worth profit maker. The ending wasn't great we're the credits stopped while it went back to the security dude, but how do you end an amazing film like that.
Easily worth the watch, brings emotion and feeling into you and would be a good film to watch with a partner.
This movie was mediocre. It had some interesting parts, but after a while, it got a bit long winded. Essentially, a couple is on a trip. She feels that their relationship is going nowhere and that her boyfriend is not following through with any of his life plans. She is trying to tell him something and when she feels she can't get her message across, she parts ways with him. During the trip they he sees what appears to be a nude girl locked in the back of a semi truck. Where he and his girlfriend part ways, the truck turns up. The man realizes that his girlfriend has been kidnapped and sets off to find her and rescue her. He runs into a few pitfalls along the way, some drama and death ensues. It gets pretty typical. Not a bad movie, but no the best I've ever seen either.
"Only you saw it. Only you can save them" the tagline reads. This is
more or less the theme of this British thriller. Zakes Abbot (William
Ash) spots something rather disturbing on the road, a woman caged in
the back of a van, and has a dilemma of whether to follow and help or
shrug it off as someone else's problem. After a small effort of calling
the police and attempting (and failing) to read the dirty number plate,
Zakes chooses the latter. That is until his girlfriend goes missing and
he realises he has a more personal stake in pursuing the captor.
What follows is a fairly straight-forward cat & mouse chase as Zakes tails and evades the villain simultaneously, bringing to mind the 2003 French thriller High Tension (AKA Switchblade Romance) which as you might expect with that title is essentially one long suspense sequence. The tension in Hush doesn't quite allow it such a cocky title as the French film, but it is a good attempt nonetheless and it provides a few "No don't go there!" or "He's behind you!" moments. The film does however contain almost all the horror clichés, and although it tries to subvert one or two, this is nothing new and horror fans will see everything a mile off. As far as the plot goes, it would have been acceptable as a simple chase-thriller if it weren't for one scene (involving the security guards) which just seemed unnecessary and too contrived even for this already improbable story. Still, at 90mins it's an easy, enjoyable thriller that's worth a watch.
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