An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
Main character Maddie, and her sister Max, are named for Siegel's real life niece and nephew. See more »
When Maddie takes shelter in her bedroom, she closes the door and pushes a dresser in front of the door with great difficulty. After the killer uses Sarah's hand to bang on the window and Maddie backs out of the room, she pushes the dresser out of the way with one hand and little trouble. See more »
I can come in anytime I want. And I can get you, anytime I want. But I'm not going to. Not until it's time. When you wish you're dead... that's when I'll come inside.
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"Hush" focuses on Maddie, a deaf-mute writer living alone in a remote house, where she is accosted one evening by a psychopath hellbent on terrorizing and murdering her.
Co-written and directed by Mike Flanagan, who many have cited as a contemporary horror maestro, "Hush" is a straightforward thriller that cuts to the chase. There's not a lot of plot; most of the film plays on the gimmick of the protagonist being unable to hear anything around her (including the noise she makes), which is a clever setup for a horror-thriller film (I'm actually surprised it wasn't done earlier).
Comparisons to "The Strangers" are abundant and probably well-deserved, as that film pioneered the post-millennial home invasion film as we know it. "Hush" reduces the equation a bit, stripping it down to a one-on-one cat-and-mouse game, so in some regard it's a much more intense film; on the other hand, it's also remarkably less scary—but that's not really what Flanagan seems to be going for here anyway. It's not a film that intends to scare or get under the skin so much as it is a sparring match between two very different people.
The film is nicely shot and there are some fantastic scenes that play on a collective home invasion paranoia that I think we all have. The gore is kept to a minimum, but what is there is extremely visceral. The performances are solid, which is vital for a film that virtually revolves around two characters; Kate Siegel (who co-wrote the film with Flanagan) stars as the deaf Maddie, and is extremely believable, while John Gallagher Jr. plays the anonymous nutjob who is more despicable than he is scary. Where the film does falter a bit is in its last act, where the gimmick begins to wear off a bit as Maddie's situation grows more and more helpless. There is an amicable payoff in the end, albeit a drawn-out one.
Overall, I found "Hush" to be a relatively well-made film, and an enjoyable riff on the home invasion setup. That said, the film does grow dull in areas, and it also offers little in the way of new ideas, but what it does do, it does with class. All in all an entertaining and fairly intense thriller for what it's worth. 7/10.
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