Hush originally debuted on Netflix April 8, 2016
There are so many great horror movies to be discovered, and sometimes you just need to find a directors work you’ve become obsessed with and start doing a deep dive in their career. I watched the new Netflix series, Midnight Mass, and instantly couldn’t turn it off. When I heard that writer/director Mike Flanagan has been wanting to make this show for the past few years, and was featured in some of his earlier works, I immediately jumped onto the idea of doing a first time watch of Hush. This movie terrified me, it gave me nightmares (for the wrong reasons) and absolutely begs the question what kind of relationship Mike Flanagan has with the star of the film and co-writer and his wife, Kate Siegel, for asking her to go this far in her role.
Hush focuses on Maddie, played by Kate Siegel, who is a deaf mute living a modest life in the woods, trying to just seclude herself from the everyday world while still keeping contact with her close friends and neighbours. One fateful night, The Man played by John Gallagher Jr shows up and decides that Maddie is his newest victim. Tormenting Maddie throughout the night, targeting her friends and loved ones viscously. This violent game of cat and mouse can’t possibly end well as Maddie lives in the middle of nowhere, with no power and no means to call for help, time is ticking against her in the fight for her life.
Hush works so well because it does not rely on the typical horror tropes, never truly explains the motivation behind The Man’s actiosn, but the performance delivered by Kate Siegel is nothing short of impeccable. Delivering such raw emotion and fear without being able to emit a single sound, and only be able to display through her actions and emotions is nothing shy of remarkable. Her terror and fear are all amplified by not being able to express anything verbally.
As well, the sound mixing and sound features in Hush are typically not seen throughout movies. It forces the audience to take the point of view from the protagonist, as we often do not hear sounds. We can see The Man delivering an attack, but we hear nothing as a lifeless body is slammed repeatedly against a glass door. We see him slice a window, but again we hear nothing. It is something truly unique, and brings a new layer of depth and horrors to Hush. Hush truly is a remarkable horror film that shows the early workings of the mastermind Mike Flanagan.