31 in 31 – “Hush”

“We can have some fun. Enjoy it.”

Story: Maddie Young, a talented writer, has just published her latest novel, Midnight Mass. She lives in a beautiful home out in the sticks, to focus on her work. But there’s something she doesn’t know; there’s a serial killer in the woods tonight. And there’s something that killer doesn’t know; Maddie cannot hear or speak, but she’s no pushover.

Scares: Tons. This is a chilling home invasion film.

Splat factor: Some. Then some more. Then lots more.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nup. Yay!

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Harks back to Wait Until Dark, but otherwise this is an original.

Trick or Treat?: I tend to avoid most home invasion films. The Strangers? Don’t know her. Funny Games? Nope times two. They’re way too real for my liking; I watch horror to be pulled away from the real world, not to be plunged into the depths of real darkness. But I’ve been hearing so much about this film, and after watching director Mike Flanagan’s two Haunting series, I decided to bite the bullet. I’m happy I did.

Hush is a taut thriller that uses every moment of its runtime to amp up the suspense. As Maddie, Flanagan regular (and real-life wife) Kate Siegel creates a woman who may have a disability, but does not roll over in any part of her life. Maddie is scared, then terrified, and while she’s put through the wringer physically and emotionally, this is one badass lady. It was a pleasure to root for her. She even has a sweet kitty…that survives the movie btw. I tell you, because I’d want to know.

Maddie can hear one thing; her inner voice that helps her collect her thoughts. This voice is put to excellent use as we see her at her laptop, trying to suss out the perfect ending to her new story. That voice also plays into how Maddie deals with the horrific situation she’s in, and the various ways that she shouldn’t move forward. Meanwhile, her assailant (played by John Gallagher Jr.) is psychotically calm, and is no dummy himself. It makes for an interesting cat-and-mouse game between the two as the plot unfolds.

One tiny, wafer-thin issue? One individual dies in a rather gruesome way, and yet when we get a look at the body? There’s zero gore. This ain’t no PG-13 film, so the lack of gore just felt unbelievable after what had happened.

At less than an hour and a half, Hush packs a serious amount of scares into its runtime. Put your television AV mode on PC or Game – this story mostly takes place in the dark of night, and you’re going to want to see every little bit. Trust me, you will.

Score: 4.5 out of 5 pumpkins.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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