Review: Hush (2016)

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The director of Oculus collaborates with star Kate Siegel on Hush, a crafty home invasion chiller that was snapped up by Netflix shortly after its SXSW premiere. The premise is simple – a deaf woman (Siegel) is tormented by an unnamed assailant (John Gallagher Jr.) in the middle of nowhere – but it’s captivating nonetheless. Little time is wasted with setup, yet there’s enough information divulged for the audience to create an instant connection with Maddie, which makes her plight all the more harrowing. Mike Flanagan shrugs off usual horror contrivances in favour of strong acting (Siegel is terrific, though mention must be made to Gallagher Jr., too), editing and interesting sound design, neatly incorporating Maddie’s deafness to provide some of the film’s best scares. As the heat ramps up, Maddie’s survival instinct kicks up several notches and the choices she makes – and objects she uses to aid her fight – are that of real life and not of fantasy. The fact that it’s realistic is what makes Hush such a fascinating and unnerving watch.

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