Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel
When you watch a film that scares the hell out of you while leaving you in complete awe, you’ve got to extend a little respect. That kind of thing doesn’t necessarily happen too often. Michael Flanagan however, has now done it three times. First with Absentia, then with Oculus, and now with the brand spankin’ new Netflix addition, Hush. That’s right, this one bypassed the standard VOD and theatrical run in favor of a Netflix debut. And what a debut it is.
A home invasion tale with a few twists, the story sees Maddie fight for her life as an unknown attacker does everything in his power to break into Maddie’s isolated home. What separates Hush from films like Ils, The Strangers or You’re Next is the fact that this is a one on one confrontation. One lonely writer, one homicidal maniac. But there are other partitions that prevent hush from mirroring other similar efforts: Maddie is deaf and mute. That means when her attacker cuts all power to her home, she’s left with no means of contacting the outside world.
It’s her versus him, and it gets ugly rather quickly.
Flanagan makes a stellar choice in all but eliminating a score, which makes the film’s tension feel palpable. The fact that Maddie refuses to be another helpless victim – especially despite her disabilities – adds a brilliant spark to the film. It’s a production that doesn’t mind crossing borders or offending, and yet it unravels as classy as any well thought out genre film you’ve ever seen.
The onscreen performances are top notch, and Flanagan’s direction is precise and effective. Hush is a frightening film and it’s empowered by mesmerizing performances from Kate Siegel (who co-writes) and John Gallagher Jr.. There’s a disconcerting chemistry between these two that’s going to leave viewers on the edge of their seats, waiting and wondering how this one ends.
Hush is another riveting film from Flanagan and no doubt one of 2016’s greatest horror releases. Don’t hesitate, log on to Netflix and enjoy a masterful trip through terror.