Dir: Mike Flanagan (2016)
Stellar low budget horror favourite, Mike Flanagan, turns to a tired sub-genre and makes a cracking tension filled home invasion movie with Hush. Its set up might start some eyes rolling with a bare bones home invasion plot but the director and co-writer/star Kate Siegel have crafted a real tough film, which quickly corners any doubts a horror savvy audience may have. Siegel plays Maddie, a deaf-mute author settling in for the night in her country house; She cooks disastrously for a neighbour, avoids calls from her ex-boyfriend, remaining completely unaware of a lone masked man outside her window.
Less self aware than Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next but not quite as terrifying as David Moreau and Xavier Palud‘s Ils Flanagan’s film is more or straight survival film. He uses some gripping sound design work, playing with what we can see as well as what Maddie can’t hear; It’s a hard technical line to walk but Flanagan pulls it off time and time again as Maddie finds more and more resourceful ways to keep her unnamed and motiveless intruder (John Gallagher Jr.) at bay.
Hush isn’t big and it isn’t showy but Siegel and Gallager’s one on one interplay has a heft all of its own; There’s enough in the quite first 20 minutes to make you stand up and cheer for Maddie at every blow she deals and wince at every scrape and fall she takes. After last year’s excellent Oculus and the before the up-coming Before I wake this little gem of a thriller serves as a simple but incredibly satisfying dish to enjoy with the lights off.