I tell you – Mike Flanagan is doing some really good work in the horror/thriller genre. I have watched his recent movies Oculus and Before I Wake (which I reviewed a few days back), and I liked what I saw. I didn’t like Before I Wake as much as Oculus but Hush is probably at par with Oculus. I think people interested in this genre, should definitely watch all three.
It has been a few months since this released and it is on Netflix – so this review has some spoilers.
Plot and Script (P&S)
What happens when a psychotic killer meets a deaf and mute person? That’t the premise of Hush. Kate Siegel is the deaf and mute writer who has retreated to a cabin in the woods to write her a second book. She has a friendly couple who lives close but other than that she doesn’t have much contact with people except maybe her sis who she chats with online.
Enter psychotic serial killer who kills her friend first and after getting to know Kate can neither speak or hear, launches a cat and mouse game of torture and agony. He obvious undermines Kate who is extremely smart and compensates for her lack of two of the most important senses with brains and instinct.
I loved the plot. It is an overused ‘psycho comes home and kills all’ theme but it has been twisted enough to make it seem fresh. I read that Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel, who are a married couple of real life, came up with the story while dating. And played out almost every scene in their own house before starting the movie. No wonder there are no dumb moves and the story proceeds in a coherent fashion.
I mean obviously the killer could have broken in anytime, all the doors and windows were made of glass but his feeling of superiority becomes the death of him and it is believable.
Characterization and Acting (C&A)
Kate is great as the writer – she pulls off the role really well. The killer is good too, he looks like a normal enough person (I guess most serial offenders do) and can be seen as sinister only through his actions and brutality. The supporting cast of the friendly couple is good enough which is the other thing I love about the movie. It has only 4 living adults in the whole movie – the sister is online and the cat doesn’t count. But Mr. Flanagan made a pretty decent movie with just 4 people in a whole movie.
Sound and Effects (S&E)
Out of the 85 odd minutes, there is dialogue only for about 15. Majority of the movie relies on sounds and other effects and it is great to see what background sound can do to make the experience of watching a movie better. The fact that the main lead can neither hear or speak makes it a tad more interesting – how do the sounds play out for such a person? Like the end where her vision is blurring and her heartbeat is slowing down and how she is talking to herself in her head.
Cinematography and Visuals (C&V)
Almost the whole movie plays out in the dark and the visuals look good. They have made good used of the smoke alarm and the pace of the movie is kept at all times. The only little problem I had was that sometimes it was a little too dark to see what was actually happening.
Direction and Overall (D&O)
Like I said, this movie is good – Mike Flanagan has taken a known concept and given it a twist. Like Oculus and Before I Wake.I am also glad that they didn’t go in to the background of the killer which would have killed the movie for sure. I am definitely going to watch out for his other movies.
So here are my scores according to my new system:
Plot and Script (P&S)- 1.5
Characterization and Acting (C&A) – 1.5
Sounds and Effects (S&E) – 1.5
Cinematography and Visuals (C&V) – 1.5
Direction and Overall (D &O) – 2.0
Overall Score – 8 out of 10
Good one – highly recommended. It seems Stephen King also praised the movie.
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