Hush (2016) was directed by the up and coming horror director Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel. It stars Kate Siegel (Demon Legacy and Oculus), John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Michael Trucco (Huge TV star and aparently up in Bye Bye Man), and Samantha Sloyan (has not appeared in any horror).
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
Mike Flanagan is getting to be big in the horror industry for whatever reason, I say this because his films: Absentia, Oculus, and Before I Wake, have not even peaked my interest. Well actually that is a lie. I went and watched Oculus in the theater, but that is a review for another time.
I saw some previews for Hush, being marketed entirely as unique. The problem that I see is that it was not unique. This is a home invasion film. Maddie the main character is a woman that lives alone and a “man” (actual name of the character) seriously tries hard to invade the home, torture Maddie and kill her. This is a typical home invasion film. The ONLY uniqueness is that Maddie is deaf in both ears. She was not always deaf. She reads lips, she signs, and apparently she is a writer who lives in the cabin alone in the woods.
I wanted to believe that Hush was the film that would display uniqueness to this particular sub-genre. What this film did was display a fully functional adult acting as a deaf person. I’m not sure what studying was done, though I do know that the sign language that is used is correct for the most part.
Things that I loved about this film, the man. This character was given no background, no intentions, and the most creative mindset of the whole film. Never given a name, the man sneaks into the unguarded home of Maddie and steals her phone. He goes right back outside. So immediately we know that he isn’t in it for just the kill, he wants the chase, the thrill. Most of the time as a viewer, we want an explanation. We NEVER get it. He tortures Maddie inside her mostly glass home, where he could easily destroy all the glass and make his way in.
The film not so subtly hints at some foreshadowing in the story with a smoke detector that is extremely loud and bright in order to grab the attention of the our deaf Maddie. This plot device is used in an extremely obvious manner, making me want to gag. The computer, phone, and other devices along the way also are super apparent.
I’ve recently made a friend with a deaf person, because my best friend is dating him and I was excited to see his culture represented in my genre. But now, I feel a bit of shame. This film was not as good as promised. The script was too easily written and the characters that were meant to have depth fell flat, while the ONE character with no background was predominately stealing the show.
Out of 10 bloody iPhones, I give this film a mere 3 and 1/2. I really want a better representation of horror and deaf culture coming together.