Friday, May 13, 2016

Hush (2016) - 8 stars out of 10

Hush (2016) - 8 stars out of 10

“Hush” is an interesting take on the slasher film genre.  Rather than frightening the audience with a series of graphic murders, this film frightens its audience through anticipation and suspense.  This indie-film-meets-classic-horror combination will keep your heart pounding from start to finish.  The entire movie is dark, as any moment that may seem pleasant is overshadowed by the stalker that is moving around behind the deaf main character.  It is simply a never-ending series of suspenseful moments.  While a lot of horror films give you a fear of being shot or a fear of being stabbed, this one creates a fear of being deaf.  The writers create one of the most helpless situations imaginable and exploit it.  The narrative of the story is impressive as it gains our attention and quickly creates connections to a character who cannot speak.  It quickly engages us in a mystery but if you want answers at the end, this is not your movie.  The story’s lack of clarification reminds me of J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box theory, in which discovering what is inside of “the box” is always less exciting than the mystery of what could be in inside.  It doesn’t matter who the murderer is or why he is there.  What matters is his psychological rejection of morality and the resulting situation.  So much of the film is disturbing because of the murderer’s seemingly random selection of this victim.  Moreover, he inflicts psychological torture on her by frightening her until she can no longer handle being trapped.  There is very little blood for the first hour of the movie.  And then the entire movie busts open and things get completely out of control!  There is no big twist because the story doesn't need one; it is frightening enough in its very concept.  I didn't know if director Mike Flannigan could ever reach the same level of creativity and suspense that he attained with "Oculus," but he has proven himself by generating the same amount of psychological terror, only in a very different way.  Every minute of the film is well-acted with Kate Siegel telling most of her story through facial expressions and body language as well as John Gallagher Jr.’s merciless game of cat and mouse.  In an homage to "Torn Curtain," the film emphasizes the human will to live and the amount of brute human strength necessary to kill someone with your bare hands.  Those are the moments where these actors transcend the screen and become so real that it is uncomfortable to watch (particularly the part with her hand…)  “Hush” succeeds because it goes beyond the blood and makes a statement about the psychology of murderers.  If you want answers, you aren’t going to get them.  But if you want suspense, this film will fulfill your quota for the next two months.

[Pictured: This story comes up with the creepiest ways to exploit the inability to hear]

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