Imagine this. You’re a writer. You have got bored of living in the city and decided to move out to the countryside. You’ve done this so you can work on your new book. You’re basically now in the middle of the woods. You have neighbours, but they are a good five minute walk from you. Other than that you’re alone. Miles from the city. Sounds lovely, right? Well now add a masked man with a crossbow to the equation. He’s just killed your neighbour. Literally right in front of you. The neighbour was banging on your door, screaming for help and you had no idea she was there. He’s after you now. He even tapped on the glass to get your attention and you STILL didn’t notice. But you definitely would have it heard it, right? Unless you’re deaf. Oh wait, you ARE deaf. Dun dun duuuun….That doesn’t have nowhere near the same effect in text form. Anyway yes the whole situation has now just got 10 times worse. You’re in the middle of the woods. Stalked by a man who wants to kill you and you can’t hear a thing. This is exactly what poor Maddie (Kate Siegel) had to contend with in horror flick Hush. An awesome horror film with an intriguing twist. Directed by Mike Flanagan. Who also directed the brilliant Oculus. It poses the question; how do you survive without being able to hear the enemy? It’s such a unique concept. I’m amazed it hasn’t been done already. I thought I’d seen it all with horror films. But turns out I haven’t. It’s great for the industry that we can still get original films made. We’re in the era of remakes and sequels. Franchises, superhero movies and movie versions of books. It’s so hard to find an original film that was an original idea.
Before I go in to my thoughts on the film. I just want to back up a little. For me living in the woods or in the middle of nowhere is a big no no. Roughly 3 out of 5 horror films are set in the woods or in the middle of nowhere. Totally made that up. But you can see what I mean. Living out in these places never ends well for anyone. I just don’t see the appeal. You’re miles away from help. If you scream, no one is going to hear you. I know this is my over-active imagination talking but I’d rather not take my chances. The closest I would go to living in the middle of nowhere would be to live in a village. That way you have the best of both worlds. Countryside and other people. You’re not alone. The people in these films seem to live light years away from the nearest city. It would even take The Flash an hour before he would find life. It’s like they are asking to be set upon by cannibals or dudes with chainsaws. Well it’s their own fault. Right back to the film. Hush is a perfect mix of nail-biting horror and genius story-telling. It’s rare in a horror film where you care for the main character. Most times you just want them to die horrible deaths. Not here. You really feel for Maddie. And you will her to survive. It doesn’t help that the masked man toys with her. He tells her that he can enter the house anytime he wants. Trouble is Maddie can’t hear anything. I can’t get my head around how terrifying that is. The fact she has no idea where he is unless she can physically see him is almost unfair.
It’s a good thing Maddie is clever. She’s played brilliantly by Kate Siegel (who also co-wrote the film with Mike Flanagan). For someone who can’t hear anything. Maddie is resourceful with her ideas. Some don’t work. Others are brilliant. It keeps you intrigued right until the end. The film is brilliant from start to finish. But there’s one stand out sequence where Maddie’s writer mind really comes in hand. It’s a definite must see for any horror fan. It’s currently on Netflix (UK at least) and is holding a respectable 6.7 on IMDB. For a horror that’s pretty good. Certainly one of the better ones I’ve seen this year. I really can’t wait until Mike Flanagan’s next film. He’s proved twice now that he can both write and direct brilliant original horror. And that’s a good thing for everyone.
If you have already it seen it, what did you think? Tweet me or comment below. I love hearing other people’s thoughts!