Gruesome Reviews

“Hush” (2016): A Character Driven Thriller That Packs a Punch

This is a Thug review of the Mike Flanagan directed feature Hush, currently available on Netflix. As you all know, the Thug likes to spoil his readers so consider yourself warned.

The last few films I have reviewed for Gruesome Magazine have been painful to watch and hopefully you all appreciate the Thug for taking one for the team and saving you some valuable time. With that in mind, I went into Hush not expecting much. Not only because of the last few films I reviewed, that was just strike one. Strike two is the mere fact that this is a Glumhouse, I mean Blumhouse, production. I got my bat in hand and I’m ready to swing for the fences. By the way, her name is Lucille….and she is awesome!

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Hush is the story of Maddie, a deaf author played admirably by Kate Siegel who lives in a secluded house somewhere in the sticks. You know, one of those places where your next door neighbor is more than a few acres away. While not doing anything groundbreaking with this film it was still somewhat enjoyable with scenes that made me squirm and kept me on the edge of my seat. Or is it maybe I’m just happy to be reviewing something that isn’t complete garbage?

Maddie has a neighbor/friend named Sarah (Samantha Sloyan) that she chats with via instant messenger and that frequently comes to visit. Sarah comes over for dinner which Maddie forgets is in the oven thus setting off the smoke alarm which is audible and strobing (due to her condition). After the dinner, Sarah leaves  and Maddie returns to  the couch seemingly at a wall of writer’s block. A frantic, bleeding Sarah makes her way to Maddie’s porch pounding the sliding glass door and pleading in hopes that Maddie happens to turn around and see her. Instead, in a surprising and shocking scene, a masked assailant known only as “the man” played by John Gallagher Jr. comes up behind Maddie’s friend Sarah and violently finishes her off. You may know John from a much better movie that was currently released called 10 Cloverfield Lane —  if you don’t go see the flipping movie.

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I see where this is going, the old girl vs. the masked man home invasion movie. Maddie does eventually see her door and the blood along with the masked man and his crossbow who wants in. In hopes of getting him to leave she draws a note on the door informing him that if he leaves she will not say anything because she hasn’t even seen his face. The nice masked man decides to take his mask off and asks her if she could read lips. She nods yes and he shares with  her that she is next.

Throughout the rest of Hush, it’s a cat and mouse game. At one point Sarah’s boyfriend John (Michael Trucco) shows up looking for her. Of course Maddie cannot hear him knocking but “the man” shows up posing as an undercover cop responding to a call. After a short conversation John knows something is amiss. When the man gives John his cell phone back he notices an earring fall from the man’s pocket. As he is ready to make his move he ends up with a puncture wound to the throat. With the little life he has left in him he attempts to choke the man out and almost succeeds.

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The cat and mouse game continues and Maddie ends up with an arrow in her leg and a crushed and broken right hand. She reaches deep down inside where she talks to herself and convinces herself to make a final stand. Maddie defiantly tells the man to bring it to which he angrily obliges as he attempts to smash the glass door as Maddie retreats to the bathroom. He ends up in the tub behind her and as he is about to knife her she feels his breath on her neck and uses the arrow she retrieved to stab him in the leg. The chase ends in the living room where he is on top of her strangling her. Luckily there is a cork screw bottle opener on the floor conveniently within reach of her good hand and just before her heart beat is about to stop she puts the cork screw to his neck, she makes her way outside as the police begin to come down the road, the end.

Hush  is  directed by Mike Flanagan and written by Flanagan  and our heroine Kate Siegel. Not a bad effort considering it is  Blumhouse. Nothing was groundbreaking and the whole chase became stale as it continues. One stand out is a scene where “the man” catches Maddie’s hand in the door and proceeds to step on it, grinding it to a bloody pulp. The acting is  decent and as I stated before there are  some tense scenes. One big problem I did have is  there was never a reason given as to why” the man” is  killing everyone. He seems to be doing it just for the thrill and I am assuming that the viewers are to simply accept  that? I don’t know about y’all but I do like a little backstory and resolve.

Hush 2.3 out of 5 stars (2.3 / 5) out of 5 on the Thug Meter

Check out the review of Hush on Horror News Radio Episode 159

JJ Fitt
Joe lives in the coal region of Northeastern PA with his beautiful wife Mary and their French Bulldogs Watson and Xander. He's a huge fan of all things horror and can't explain why especially since he was afraid of everything as a kid. He co-hosts the Indie Infestation podcast which gives a platform for those involved in the indie horror scene to get their name and projects out there. When he's not working he is usually watching the latest horror movie or show, at the gym with his wife or taking in a sporting event, Eagles! His all time favorite horror movie is the original Halloween, still effective to this day. Hit him up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or drop an email, let him know what's awesome.
JJ Fitt
Joe lives in the coal region of Northeastern PA with his beautiful wife Mary and their French Bulldogs Watson and Xander. He's a huge fan of all things horror and can't explain why especially since he was afraid of everything as a kid. He co-hosts the Indie Infestation podcast which gives a platform for those involved in the indie horror scene to get their name and projects out there. When he's not working he is usually watching the latest horror movie or show, at the gym with his wife or taking in a sporting event, Eagles! His all time favorite horror movie is the original Halloween, still effective to this day. Hit him up on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or drop an email, let him know what's awesome.