Hush Film Review


From the great minds of Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel, the movie Hush receiving an average rating of 60% creates a new method when it comes to pulling the viewers into the eyes of the victim in thriller/horror. The film was first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival a month before its release on netflix where it grew in popularity by those who wanted a new style in the art of thriller and hopped to receive it through only independent cinema. The 82 minute film felt longer as they successfully kept myself and others to the edge of their seat wanting the movie to never end as we watched this seemingly helpless woman fight for her life. The movie stayed interesting as the use of loud music cues to shock the audiences stayed to a minimum and the use of jump scare tactics seemed nonexist

The movie sticked to an old fashioned feelings with modernizing technology such as iphones and mac pro laptops to bring the playing field to an even level for our victim who was both mute and deaf while our murder stayed true to an old timed weapon, a bow and arrow with a small modernization of it being in the form of a cross bow. I use the word “was” to describe the main character, Maddie played by the co-writer Kate Siegel due to what I believed to be an open ended interpretation of the ending of the movie, where they leave the viewers to decide how exactly the cops arrived to her home when all she had was a cell phone with the telephone feature opened the very last time we see her with the phone in her hand.

The main character/victim Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a deaf-mute writer, living in small home secluded in the words with one couple as neighbors who live right down the road but too far for hear shot. Some may say the setting is too convenient and is a set-up following the arts of Stephen King, I how ever feel the movie’s location makes the most sense due to Maddie’s intentions of finishing her book that she spent a good 20 minutes trying to overcome procrastination to do while the murder who hasn’t been named, sets up and and checks out the area.

The films work of using the senses to immerse us into the story through Maddie's POV surely kept me locked in my seat and amplified my enjoyment of the ride. We mainly focus on touch and hearing as the movie starts with the gained volume sounds of eggs cracking, onions being sliced, asparagus sizzling on the stove as Maddie cooks diner. When the camera draws to her face, the sounds then balance bringing us back to the way we would hear things. The movie continues these acts where the killer stands outside her window in his introduction where he knocks and scratches her glass door with his knife and we don't get to hear anything but a high pitch noises as we release we are back in Maddie’s POV as the killer stands confused trying to get her attention by banging on the glass.

As we learn more about Maddie, we find out that when she writes, she explores multiple endings with her mother’s voice coaching her in her mind as she makes a decision. So as she tries to survive her attacker, by thinking about each action and choice wisely by examining the outcome where almost everything she chooses her mother tells her will lead to death. At some point, I believe she began to make decisions blindly or that from the point in the movie where she she stops examining possible future is where she was living a future at which I mean, the ending wasn't really the ending but just a vision due to one of her decisions which would explain the absurdity I explained in the beginning of this review where she somehow called the police even though she is mute [and must I add, one minute prior to the “call”, she was being dramatically strangled by the murder].

On a standards or morals and political lenses. I can say the movie Hush passes The famous Bechdel test and my own test, The Mayhem Background Check. In the beginning of the movie Maddie has two different conversations. She has one with her neighbor sitting on the step and one with her sister via facetime. The conversation she has with her neighbor consisted of book talk, Maddie’s cat, and sign language. The conversation starts with the neighbor raising Maddie over her book and praising her. She then ask for the location of Maddie’s cat causing Maddie to sign the cat’s name, “Bitch”. The rest of the conversation consist of Maddie teaching her how to say “Bitch” in sign language. This exchange passes the Bechdel Test. As for The Mayhem Background Check I created, the test is to eliminate the constant twist of the male or female victim on stalking/murder to be an ex from the past. The Mayhem Background check ensures that the constant stereotype of a male killer who is unmasked is an ex boyfriend. However if the killer stays masked throughout the whole movie it's an automatic pass. In the movie Hush, the kill does unmask himself. The killer’s name remained a mystery as it is revealed to us that there is no real motive of the killer because there is no present or past relations between the two when these events unfold. So the movie is considered a pass when the test of The Mayhem Background Check is applied.