Saturday, July 9, 2016
Directed & Edited By: Mike Flanagan
Written By: Mike Flanagan & Kate Siegel
Cinematography By: James Kniset
Cast: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emilia Graves
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this
A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window.
This film takes you by surprise. As at first it seems more like a gimmick film. Sort of like HEAR NO EVIL starring Marlee Matlin. Though that was more of a dramatic thriller. This film is more of a home invasion film and more violent then that film ever approached.
Here the protagonist is deaf. So as we hear the killer coming and moving around she doesn't and while it would seem her disability would make her a natural victim. That is not the case here.
Director Mike Flanagan and co-writer/star Kate Siegel are a married couple, and conceived the storyline for HUSH while on a dinner date in 2014. They wed in February, 2016. They previously worked together on the film OCCULUS
Siegal and Flanagan role-played each scene in their house before writing it down. This enabled them to better envision how the characters would really react in the face of danger.
Contains less than 15 minutes of dialogue, meaning that more than 70 minutes occur without a single word spoken.
What powers the film is how off guard it makes you. Though it is plotted more typically. What would seem like the gimmick only heightens the tension. As the film Luckily doesn't rely heavily on jump scares, but in certain scenes you feel the dead as you can see him sneaking up. Yet she doesn't realize it and you find yourself rooting big for her to turn around or discover what is going on.
Though it ends up being much more than a gimmick and actually ingenious. Making it a tight thriller that doesn't offer more then it gives. It might not be exactly the most original, but is strong with what it has. That offers a different look at a cliche set-up that works in it's favor. That is also a sign of a good thriller or horror film where you find yourself so involved you find yourself talking to t he screen or at least reacting. Even though rationale thought tells you they cannot hear you. Especially if you are one who is usually quiet during films.
That is how strong this film is. It's typical, but it isn't. It doesn't shy away from violence. Not are there any sacrificial lambs. As the film plays out as a work at nightmare scenario.
While the use of a crossbow in a home invasion situation with a mask will most likely remind savvy audience members of the film YOU'RE NEXT onto with no twists and a very low body count. I can see why the weapon of choice is a crossbow. While maybe not as immediate sometimes as a bullet. It is more like a torture device that leaves a trail of blood and if taken out wrong can be just as merciless as a bullet even though it seems easier to take out. As it can easily go straight through and still be stuck and even if you cut off the edges in trying to remove it. It can easily get caught on other things and get infected while splintering. It seems like something that of it doesn’t cause immediate death will be torturous to remove even if you survive.
Just like the film. All the weapons used are more sharp and shiny. That seem more designed for more violence. Plus not as noisy. As if the characters had one it would seem rather simple to dispatch the characters quickly. The into problem would be the noise, but considering they are remote int he woods. It could be reasonably argued that it could be hunters. Though being so remote sets the stage for less meddling neighbors and passerbys and a grander area to use.
The most automatic weapon used is a crossbow that is messier and harder to load and use as it is constantly a single shot then reload which isn't exactly quick. Though marks for a bloodier film.
Filmed in 18 days.
Though resourceful the movie leaves you really wondering about the protagonists chances for survival as the film really leaves it open for anything to happen and her demise. As it plays loose with supposed horror rules or at least quickly cleans away the cliches to make the film unpredictable and willing to go against the norm.
As the film quickly throws away any cliches of the genre. Like the killer unmasking himself immediately or the hope for a rescue by the neighbors.
The film Manages to stay lively and quickly rises above it's premise or familiar outline making it feel familiar yet fresh.
As the killer seeks to be doing this at random. Makes it more terrifying as he doesn't seem to have a motive or reason other than being a psychopath. Not some evil ex or unstoppable assassination hired to roar her out.
Though the film doesn't play out like a real time movie. Once the the thrills begin it feels like it. Even though gaps of time take place and the film is actually shorter than 90 minutes but it feeds you enough that you feel full by the end. Anything more would be over kill.