Hush (Mike Flanagan, 2016, USA)

Hush is Mike Flanagan's third feature film and his first of many collaborations with Netflix. Coming on the heels of two auspicious debut features (Absentia and Oculus), the film clocks in at a swift 80 minutes. Taking on the tropes of the home invasion genre, the film stars Flanagan's real-life wife Kate Siegel as a deaf writer who becomes the victim of a killer intent on entering her isolated home in the woods. The marketing materials for the film are somewhat misleading, as they feature the killer in a creepy white mask. In reality, the killer only wears this mask for several minutes within the film, and quickly takes it off, revealing himself to be a rather normal-looking guy (John Gallagher Jr.). There are obvious logistical reasons for this, as "The Man" communicates with Maddie (Kate Siegel) throughout the film, and she needs to be able to see his lips to understand what he is saying.

Hush is a high-intensity film, largely carried by the performances of the two leads. Siegel is strongest in carrying the physicality of the performance (and there is a lot of physicality to the role). The mystery around Gallagher's character is one of the more haunting aspects of the film - we do not indicate why he is doing what he is doing, other than pure force of evil. The film found fans among directors William Friedkin and Stephen King, who have now seen Flanagan direct several of his works. Strangely, the film's license has expired with Netflix, and now it exists nowhere legally on the Internet. It seems to be only available on YouTube for the time being. Hopefully, someone will acquire the rights and give the film a proper release, as the version on YouTube is not of the best quality unfortunately.



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