Main cast: Kate Siegel (Madison Young), John Gallagher Jr (The Man), Michael Trucco (John), and Samantha Sloyan (Sarah Green)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Madison Young, our heroine, is mute, and a brush with meningitis left her deaf. That’s okay, she’ll just live in a cottage in the middle of the woods and write books for lots of money! The whole thing begins when a neighbor, Sarah, drops back to say hi. Later, Sarah realizes that someone is stalking her, so she runs back to Maddie’s cottage and bangs at the door for help. Too bad, the Man – as he is referred to in the credits – catches up with Sarah and stabs her to kingdom come while Maddie in the house is like, mm-hmm, look at her surly bitch face as she contemplates the meaning of life. The Man soon realizes that the lady in the house is deaf and mute, so he decides to play with her for a while…
Hush pits the heroine against the hero in a classic killer versus damsel battle. But first, it is quite amusing that Maddie is the one indirectly responsible for one character’s death. This character could have hit the Man in the head were not for Maddie distracting him by knocking frantically at her window. For a long time, she’s playing the victim, and this is frustrating because she apparently chooses to live alone without doing anything that can help her adjust to living alone. Not even a dog! As a result, her deafness and her muteness come off a little too obviously as plot contrivances to make the heroine look weak and vulnerable, and that’s hard to believe considering that she’s a bestselling author and it’s not like she can’t even afford a dog.
The rest of the movie is the standard chase-and-nearly-caught scenes. The movie pacing is pretty good, but on the whole, the heroine’s haplessness feels contrived from the get go. I like that she tries to be resourceful – “tries” being the operative word here – but in the end, it seems like she wins by pure luck rather than anything else.
A low budget flick directed by the lead actress’s husband, and with the script co-written by the two of them, Hush isn’t a particularly awful thriller. It’s not a bad way to spend some time if there is nothing better to do. At the same time, the heroine’s disability feels a little too gimmicky for my liking, and I end up frowning is disbelief at more scenes than I’d have liked. At any rate, the moral of this movie is: if you have a deaf and mute neighbor, leave her alone – better the crazy killer target her than you, as she’d only get you killed if you try to help her.