Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hush (2016)


Number Rolled: 84
Movie Name/Year: Hush (2016)
Tagline: Silence can be killer.
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 81 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Intrepid Pictures, Blumhouse Productions
Producer: Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill, Michael J. Fourticq Sr., Kate Lumpkin, Trevor Macy, Melinda Nishioka, Couper Samuelson
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Actors: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emma Graves
Stunt Coordinator: Chuck Borden

Languages
Speech Available: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: 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 in her window.


Selina’s Point of View:
I know sign language. Which was kind of a cool thing for a movie like this. I caught little nuances that couldn’t really be portrayed by the subtitles. The creators put a lot of thought into the signs. I don’t know if it’s because the writer/director were already familiar with the language or if the director, Mike Flanagan (Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Ghosts of Hamilton Street), consulted experts to aid him.

I always enjoy getting to use my sign language skills. I don’t have much cause to, I don’t know anyone who’s deaf. My best friend and I use it to talk across the room when we don’t want to be heard, but other than that it’s just some dusty knowledge sitting in my brain since I started learning it out of pure curiosity. (I became curious after reading a short biography about Helen Keller in sixth grade.)

But, I digress. (Hey, Cat’s not the only one allowed to use that term, damn it.)

I heavily enjoyed this film.

Normally, in movies like Hush I can predict pretty much every jump scare. They tend to follow the rules outlined in Scream (1996) pretty closely. This one didn’t. There have actually been films where I’ll mumble what I think will happen and five seconds later, it happens. A few times I’ve actively said a line at the same time as a character in a film that I’ve never seen before.

The people I love hate watching films with me, but that’s not the point.

The point is that my ability to do that speaks more to the quality of the movies than to my skill. Watching a ton of films and seeing the patterns is not a skill. A director being too nervous to steer his film away from every single trope in a genre, on the other hand, shows a lack of skill. That was not a problem for the creators of this movie. They were able to successfully make me feel like I was a fly on the wall watching everything go down.


Even with only about fifteen minutes of actual dialog, I was never bored. The actors all brought their characters to life in a way that made them incredibly realistic. Not just the main actors, Kate Siegel (Hot, Demon Legacy, Oculus) and John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Newsroom, Short Term 12), either. The supporting actors, Michael Trucco (Killer Women, Revenge, Next) and Samantha Sloyan (Grey’s Anatomy, Fantastic, Losing in Love), also made their characters stand out. That’s pretty rare.

The film followed very few, if any, tropes. I only casually predicted one aspect of the film and it wasn’t really an important one, it certainly didn’t take me out of it.

Hush was original and absolutely thrilling.

I knew it existed, but I haven’t heard much about it since it first came out. I don’t understand why. This film could have easily become a classic – the kind of movie that other directors look to in order to create new tropes.

The only thing that I could think of that might have hurt the film, was the trailer. Hush made Cat’s Top 20 list for April of 2016, but it didn’t make mine. I remember why. The trailer made it look very basic. I figured I’d go into the film, predict every word, and feel like I had wasted my time. I was clearly wrong about it where Cat saw the worth right away.

This is one of those films I wouldn’t have watched if it weren’t for the fact that we roll dice to choose the movies we review. I’m very glad I got to see it, though. It’s a film that I’ll be remembering for a long time.

In the end, I urge everyone to give this film a shot. It was phenomenally good. Don’t waste time with the trailer, just pull it up on Netflix. You won’t be disappointed.


Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was awesome. I mean that both in the literal and figurative sense of the word. I am full of awe for this movie. Hush has made it into my list of favorites, and is the best thriller that I’ve seen in a long time. Can you believe it was filmed in only 18 days?!

I’ve got a confession to make. This wasn’t the first time I’d seen this film. I’d been looking forward to seeing this movie since I saw the trailer while putting together my Top 20 list for April of 2016, where it featured as #9. I missed it in theaters, but the minute it hit Netflix I just couldn’t resist.

There was no less of an edge-of-your-seat feeling with a second viewing. My heart was in my throat as I watched. The main character is so relatable, and her story just draws you in without her speaking a single word. This movie was very demanding of its lead, considering the limitations inherent to Maggie. Kate Siegel (The Curse of the Black Dahlia, Man Camp, Ouija: Origin of Evil) was certainly up to the task.


John Gallagher Jr. (Whatever Works, Jonah Hex, The Belko Experiment) was a good choice for the role of this movie’s antagonist. He had this eerie malevolence about him that fit so well with the killer he was playing. 

Mike Flanagan (Still Life, Absentia, Oculus) seriously impressed me with this one. Perhaps some of his inspiration came from his muse. Siegel has appeared in several of his movies – both before and after the real-life couple were wed. It’s said that the pair came up with the idea for this movie while out on a dinner date.

So much attention to detail was considered when making this film. Everything felt so real. I have to wonder if there’s someone in Siegel’s life that’s deaf or mute that she was able to draw reference from. Whatever the case may be, it was amazing.

I would recommend this movie in a heartbeat and you can bet I’ll definitely be watching it again.


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 74%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Movie Trailer:

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