Ax on 'Flix

In this week's Netflix pick, Axel reviews "Hush"

By Axel Marcenaro
On November 8, 2019

Axel Marcenaro, editor-in-chief

“Hush” is a suspense horror film directed and co-written by Mike Flana­gan. The film, released in 2016, follows a typical horror suit with a writer’s retreat to the woods being interrupted by a masked killer. However, a layer is added as Maddie, the previously mentioned writer, is completely deaf.

The suspense in “Hush” is very effective but drags a bit on the tail end. While Maddie’s disability does allow for ample and creative uses of suspense, it was not exploited in its entirety. The beginning of the film uses it well, with multiple scenes being completely rid of sound, and the killer’s whereabouts unknown to the protagonist, but sometimes known to the audience. It makes for some truly tense scenes. Yet, the film de­cides to teeter out, using full audio for the majority of the movie and shifting the genre almost to action. As Maddie gains the strength to fight back, as most characters do, she stops, nearing uncertainty. We follow her calculated strategies more than her terrifying experiences escaping someone you can’t hear.

The film does, however, do well to keep things grounded, for the most part. It’s a horror film, but it’s not a completely unrealis­tic nightmare. The antagonist in the film is a real person, who even reveals himself early in the film to shed slasher stereotypes. Also, at a point in the film our protagonist acquires a crossbow and one might think that the movie is over at that point. However, most people don’t realize how difficult a crossbow is to rack and shoot, and Maddie discovers this. In this regard, the film does well to stay in touch with realistically fearful situations, which I believe heighten the suspense.

Overall, I would say the film is an interesting and well done take on a basic horror plot. There were some creative decisions that I felt were underwhelming, but the movie still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. Since it's not a movie that typically falls into a Halloween horror marathon line up, I’d say it’s a safe watch in Novem­ber to cleanse your palate from all those terrible sequels, prequels and double-digit slashers.

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