Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When Trouble Comes a Knockin’, or Thoughts on Hush

In what is essentially an updated Wait Until Dark (1967), writer and director Mike Flanagan of Oculus (2013) takes the babysitter alone in the house/the call is coming from inside the house urban legend and adapts it for modern audiences with Hush (2016).  Kate Siegel, co-writer and wife of the director, stars as Maddie, a deaf woman living alone in a cabin in the woods who is stalked by a faceless killer.
Hush is primarily a silent movie, or at least one without dialogue on Maddie’s part, who communicates through texts and signing, though the audience does get to hear her interior dialogue as a voiceover.  The first murder happens literally behind her back while she works in the kitchen, and the killer in his impassive Michael Myers/Scream/Purge mask even knocks on the glass before he realizes she can’t hear him.  Maddie only realizes she’s not alone when she starts getting texts from in the house. 
Film is a visual medium and the first movies were silent, so Hush is effective on a deeper and almost primordial level.  We're already afraid of the dark, taking away one of our senses will only magnify that natural sense of doom.  It's a modern fairytale with a wolf at the door, and an interesting twist on vulnerability and fear.  Fortunately for the audience, Maddie is no victim and the fight for survival that ensues is in many ways just as brutal and harrowing as The Revenant (2015).
Watch out for Chekhov’s corkscrew in the first 10 minutes and you’ll realize Maddie will be just fine.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).