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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Movie Review: Hush (2016) and Is The Horror Genre Coming Back?


Hush (2016)

Starring: Katie Siegal, John Gallagher, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Written By: Mike Flanagan
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Rating: B+
*Streaming on Netflix as of April 10, 2016*

Summary: A deaf woman is stalked by a mysterious killer and must fight for her life in her home that's secluded in the woods.

My Thoughts: Mike Flanagan's 2013 release, Oculus, took me by surprise when I watched it on Netflix a while ago. Around this time, there were only a handful of horror movies that were of any cinematic merit, like The Babadook or It Follows, but usually movies like that only come once a year and the movies that usually come out throughout the year things like Annabelle, Ouija and The Gallows. And let's be frank, these movie are horrible, but they do really well at the box office and make tons of money even though they're generally rejected by the public and critics alike, so time after time people are making these horrible films, just for profit, but in just this year alone in movies like The Green Room and The Invitation, we've got some releases like this one that make me feel like people are back into making horror movies based on their love for horror, not the cash or anything like that, but horror itself because it's one of the most imaginative and extensive genre of movies.

In horror, there are many sub-genres: The slasher, the paranormal, the monster movie, and most importantly, my favorite, the psychological thriller because they are the most intense, the most creative, and those kinds of movies really grab me the most, like this one. We start off with Maddie, our main character, who happens to be deaf. She's a bestselling author as well and lives in the middle of nowhere in order to write, but she's gotten writer's block and that's her focus until a masked stranger murders her neighbor and then starts stalking her afterwards. And the home invasion thing has been done and redone to death. Think: You're Next, The Strangers, When a Stranger Calls and Mother's Day, some of my favorites. Reminiscent of an earlier Audrey Hepburn movie titled, Wait Until Dark, where she plays a blind woman's whose home is broken into, this film is like a throwback to the horror flicks of the 80's with the minimalist, almost absent score as the woman is deaf so that was a great addition on part of director, the beautifully eerie cinematography and chilling atmosphere and chilling implications throughout the film like a smirk at the end of the film or etchings on a cross bow. Movies like these aren't "scary", but most good horror movies aren't scary by today's standards. Real fear in most movies are jump scares without much behind them, loud noises and CGI ghosts and monsters. True fear is in the mind, true fear is in things you can't see like the dark, the fear of being murdered, the fear of something looming over you and coming for you. That's real fear, but many people have forgotten what real fear is and have associated with the loud noises, jump scares and monsters, but it's not what fear is. That's being startled. Movies like these show viewers what real fear is and Hush does just that by having us feel the fear of this woman being stalked and possibly murdered by a crazed killer. While there's not much explanation behind the killer's motives, we get the woman's logic behind hers as we can hear the killer, but she cannot, which is why they mute the audio at some points. There are even a couple of scenes where she plays out multiple scenarios of what could happen and how they could play out and it's reasonable. She's a writer. She's imaginative and a lot more resourceful than I would've been in that situation.

This movie is a quiet, simple film, but it shows that you don't need much to make a great movie. It's chilling and thrilling and doesn't do much at all to do so. While cliches come and go throughout the film and there are some inconsistencies, this film is one where you can ignore those things for the sake of watching a good movie. The acting is darling as the creeper is very creepy even after the mask comes off and the deaf woman is great even though she barely has any lines and our only form of communication with her is via sign language on and notes on the wall and random pieces of paper and it's refreshing. It's a breath of fresh air.  Movies like this, small or big, can prove that maybe, just maybe, people are remembering the horror genre for what it originally is and bringing it back to that standard.

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