In a modern age where mainstream horror is finding itself inside of a sorry state, films like It Follows and The Witch come out in order to prove to me that a genre which creates can evoke some of the biggest emotional reactions from the viewers if done well. Another one of these recent horror films that comes to mind which performs rather well with what it’s utilizing is Mike Flanagan’s Hush, playing upon the atmosphere which is built up from the protagonist’s perspective, thus being able to move quietly without the use of a jump scare.
Most of Hush‘s success comes from its reliance on the performances of Kate Siegel and John Gallagher, Jr., who play our protagonist and antagonist, respectively. Our protagonist is a deaf author and our antagonist is the obvious killer. Keeping in mind how Hush is confined into one space, the claustrophobia is heightened and right there comes a big success on the part of the film, for it really felt as if Mike Flanagan really had a sense of respect for what it was that truly makes an effective entry into the horror genre and thus, he gives his viewers exactly what they would be wanting in this day and age.
Keeping in mind the point of view of our protagonist, the fact she is deaf also creates more tension. We view Hush within her point of view and knowing that she is deaf creates more fear when you come to consider how her confinement in this remote location together with a lack of knowledge at times with what goes on around her, Flanagan is using all of it to his own advantage and thus an effectiveness to the horror is left behind. Flanagan experiments with the perspective in a manner that it would help bring the audiences closer to the situation which we have at hand, thus heightening the final product at hand.
While I won’t deny that there’s a sense of predictability present (I’m not particularly fond of the film’s climax, mostly because I called it out) the creativity that is left behind at least from Mike Flanagan’s directorial vision is still enough in order to create a much more enjoyable product in the very end. Flanagan’s direction creates a manner to which we feel the stakes that our protagonist is encountering and they simply are heightened to a level that uses of the notorious jump scares which plague many modern mainstream horror films are failing to achieve.
Seeing as I’ve always been rather excited with what horror could be providing especially at some of its very heights, it’s rather nice to see how there are filmmakers who still understand what is necessary in order to create fear to arise from its audiences. Slowly but steadily, I can see that we’re having a genre that may or may not be in a sorry state rising back, which makes me rather happy. Although I’ve grown around the genre enough to the point I’m not very much frightened by horror anymore, seeing how people can understand what makes a sense of tension in this manner leaves me awaiting more out of modern horror. Mike Flanagan, with Hush, you simply have done well.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Netflix.
Directed by Mike Flanagan
Screnplay by Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Produced by Trevor Macy, Jason Blum
Starring Kate Siegel, John Gallagher, Jr.
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 81 minutes