Now available on Netflix, “Hush” is a chiller of a movie that can be particularly unsettling to anyone who lives alone. It taps into the horror of discovering your home is not as secure as you would expect.
Maddie is a young woman who writes novels and is a deaf mute as a result of an affliction suffered years earlier. She lives by herself in an area that is fairly secluded. She does have one neighbor, but this is not a bustling part of the suburbs.
One evening her sublime life, in which her main issue is trying to decide one of seven different endings for her latest book, becomes a nightmare when she discovers a man lurking outside. The man makes himself known in a way that shatters all illusions of security, letting Maddie realize she has been cut off from the world.
Maddie is played by Kate Siegel, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus” in which Siegel also appeared). At first Maddie can only guess what this man, played by John Gallagher Jr., is up to, but he soon lets her know his intentions are deadly.
The man is the worst kind of predator. Armed with a crossbow, he is content to just toy with Maddie, vowing that when he wants to he will come in and kill her. It soon becomes apparent this man is a total psycho with nothing else to do but terrorize Maddie.
Clearly, he enjoys having a serious advantage over Maddie. She is unarmed, and she is deaf, meaning as long as she cannot see him, he is a deadly threat. Also, she cannot scream and gain the attention of potential help. And she cannot tell how much noise she is making as she tries to move around stealthily.
The man is very resourceful and adaptable, which is displayed during an ominous encounter with one of Maddie’s neighbors.
As written by Flanagan and Siegel, the man is just pure and brilliant evil — his motives and background are never known.
In a clever segment, Maddie uses her analytical, story-creating mind to come up with her only option. The survival instinct kicks in and she’s ready to do battle.
“Hush” is beautifully shot and effectively unfolds as a predator-vs.-victim deadly game of wits. Maddie cannot scream so the viewer feels compelled to scream for her.