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Posted on April 10, 2016

HUSH-A Film Poe Would Have Loved

Dawn Keetley

2016   |   R  |   USA   | Mike Flanagan |   87 min

Grade: A

Synopsis: Centered on a woman who lives alone in the woods and is inexplicably terrorized, Hush distills everything to a single effect—terror.

Hush is directed by Mike Flanagan and written by Flanagan and Kate Siegel. Siegel also stars in the film, playing the heroine, Maddie, alongside villain John Gallagher, Jr. (recently in 10 Cloverfield Lane), identified in the credits only as “The Man.”

I went into this film with virtually no expectations, watching it on the day it landed on Netflix. I was transfixed. It was terrifying from beginning to end, and the performances by Siegel and Gallagher were inspired.

The film’s plot is very simple—and that, I think, is its primary strength (and where Poe comes in, more on that later).

Maddie (Siegel) lives alone in an isolated house in the woods. An illness at age thirteen left her deaf and mute, isolating her in a still more profound way. As she says via Facetime to her sister, who’s worried about her being alone: “Isolation happened to me. I didn’t pick it.” After a brief visit from her neighbor, Sarah (Samantha Sloyan), the film focuses almost exclusively on “The Man’s” terrorizing of Maddie. He does so, at first, from outside the house, telling her he will only come in after she’s reached the point that she wishes she were dead. The film tracks their extended battle—as he seeks to victimize Maddie and she fights back. Read more

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