Hear No Evil
by Brody Rossiter
Director Mike Flanagan has quickly and deservedly earned a reputation as deft and talented creator of unique modern horror pictures. Beginning with his first full-length feature, Absentia (2011), the filmmaker has proceeded to produce a series of chilling tales including 2013’s Oculus and most recently, Netflix’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game.
2016’s Hush is perhaps Flanagan’s most potent picture to date. The home invasion thriller forsakes the supernatural in favour of a psychologically cruel and physically barbarous confrontation grounded in reality.
After losing her hearing and ability to speak due to a case of bacterial meningitis during her teenage years, Maddie (Kate Siegel) overcame her illness and channeled the experience into her writing. The acclaimed author now resides in a secluded woodland sanctuary after escaping the bustle of the city. Unfortunately, Maddie’s peaceful retreat will soon become a hunting ground as a masked stranger emerges and begins to quietly stalk the young woman.
Flanagan, who also wrote the screenplay and edited the picture, once again presents a fresh, intelligent and simplistic yet effective horror narrative that rarely strays into well-trodden genre territory. The director’s patient escalation of violence not only gifts sequences a brutish impact, but paints a clear picture of characters’ emotional state – as desperation surfaces through a series of wince-inducing exchanges.
With two powerful lead performances, an an affectingly creepy premise and Flanagan’s many technical and creative talents on display, Hush is one most startling examples of the home invasion sub-genre out there… waiting for you.