Hush breathes some much-needed new life into the home invasion subgenre and serves up a delightfully eerie and unsettling horror thriller in the process. Mike Flanagan has continually proven himself to be one of the best directors in the horror game right now, with epic frighteners like Oculus, Gerald's Game, and Doctor Sleep. Hush ranks right alongside those other three as a truly unnerving thriller with a brilliantly simple concept. A woman who is deaf and mute must survive against a psycho killer who tries to break into her house. It's so obvious that it makes you want to kick yourself that you didn't think of it first.
Flanagan's wife and co-writer Kate Siegel portrays deaf mute writer Maddie, who has retreated to a cabin retreat in the isolated woods so she can focus on her next project. She has contact with her neighbors, Sarah (Sloyan) and John (Trucco), but that's about it. One night, a crazed killer (Gallagher Jr.) murders Sarah and taunts Maddie, torturing her psychologically and attacking her whenever she tries to leave. There's one particular image involving a curb-stomped hand that will stay with me forever. The back-and-forth between Maddie and the killer is tense, smart, and organic. The performances are fantastic, and the bad guy stands out. You're never told why this is happening or who this guy is, making it feel random and realistic in the scariest possible way.
Flanagan manages to make his mark on a subgenre that is almost always the exact same film with a new wrapper. Hush is psychologically genius in the way that it makes the audience feel deaf at times, and taunts you into thinking she might take him down this time. This is a must-see for horror fans everywhere.