Hush (2016): D
A swing and a miss on this latest installment of my Mike Flanagan watchathon.
Hush pits a deaf-mute woman against a psycho killer who has her trapped in her rural house.
Besides being an 80-minute advertisement for gun ownership, especially for single young disabled women living on their own in a remote area, this movie is a tedious game of cat and mouse, filled with bad decisions and frustrating coincidences, and has a trite ending that we've seen in a hundred other thrillers.
The film starts out well with characters that feel genuine and good production quality. The faux Midnight Mass book makes another appearance (as in Gerald's Game) with some additional teaser details. One character mentions how she enjoyed the characters of Erin and Riley. Amusingly, here in Hush actor Kate Siegel plays the author of Midnight Mass and discusses the character Erin Greene, while in Midnight Mass she plays Erin Greene! Side note: I just now discovered that she's married to Mike Flanagan, so it makes sense that she's in all his work. Cool cool.
Major Spoilers Below
The psycho killer shows up in the story pretty quickly and it's all downhill from there.
First off main character Maddie is putzing around in the kitchen, back and forth, when her neighbor runs up to the glass sliding door 6 feet away. The neighbor starts banging on it and hollering. Then the killer comes up, pins her against the glass, and brutally stabs her over and over. This whole thing takes 1-2 minutes. Maddie is totally oblivious. I know Maddie is deaf, but is she blind too? Anyone would notice that action going on out of the corner of their eye. I mean, look at this:
That's the neighbor banging on the door in the background as Maddie walks back and forth. It's not scary, it's dumb.
Then the killer walks in the house and walks around behind Maddie as she's sitting on her laptop, like right behind her. Reflection, anyone? Air currents? Maddie glancing around for her cat that she goes looking for 2 minutes later? No.
The killer leaves again, makes his presence known, and allows Maddie to scramble to lock everything up. He can break in any time but wants to psychologically torture her first. Thus begins the lamest game of cat and mouse ever, with Maddie blowing every opportunity to just get away, trying things that don't work, happening to not pay attention for like 5 minutes when another neighbor shows up who could have helped her, and performing the most terrible thriller trope several times: stabbing the killer with a weapon and severely wounding him, then dropping the weapon, running away, and giving him a chance to recover so that the interminable game can continue.
The killer has no backstory, no insight into his motivations (I don't think - I did start skipping though about halfway into it). He's just a nameless psycho dude.
The movie ends as all bad thrillers end: with the killer choking out Maddie as she lies on the floor, both of them heavily wounded, her arms flailing for anything, then finding a makeshift weapon and plunging it into his neck. Betcha didn't see that one coming!
Sigh. The End.