Hush/Don't Breathe spoilers will be few and far to come by. My apologies for the few.
So far this year, 2016 has offered an array of refreshingly original additions to the horror genre. From serial killers to psychological thrillers, paranormal anomalies to child possessions, it's been a hodge podge of deadly delights for avid horror fans and the general populace alike.
10 Cloverfield Lane seemed to drop out of the sky (or perhaps a UFO). Green Room was relentless in its portrayal of an all-out war between a punk-rock band and sadistic white supremacists. James Wan's sequel, The Conjuring 2, frightened theatre goers and showcased the vision that is Vera Farmiga alongside her hunky husband, Patrick Wilson. Lights Out (another James Wan film) was the little engine that could, having been adapted from a three-minute Swedish short. And don't even get me started on The Witch or I won't stop praising its glorious, gory graces.
Interestingly enough, two home invasion thrillers premiered at the 2016 SXSW festival, both featuring prominent characters living with a physical disability. Each film depicts its characters unwillingly thrust into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse where they must rely, not only on their other senses, but on their quick thinking and instinctual survivalist skills. But will it be enough?
Silence can be killer.
The film follows author Maddie Young, played beautifully by Kate Siegel. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that she is related to Angelina Jolie in some way because, damn, that girl is beyond gorgeous. It's a bit distracting, to be honest. Anyways the back cover of her book, Midnight Mass, explains how Maddie had contracted bacterial meningitis when she was only thirteen years old and "suffered hearing loss and temporary vocal paralysis." When we first meet her, she's now an accomplished author wishing for the secluded life of a stereotypical writer.
With enough money from her book sales, she decides to move into a charming cottage tucked away in the woods. Sounds like a solid plan until one fateful night when Maddie becomes the target of a masked assailant hell-bent on one thing: killing her. Simply referred to as "the man", he is played by John Gallagher Jr. Absolute cinema shock to root for him as the darling Emmett in 10 Cloverfield Lane & then pray for his painful demise in Hush.
Not only does Siegel star in the film, but she co-wrote the script with the director, Mike Flanagan, who also happens to be her husband. Flanagan has his name attached to Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil, two other films from the horror-loving Blumhouse Productions. Jason Blum most adore these two to death.
Now here's a trailer to get your heart racing. Breathe in, breathe out. Or maybe...
This house looked like an easy target. Until they found what was inside.
This merciless thriller centers around the break-in and attempted robbery of an elderly blind male veteran who has money up the ying yang. Our robbers deem their chosen victim to be an easy target. However it is this very assumption that may very well be their downfall, deserved or not.
Stephen Lang ("the blind man") is freakin' phenomenal in this movie. His character is a man of few words, but my guess is it'll be a while before you forget what he says; that voice is absolutely chilling to the bone. Fede Alvarez, who also directed the Evil Dead remake, is sinfully skillful in his execution of making the house as much of a character as any living person. Let's just say I wouldn't want to revisit that place anytime soon; see ya, wouldn't wanna be (in) ya.
Dylan Minnette's character, Alex, raises a question that most audience members probably asked themselves at some point before the inciting incident: "That's kind of messed up to rob a blind guy, isn't it?"
Images of women subjected to torture porn scenarios for shock value? Been there, seen that, sick of it. But this promotional poster is different. Its allure comes, not only from the unique coloring choice, but the look of sheer terror in her eyes. Jane Levy killed it in Evil Dead, she continues to kill it in this film.
And forgive me for saying this, but...don't forget to breathe. You can catch the thriller in theaters now; Hush is available to stream on Netflix.
This should go without saying but if you do see Don't Breathe, turn off your goddamn phone. We wouldn't want "the man" showing up at your door, would we?
P.S. Well...scratch that. John Gallagher Jr. can show up at my doorstep anytime.