The slasher genre is towards the bottom of the totem pole for me, though anything in the horror genre is obviously higher on the entire cinematic totem pole, so...I still find a way to enjoy most entries. Most of these films put a twist on the antagonist. He's a mute psycho with no motive, he's a master trap builder...he's a she. But Hush takes us in a different direction by engaging the audience with a unique victim.
This change of pace comes with advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is our connection and tension in the film is presented in a fresh way, as we must watch our victim attempt to survive a predator despite a disability that makes it incredibly difficult to do so. The major disadvantage is that our killer is following the generic trend so our victim can fill the creative sweet spot. While the protagonist is very interesting and personable, our antagonist is merely a sadistic force of which our heroine must combat.
There is something about the mask of serial killers that makes them intimidating. Kylo Ren was far more menacing before he took off his mask, for example. It's just less threatening when the serial killer turns out to be just a dude with an affinity for killing people. Once the mask is off and the killer has made his intentions known, the rest of his character is butchered under slasher antagonist tendencies. But it provides us the opportunity to focus on the female lead.
And a fantastic job she does! This film was carried by our heroine and was all the more interesting because of her navigation of her deafness in the midst of a taunting serial killer. I loved the treatment of hearing her mom's voice in her head. The switching on and off of sound was perfectly balanced to give the audience the right amount of understanding of her situation. And you are just sitting there waiting for the moment when her disability ends up giving her the upper hand.
Hush ended up being a great slasher film, and not for the slasher, but his choice in prey. The quality in acting and cinematography was great and there was little to nothing about the production that I didn't like. It wasn't overly violent or featuring a slew of lambs for the slasher's slaughter, but its claustrophobic atmosphere emphasized by the primarily solitary character gave plenty of tension and suspense. A decent little film.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 7/10