Recently released on Region 2 DVD, with no sign of a region 1 release, HUSH is a nerve-shredding journey of kidnapping and horror. In spite of the fact that the lead character makes some strange choices that will have you yelling at the screen in frustration, HUSH is a good, entertaining, and brutal journey.
Filmed in my home county of Yorkshire, England, Hush follows a young couple, Beth (Christine Bottomley) and Zakes (William Ash) on a motorway trip. Zakes has the job of changing the posters in the service stations, but more challenging than his boring job is his relationship with Beth, which appears to be hanging by a thread. They start bickering almost immediately and the argument gets more heated when Zakes sees a naked girl screaming in the back of a white van. Zakes calls the police, but then, declaring that there’s nothing more he can do, carries on with his work. Beth is angry that he doesn’t do more to help. Whe she asks, ‘What if it was me in there?’ - we know it’s only a matter of time! When Zake realises Beth is missing, he fears the worst and it is now we realise how much he really loves her as he sets off on a daring cat-and-mouse chase after the white van.
This all makes for some extreme excitement.The acting of the two lead characters starts off shaky, but either I got used to them, or they improved, but it bothered me less and less as the film went on. The direction isn’t bad for a first attempt by Mark Tonderai and he does manage to build suspense. So too do the scenes shot in a thunderstorm and driving rain - the last thing you want in a situation like this is obscured vision and treacherous roads.
There are some nice little surpriseplot twists, and when we throw in some very British football hooligans, and the fact Zakes ends up wanted by the police himself, I was left wondering how the hell he was going to get out of this, if indeed he was. Whilst it isn’t the best horror film to come out of Britain in recent years, Hush certainly isn’t boring and in parts it is very, very exciting.
HUSH (2009) Directed by Mark Tonderai. Screenplay by Mark Tonderai, Cast: William Ash, Christine Bottomley, Andreas Wisniewski.
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