Hush (2016)

I approach home-invasion movies rather tentatively, as I often find them more unpleasant than thrilling. However, 2016’s “Hush” is one of the better examples of this subgenre – much like 2006’s “Ils” and 2011’s “You’re Next,” it’s effective because it never forgets to put its protagonist first, and its setup second. Mixing elements of 2003’s “High Tension” and 1993’s “Hear No Evil,” director Mike Flanagan has crafted another tense winner to add to his growing resume, and lead Kate Siegel makes for a resourceful, sympathetic heroine who can keep her wits about her even as she faces the unthinkable, without ever becoming larger-than-life or, worse yet, making the type of frustrating movie-character decisions that turn the audience against her. With a short running time and a breakneck speed, “Hush” emerges as a strong example of its genre, and yet again points to Flanagan as a horror director to keep an eye on (following 2013’s “Oculus” and 2016’s underrated “Ouija: Origin of Evil”).

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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