It’s too bad first time director David Lee Madison can’t lay some responsibility on the screenwriter for the horrible script he was saddled with: he’s got only himself to blame for this tedious mess. Usually, I will cut a lot of slack to the low-budget filmmaker, and I always give kudos to anyone with the wherewithal to actually get out there and do it. But just because you can make a movie, doesn’t mean you should.
Mr. Hush was one of the most difficult I’ve had to slog through in quite some time. I may have seen worse – though nothing springs to mind – but at least most bad movies have one or two redeeming qualities or are funny or entertaining on some level. Not so, with Mr. Hush.
The eponymous villain in this case, played with uneven theatricality by Edward X. Young, brings to mind caricature-like killers along the lines of Dr. Giggles or The Puppetmaster, but only at first, until you see the supernatural slayer has one trick only. And hushing isn’t one of them: not only does he babble on about pretty much nothing, endlessly, so do his vacuous victims.
The one Hush targets is Holland Price (Brad Loree), a happily married dad who sees his June Cleaver-like wife and angelic child murdered before his very eyes on Hallloween night, and goes through a similar scenario when history repeats itself ten years later. Price realizes it’s his family who has a price to pay: it began with his own parents, butchered when he himself was just a child. But he can’t quite figure out how the never-ageing, blood-thirsty killer keeps coming on. Hm... what could he be? Easily snared by Hush time and time again, it’s almost hilarious the dialogue this poor character is forced to utter: (while securely tied up, with no hope of escape) “I’ll kill you, you m*therfucker! You piece of sh*t, I’ll kill you!” or the ever popular, “Why are you doing this to me?” (spoken with all the passion of a pizza delivery guy reciting your order back to you).
I’ll spare the actors any more humiliation than they must already have with their names on this feature, but I would not be surprised if those below the line – the folks without recognizable faces – didn’t use pseudonyms. The cinematography is early Helen Keller, while the set design brings to mind a thrift store, and the score is so by the numbers it might well be zero.
When it comes to horror, that’s also zero to zero score. There are lots of terrible fright flicks out there, but most of them have at least passable death scenes. Not so, with Mr. Hush. All the misdeeds are done off-camera, and even the bloody aftermaths add up to little or nothing. There are lots of lousy horror movies without much in the gore department, but at least they’ve got a dash of suspense or a modicum of mystery. Again: with Mr. Hush, we’ve got nothing.
You'd think everone would just want to slink away quietly from this one, but surprisingly, there are lots of extras:
A commentary from Director/Writer David Lee Madison and actor Edward X. Young
MR. Hush Bloopers is a couple of minutes of flubbed and forgotten lines.
Special Introduction with Madison, joined by actor Brian O’Halloran
The Mr. Hush Music Video (oh yes, they did)