Saturday 12 September 2009


There have been a series of low budget British indie horror flicks coming out in recent years, some very much on the indie end (such as the grim Mum & Dad - made for £100,000) and others on the bigger end of the spectrum (such as Jake West's first big calling card - Doghouse - which followed on from his other, more indie projects such as the rather enjoyable Evil Aliens).

Somewhere in the middle and here we are with Hush - a road-horror-movie in the tradition of The Hitcher or Road Games, but taking place at night on and around the rain-soaked M1 motorway and its various service stations along the way.

While the opening ten minutes that introduce you to the lead characters and their faltering relationship can at times feel a bit clunky in the dialogue and delivery side of things, the atmosphere makes up for it. A near-empty motorway, a car meandering its way through the lashing rain, and a sinister-but-average-looking lorry up ahead.

Considering the indie budget, the atmosphere afforded through the crew's dedication (lots of consecutive night shoots, a lot of rain to be manufactured) really helps spur the film along - especially when the plot takes a more sinister turn when leading man Zakes catches a brief glimpse of a naked and caged girl in the back of the aforementioned lorry.

From this point on, and with the relationship establishing stuff gotten out of the way, the film really gets into its groove and becomes quite an effective low-fi cat & mouse chase flick. Pleasingly there are a few little twists dotted throughout that really keep you guessing, and on the back foot throughout most of the flick. All-too-easily this movie could have ended up as entirely predictable, but these few turns - as well as the previously adored atmosphere - manage to keep the plot fresh enough to keep you going through the not-too-short-not-too-long running time.

There are a couple of obvious moments, where you can see what's going to happen from a mile off, but it's still bloody good fun regardless.

I wasn't necessarily expecting great things from Hush, so I was pleasantly surprised to find more than I was hoping to. A very solid debut from Tonderai, and a really enjoyable British indie, which - on a final note - has further inspired me, as a fellow filmmaker looking for a way to get my boot wedged in the door.

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