Review by Jack Foley
FORMER Kiss FM DJ Mark Tonderai makes his directorial debut with derivative horror thriller Hush, a hit-and-miss chiller based around an initially intriguing moral dilemma.
Zakes (Will Ash) and Beth (Christine Bottomley) are a bickering couple driving along the M1 on a rainy night when Zakes thinks he sees a screaming woman in the back of a lorry that has just overtaken them.
Upon further investigation, Zakes becomes convinced that what he saw was real and contacts the police, but resolves to end his involvement there to the dismay of Beth. Once at a service station, however, Beth announces she’s leaving Zakes and attempts to make her own way home… only to go missing.
When Zakes sees the same truck at the service station, he quickly has his worst fears realised and is forced to take action.
As a horror film in the tradition of Duel, Road Kill and Breakdown, Hush has its moments and makes the most of an extremely limited budget. It’s also well served by a believable central performance from Ash, who displays both the necessary grit to match his increasing sense of despair.
Unfortunately, Tonderai’s own screenplay proves a weak point, as it’s poorly written in places and becomes more and more strained the longer it continues. The writer-director injects some high tension into early scenes that he can’t sustain during the protracted finale, when motivations become blurred and credibility goes out the window.
The final third, in particular, lets itself down badly as Tonderai introduces new characters who don’t make much sense, and a contrived, tacked-on post-credits ending that foolishly sets up the possibility of a sequel.
The overall result is that Hush flatters to deceive and ends up wasting much of its early potential.
Running time: 91mins
UK DVD Release: July 20, 2009