In the horror genre, many horror sub-genres exist, some provides gore and other using paranormal tricks evolving more into the found footage realm, however, it when a movie returns to narrative form, and nestles into the b-movie genre, and everything feels comfortable especially when a movie centers itself on the holiday of Halloween. Screenwriter and director David Lee Madison does just that, centering a story of mistrust and soul-crushing love, and the destruction of a family man, named Holland Price (Brad Loree), all while conjuring a curious tale that involves Edward X. Young.
The storyline seemingly starts simply innocent for the non-horror fans, but when a stranger, a priest, no less, arrives at the door of Mr. Price, on Halloween seeking help a telephone to call for assistance, and the within this moment Mr. Hush enters only when invited into the home. A strange request to some but anyone familiar with vampire tales knows better, especially with Fright Night and The Lost Boys, the invite also the evil to take hold, and hence the murder of Holland’s wife Julie (Jessica Cameron) and kidnap his daughter Amy (Megan Heckman). This sets the entire story in motion, with a light-hearted tale, fast forwarding 10-years with Holland living in a tent for unknown reason never clearly explain, perhaps the fear of memories of living inside, traveling with Donald (Tim Dougherty), surviving and searching for Amy. He survives working as a short-order cook/ dishwasher for the legendary actor Steve Dash of Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) who portrays Mac, and begins to rekindle passion with Debbie (Connie Giordano) and finding himself again, as potential husband and father, to her daughter Kat (Alexis Lauren). Herein he describes a Halloween costume his father made him; describing that of the image on the box art of film. Although everyone accustom to watching horror films, knows that evil never dies, and the blissful new life, crashes to a halt with mysterious killer reenters into his life. How and why it happens remains a mystery. The plot never takes a breath to explain why Mr. Hush was stalking Mr. Price & if he in fact was what was the reason? If they did not realize what Mr. Hush was they do now, and that he is the modern day Vincent Price to some in the horror realm, none other than Edward X. Young. Loree and Young deliver the goods for the film, and sad short part capably handed by Cameron just tears at the horror fans, a noted star with over 55-credits in the genre alone, and her role cut short, hurts many. One must not overlook the character of Stark (Stephen Geoffreys yes the same one from Fright Night and 976-Evil and then took the detour into some unusual films) returns to horror realm with quirkiness.
Madison holds the story under tight constrictions, with a taste of small town ways and means, a quiet taste for the simple life, trying to hint to Halloween (1978) and mix a bit of a New England quiet settling, but it struggles to stay together, even with the help of Sheriff Churchill (portrayed by actor and director Thomas J. Churchill). The audio stays clean, without many issues, for the low budget production, but the movie stays too basic for too long, and characters do not develop far past the brief paper outlines and this takes away from a potential gem. The effects and nothing goes overboard suggesting a bland story surface in case of a financial ruin, and it affects the dialogue, not the delivery with more laughter (unintentional than screams and scares). The movie’s plot suggests a throwback to slasher films, and the viewer left with fidgeting for the unbridled slashing to start, it never actually materializes. At times the editing effects the storyline with jump cuts the worst in horror films, unless expertly position, always resulting in an error. In addition, Geoffreys role finds itself lost in the tale, and leaving his talents unused for the greater portion of the movie.
A sad problem that contends with Mr. Hush, is that the film doesn’t know whether to stay in the b-movie slasher mode or advance to the classic horror monster escape from the man within, while it does balance both worlds effectively well the choice takes too long. One wonders if Madison went too gusto too late, and with all the packed tension and worrisome lasting well into the third act, the gems are bloodied and yet with some passage of time this film might still gain the Halloween fanfare in the month of October. One lesson learned – don’t invite strangers inside and when the doorbell rings just stay Hush.