Mr. Hush (2010) – By Cary Conley

Holland Price must be one of the unluckiest individuals to have ever lived. A decade ago on Halloween night, he opened the door to a psycho who murdered his wife and kidnapped his small daughter. Price was so devastated that he lost his job, his money, and his house. He’s spent the last few years living in a tent on the edge of town, working as a dishwasher, and trying to heal. But in a cruel twist of fate, just as he’s beginning to cultivate a romance with a new lady and bond with her daughter, the very same killer comes around again to kill this woman as well. Handcuffed in a dank cellar along with this young girl, Price must confront his worst enemy–an enemy he didn’t even know existed, an enemy that harbors a century-long grudge against Price’s family. The worst part is that the enemy is supernatural. Can Holland destroy this enemy before he himself is destroyed? Can he save his girlfriend’s daughter from the same fate his own daughter suffered? Will he be able to find the key to this mysterious murderer before it’s too late?

David Lee Madison, writer/producer/director of Mr. Hush, has placed a unique twist on what has become a fairly tired vampire genre. While most vampires are typically driven by bloodlust and hunger, the vampiric Mr. Hush is driven purely by revenge. You see, his wife was destroyed by Holland’s grandfather nearly a century ago and Mr. Hush was so anguished that he swore revenge on the Price family, first taking Holland’s wife as his wife was taken so long ago, and then ensuring Holland’s misery by then taking his girlfriend. By destroying everything Holland Price ever loved, Mr. Hush hopes to avenge the sorrow and loneliness he feels as well as his own wife’s death. Handcuffed along with the young daughter of his now-deceased girlfriend, Holland must somehow figure out how to escape and destroy this monster or suffer his own death.

I enjoyed this fairly unique plot device, but the reality of the actual film was a bit disappointing. The film has been marketed on the strength of two "name" actors: Brad Loree, stuntman extraordinaire and portrayer of the Michael Myers character in several of the later films in that franchise, and Stephen Geoffreys, who received a short-lived modicum of fame in the mid- to-late eighties as the star of the original Fright Night as well as a handful of cheap horror follow-ups. The acting isn’t horrendous, but Loree is uneven while many of the supporting characters are subpar. Geoffreys is relegated to no more than a bit part, occasionally stepping into frame and trying to recapture his crazed, energetic role from Fright Night. Playing a part meant for a much younger man, Geoffreys’ heart doesn’t seem to be into the role and he looks weary.

The film is supposed to be a horror-comedy but generally falls a bit flat in both departments. There is very little tension and the effects are few and far between and not terribly horrific while the comedy ranges from good to plain bad. The technical aspects of the film are generally very good with one complaint: the sound mix isn’t the best quality. The sound is hard to hear but spikes when people are yelling (and there is quite a bit of yelling in the film), so the volume control had to be continually manipulated in order to hear some sections and quickly turned down in others to keep from being blown out.

Kino Lorber has done their usual nice job with the DVD package, including several original trailers and teasers, a blooper reel, and a director’s commentary among other special features. Overall, the film is uneven but director Madison does show promise. While Mr. Hush isn’t the greatest B-movie, it gets points for an interesting storyline and fans of Stephen Geoffreys or Brad Loree may want to pick this one up. For more information, go to www.kinolorber.com.