Hush (2016)

Hush
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Cast: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Samantha Sloyan, Michael Trucco, Emma Graves
Seen on: 4.3.2021

Content Note: ableism

Plot:
Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a writer who decided to move to a remote area after a bad break-up to finish her book. She befriended her neighbor Sarah (Samantha Sloyan), but other than Sarah and her boyfriend, there is nobody around. Living that alone is made a little more complicated by the fact that Maddie lost both her hearing and her voice due to an infection many years earlier. It’s nothing she can’t cope with – until a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) shows up on her doorstep, obviously out to kill her. But Maddie is a fighter.

I didn’t do my homework when it comes to Hush – I was just in the mood for something horrory and it was already rather late, so I wanted it to be a short film, and this was the first likely candidate. Had I known that it was a film built on cripping up, I would have skipped it – and I wouldn’t have missed much.

The film poster showing Maddie (Kate Siegel) with scared eyes, behind her a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.). A knofe is glinting between them.
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Gerald’s Game (2017)

Gerald’s Game
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Cast: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken, Henry Thomas
Seen on: 21.4.2020

Content Note: ableism

Plot:
Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her husband Gerald have an exciting weekend planned. In their remote vacation home during the off-season, they want to take the weekend to focus on themselves and their relationship – by spicing up their sex life. Gerald brought handcuffs and is eager to get going. Jessie is willing to give it a try but as the tying up quickly turns into a rape fantasy for Gerald, she doesn’t want to go along anymore. As he tries to convince her, Gerald has a heart attack though and suddenly Jessie finds herself all alone, chained to a bed. Or maybe she isn’t quite as alone as she thought.

Gerald’s Game is a tense, very well-made film with a fantastic Gugino. If you want to be creeped out, I can definitely recommend it.

The film poster showing Jessie (Carla Gugino) with her hands chained to the bed, her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) lying on top of her.
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Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Sequel to: The Shining
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Selena Anduze, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Zackary Momoh, Jocelin Donahue, Bruce Greenwood, Sallye Hooks, Alex Essoe, Jacob Tremblay
Seen on: 27.11.2019

Content Note: antiziganism

Plot:
Dan (Ewan McGregor) has had a rough go of it. The only way he knew how to deal with his supernatural abilities was to drown it in alcohol. But he is trying to change and to get a fresh start in a small town in New Hampshire. Once he is settled there, he realizes that another person with the same abilities, but stronger, is reaching out to him – a young girl called Abra (Kyliegh Curran). Abra knows that something bad is happening to kids like her – and she needs Dan’s help to figure it all out.

Doctor Sleep has the difficutl tasl of being a sequel to a book and a film which deviate from one another, and it does manage to make something interesting from those diverging predecessors. But the film’s blatant antiziganism is a huge problem.

The film poster showing a red hallway with Dan (Ewan McGregor) wallking towards a boy on a tricycle.
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Oculus (2013)

Oculus
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Based on: the short film Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan
Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, Garrett Ryan, James Lafferty
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) was just released from a mental institution where he was committed for shooting his father (Rory Cochrane) when he was a kid after the father had killed their mother. Tim and his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) were always convinced that something supernatural had made their father do it but after years of therapy, Tim doesn’t believe that anymore. But for Kaylie that has never changed. She only waited for him to be released to finally face the evil again that lives in their father’s antique mirror – and to get rid of it once and for all.

Oculus wasn’t bad but it wasn’t partiuclarly good either. I didn’t mind watching it but it’s far from a must-see.

Oculus

[Slight SPOILERS]

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