HUSH: the Horror Short That Will Make You Beg for a Feature-Length Version

HUSH banner - image source: Zombie Apocalypse Defense Force

HUSH is a short indie horror film that is just begging to be made into a feature. In fact, that’s been writer-director-producer Michael Kehoe’s intention all along.

HUSH Wins at 2014 LA Art-House Film Festival - image source: official film website

HUSH Wins at 2014 LA Art-House Film Festival – image source: official film website

After completing the feature-length screenplay, Kehoe made the short based on one scene from the script. Since heeding DP John Connor’s entreaties to submit it to film festivals, he has been pleasantly surprised to have it accepted by twenty. What’s more, the film has garnered fifteen awards to date. Why has this short been so successful? After viewing it, there appear (in my opinion) to be several reasons.

First, it boasts amazing set design. Set in a spooky old house where Regan (Alexandra Grace) is apparently babysitting a young girl, Irene (Riley Connor), the set includes just about everything the viewer expects in a dwelling where something horrific is about to occur. However, the design is not cheesy — it’s artfully done.

Alexandra Grace plays Regan in HUSH -- image source: official film website

Alexandra Grace plays Regan in HUSH — image source: official film website

Second, the cinematography, sound, and music are spot on, capturing the creepy ambience of the set and creating a sense of foreboding. We watch as Regan awakes on the living room couch, having dozed off while watching a scary movie on the TV. She has been roused by a loud thunderstorm and by Irene’s terrified cries.

Sound stereotypical? Almost cliched? If you are thinking this way at this point, Kehoe’s got you right where he wants you. That’s right — you’re being set up from the start. You’re in for a jump scare, but not for the reasons you think.

Finally, thanks to quality acting, directing and screenwriting, the scare itself is well done. Irene tells Regan that there’s something under the bed in her room. Aha! you think — the old “monster under the bed” trope that’s been done a million times before. Think again — but you’ll have to watch the short to find out what really has happened in Irene’s bedroom and what’s in store for Regan once she finds out.

This short whets my appetite for the full feature. Let’s hope that it gets made soon! Join me in following the progress of HUSH, including when the feature is going to be made, by following @HUSHFeatureFilm on Twitter and hushfeaturefilm on Instagram, likingĀ HUSH the Movie on Facebook, and checking out the official HUSH website.

In the mean time, watch the trailer and then see the film at the nearest film festival (or at this one).