Hush is the tragic story of a secret obsession – Jeremy, Anthony Scanish (“2 Shots (Short)”, “Creed II”), the protagonist, has a seemingly good life: he has a nice home, friends, a job, a wife (played by Kristin Ann Teporelli (“Grimoire (TV)”, “2 Shots (Short)”) who loves him.
Yet his mind keeps going back to what he doesn’t have: his wife’s best friend, Suzanna, Melissa Damas (“Zombie Hunters: City Of The Dead (TV)”, “Sickness”), for which he has an uncontrolled desire fueled by the fantasies of them together that fill his mind.
When I say the story is tragic, it is more for Suzanna than for Jeremy; it is clear that he is sick, and it is up to the viewer to determine whether his sickness is clinical or just pure perversion (or both).
What is certain is that his obsession is extremely well rendered on screen: his fantasies of Suzanna, daydreams all drenched in an erotic and dangerous red tint, appear in the middle of other scenes like intrusive thoughts invading the film the same way they do his day-to-day life; as the story progresses and his obsession becomes more and more untamable, the film starts to cut back and forth between reality and fantasy, blurring both in Jeremy’s mind while the audience is still very much aware of the boundary between the two thanks to the color coding.
An originality of the film and another great idea to represent Jeremy’s obsession is the use of music: there is actually no dialogue or sound, only a repetitive score that covers every other sound, just like Jeremy’s fantasy is taking over every aspect of his life.
This lack of distracting noise forces the viewer to focus all the more on the imagery, and therefore enter Jeremy’s state of mind entirely centered on his fantasy.
Obviously, for all of it to work, the film would need a great lead actor to portray all of this, and this is exactly what Anthony Scanish is in this. His acting can seem over the top at times, making us wonder how the rest of the characters fail to notice Jeremy’s perversion, but this only highlights the blurring of reality and fantasy – as well as remind us that most people, like his wife who is clearly aware that something is wrong, prefer to ignore such an uncomfortable problem.
In other scenes, the film chooses to focus on small interactions that reveal it all in which Scanish’s acting can be much more subdued but just as terrific.
Hush is a great short film by writer-director Joseph McGovern (“All Over Again (Short)”), who uses all the tools he has to immerse the viewer into the protagonist’s mind.
Everything is finely crafted: every detail matters, every shot is clever in what it means and reveals, and every actor plays their part perfectly. With a premise and story that aren’t necessarily the most original, Joseph McGovern managed to create something inventive and captivating that we shouldn’t be silent about – despite the film’s title.