While driving down a
busy motorway late one night, Zakes (William Ash) and his girlfriend
Beth witness some extremely shady goings-on in the back of a white
truck. It seems the pair have inadvertently uncovered an organised
kidnapping ring, and when Beth subsequently goes missing from a roadside
diner Zakes must go to increasingly desperate lengths to get her back.
Taking its inspiration
from films like Duel and Breakdown, Hush is a taut,
competent and well-executed debut from writer and director Mark Tonderai.
It contains many moments of genuine nail-biting suspense, without
needing to resort to the graphic violence and gimmickry favoured by so
many straight-to-DVD horror/thriller releases these days. The storyline
proves plausible and compelling, and intentionally forces the viewer to
consider the uncomfortable question of what they would do if confronted
with the sudden abduction of a loved one. Zakes’ misadventures also
fill the plot out nicely as the unlikely hero struggles to win back his
lover from her nefarious abductors, with those that do attempt to
investigate his claims generally meeting a grisly end at the hands of
the kidnappers or their agents, all of whom are equally intent on
keeping their criminal activities under wraps.
William Ash, heretofore
best known for his roles on various British television shows, proves a
wise casting decision, and is adept at conveying a sense of mounting
panic and urgency as the film progresses. Despite his lack of
feature-length experience he also shows himself to be more than capable
of carrying the film through numerous scenes essentially requiring him
to fly solo. The kidnappers’ motivations could have been made more
explicit and a director’s commentary wouldn’t have gone astray, but
compared to the current glut of straight-to-DVD fare on the market,
Hush is certainly a cut above.