Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Jam Productions and Writer/Director, Joseph McGovern (All Over Again) for allowing me access to an online screener of his second short film “Hush”. Hush is an 11 minute Drama/Fantasy short about Jeremy (played by Anthony Scanish), a young man struggling with an infatuation for his best friends wife, Suzanna (Melissa Damas). The desire finally gets to be too much following a couples night and the two will never be the same again. The film also stars Kristin Teporelli, Erik Searle, Constance Reshey, and Marion Tention.
Hush opens in heavily saturated reds that pierce the frame as the credits roll to the sound of Matthew Amadio’s beautiful synth theme. It’s a dramatic composition made up of those familiar tones you’d get from an LA vibe film. Paul DuVilla’s cinematography is simple in structure but well executed, and McGovern’s edit is pretty clean. The red lighting is certainly stylish though perhaps a little overexposed in places. The most interesting element of Hush is McGovern’s reluctance to use dialogue to guide the narrative. His previous short “All Over Again”, about an aging musician, was built around conversation and conventional music, Hush is void of both of those and I like that. As an amateur filmmaker myself, I can’t help but respect Joseph’s willingness to challenge himself by doing something different. I read Hush as one man’s externalization of his deepest desires, something that ultimately culminates in an interesting and dark turn of events.
Hush undoubtedly comes with a few questions. For example, there’s a woman who approaches from behind Jeremy and touches him on the shoulder during the party. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be Suzanna or just a figment of Jeremy’s imagination, it was a little unclear. I thought the imagery might have been his mind simply playing tricks on him, highlighting the guilt he might have felt if he had cheated or was cheating on his girlfriend. I wasn’t exactly sure what Joseph was trying to convey through it all. That said, there are some relevant issues on display here regarding fantasized behavior and the importance of consent. I do think if Hush was half the length it’d make for a tighter end result.
Hush is a unique Drama/Mystery story and quite the diversion from McGovern’s debut short. The synth score is amazing, it’s well shot and the abstract nature toward this kind of subject matter isn’t something you often see. The overly long run time (which is still relatively short might I add) limits the effect of Hush and I think a good three or four minutes could have been trimmed. A few specifics aren’t entirely clear and I’m not one hundred percent sure what Joseph is trying to say here. All that said, this is another solid short film from a young indie filmmaker. Keep an eye out for the official release of Hush soon!
My rating for “Hush” is 6/10