Oh Mother Martha
When Jackson Baring (Johnathon Schaech - That Thing You Do!) takes home his girlfriend Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow - A Perfect Murder) for Christmas, she is not only impressed by the beautiful Virginian country estate they own but also grows fond of his mother Martha (Jessica Lange - Rob Roy). So when Helen falls pregnant and they marry they decide to leave New York and move in with his mother so that Jackson can help with the running of the estate. It is then Helen begins to see Martha for what she is; a very manipulative woman who loves her son and is jealous of Helen, deadly jealous of her.
Let me give you the positives when it comes to "Hush", a shockingly frequently used title in the world of cinema. They start with the location as the snow covered estate in Virginia is glorious from the impressive architecture of the house to the fields and surrounding buildings where others live. Jessica Lange is also impressive as Martha as right from the word go she has that slightly unhinged thing going on with her laugh and the way she moves around the room. And in truth Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnathon Schaech are nicely paired but they are both outshone by Nina Foch who is brilliant as Jackson's sassy grandmother who is catty with her comments surrounding Martha.
But the negatives are that "Hush" is all too familiar as it doesn't take a genius to realise that mommy dearest is behind some strange occurrences right from the word go such as when Helen discovers her diaphragm on the dresser. As such what we get is more a case of watching Helen suffer various things whilst Jackson is oblivious to the fact his precious mother is behind it all, manipulating them and especially him. That makes "Hush" more about what dastardly things his mother will do rather than whether or not she is behind it.
The one thing which "Hush" has going in its favour when it comes to this is of course we have Helen who is pregnant and it seems that Martha tampered with her diaphragm to make it happen. So what happens when the baby comes and how evil will Martha get or will those warnings from Jackson's grandma help?
What this all boils down to is that "Hush" probably worked back in 1998 for those who had yet to watch a movie featuring a manipulative mum. But it is a movie which feels little more than an update on some much older movies which makes it a procession through the obvious till an inevitable end.