By Geneveive Newman
A Note from the Editors

This week, The Coachella Review presents a stand-alone episode of the podcast Open Ivory Tower, written and produced by Geneveive Newman. In this episode, Newman looks at Mike Flanagan’s 2016 film Hush, a horror film about Maddie, a young writer who is deaf and mute and who has recently moved to a secluded cabin in the woods. The film details one harrowing night when a serial killer arrives at her home. The episode is a critical examination instead of a review, looking at the ways the film conforms to and subverts common horror tropes. We are excited to present it here.

Content Notice: This podcast contains discussions of rape, gendered violence, graphic depictions of injury and physical/mental harm, ableism, and imprisonment, as well as audio clips from the film. Some listeners may find it disturbing.

Image Credit: Blumhouse Productions © 2016

Show Notes

Full notes and references are available here: Sonic Horror Geographies: Notes, References, and Audio Clips

About the Podcast

Open Ivory Tower is intended to make academic, theoretical, and scholarly work on media and popular culture accessible to audiences without any particular background in academia and/or the specific fields addressed. For more episodes, please visit the website:


Geneveive Newman is a recent graduate of the Cinema and Media Studies Master of Arts program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She studied Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside as an undergraduate. While working on her B.A., she focused on (de)colonial and post-colonial studies, incarceration and coercive state institutions,  and independent and indie cinema in the United States. As a graduate student, her scholarship was primarily concerned with embodied viewership experiences, the politics of in-betweenness in cultural production, horror and science fiction cinema, and Irish television, film, and literature. The theoretical foundation for her work is in queer studies, critical race and gender studies, and transnational cinema studies. Her website can be found at and her Patreon can be found at