90 Min. | Horror – Mystery – Thriller | July 2007
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Director: James Wan
Staring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg
Dead Silence Review: “Dead Silence” is highly anticipating ever. The film follows Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten), who, after receiving a mysterious puppet, returns home to find his wife, Lisa (Laura Regan) murdered. With a detective (Donnie Wahlberg) convinced he is the murderer, Jamie returns to his childhood town of Raven’s Fair, where a legendary ghost story is told. The story is about a woman named Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist who was murdered after being suspected of murder. She was buried with her massive amount of dolls and puppets as well. After her death, it seems she has been taking revenge on the townspeople, when numerous families are found dead with their tongues missing. Jamie takes it upon himself to solve the legend and curse before he becomes the next victim. On the other hand, “Dead Silence” is a supernatural horror film with a very well written story. Character development is strong, and the acting helps that out as well, which is always a plus. Ryan Kwanten, an Australian actor, plays the lead role and is very believable. Donnie Wahlberg (of “Saw II” and “Saw III”) plays a skeptical detective, and Amber Valetta (“What Lies Beneath”) plays Jamie’s new stepmother. All of the acting was really believable.
Puppets and ventriloquism are main themes in the plot, which might sound a little cliched. People who have that fear of dolls and/or puppets would be advised to steer clear of Dead Silence. There is some great sets in the film as well. The entire town of Raven’s Fair has a heavily Gothic tone to it, almost to the point of complete surrealism. The sets are spooky and appropriately so, because it really adds the atmosphere of Dead Silence. The villain/ghostly ventriloquist Mary Shaw, was actually quite terrifying. Her makeup effects made her one creepy looking woman. As for the gore, those expecting anything close to the over-abundance of violence in the “Saw” films will be disappointed. This film doesn’t contain much gore – it has a little, but it doesn’t use typical violence and graphic gore to get some scares out of the audience. It’s a twist-ending, but don’t let that put you off – it works well with the rest of the movie, it’s not one of those “bad movie twists”. It was very unexpected and very well-written.
Overall, “Dead Silence” is a refreshing, semi-unique horror movie. The storyline is original enough, and the creepy themes and atmospheric setting add to its overall effect. Don’t expect a gore fest though, because the violence is pretty tame compared to what you’d see in the “Saw” films. If you like James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s work, I’d really recommend seeing this – it’s a pleasant change from your typical horror films, and a nice change of pace from their previous work. It has a few flaws here and there, but Dead Silence is such an enjoyable movie that all of that is forgivable in the end. Very refreshing.