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If you have nightmares easily, I suggest staying away from this film:
it's pure nightmare fuel. If you have an active imagination, you could
have trouble sleeping with the film's imagery burned into the back of
The story's intriguing enough. There just aren't enough horror films these days about menacing old ventriloquist ladies that are buried with their creepy dolls, who have come back from the dead to seek vengeance on the families that put her in the grave, by tearing out their tongues. The atmosphere is heavy, the creepy music is provided by SAW'S Charlie Clouser, the colors are washed out, and the sets are surreal.
Many will dismiss it as a formulaic, clichéd horror film. The SAW creators, who are huge horror fans, have fun making their own version of the American horror film by throwing in plenty of classic tropes such as the wise-cracking detective (Donnie Wahlberg) and the crazy old lady that knows more than she should.
I was pleased that the film didn't shy away from gore: it wasn't gratuitous, but it did enhance the horror. Most ghost stories tend to be separate from the gore flicks (I'm a fan of both), but I always enjoy seeing them combined. Another aspect that was interesting was the "silence" mode that signaled the presence of evil.
It's got plenty of horror elements to provide scares: aged film, folk tales, singing children, antique furniture, voice recordings fading out, flickering lights, dead loved ones beckoning from beyond the grave, photographs of dead families, cackling old women, wide-eyed dolls, billowing curtains, plenty of thunder and lightning, open caskets, dank crawlspaces, and a pervading sense of evil throughout.
Critics won't dig it, but I've shown it to two groups of friends and the majority were terrified and claimed it to be one of the scariest movies they'd seen. If you're a fan of atmospheric horror that aims to creep you to the bone, you should be more than pleased.
I thought the age of the horror movie was coming to an end.
Occasionally there are a few gems (The Descent was excellent)but for
the most part horror has been replaced by torture porn (saw, saw 2, saw
3, The Hills Have Eyes, and especially Hostel). Dead Silence has
thankfully come to show us that Hollywood can still make a scary
This movie is a throwback to the golden age of horror films. This is a Williams Castle sort of movie... a Vincent Price sort of movie. The filmmakers realized that all a horror movie actually has to do is be scary... and that is exactly what this movie is.
Atmosphere, jumps, startles, and eerie dolls. This movie is creepy as hell.
A little note though... don't go into this film with the attitude that it will suck... and don't pick it apart bit by bit. Just sit back and enjoy. The movie wants to to take you on a ride. You should just strap in and feel the terror that is Dead Silence.
"Dead Silence" is a movie that I had been highly anticipating ever
since I saw the trailer for it. I just got back from seeing it and I
wasn't disappointed at all. 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.
Directed/co-written by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the men who brought us the successful "Saw" series, are also behind this splendidly spooky horror film. Originality is a hard thing to find in the horror genre these days, but this film manages to sluff off most of the typical horror set-ups and create an interesting and compelling story. This is quite a turn around from the "Saw" franchise, which, while it is a good series, has become more of a gore fest than anything. 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, I didn't see any below-average performing here.
Puppets and ventriloquism are main themes in the plot, which might sound a little clichéd. I suppose it is, puppets and dolls have become almost a joke in the genre because they are so over-used (as well as creepy little children, among other things), but since they are in the core basis of the plot, they actually come off as being scary. People who have that fear of dolls and/or puppets would be advised to steer clear of this film. 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 the movie. 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. I loved the way the movie ended as well. 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 it's such an enjoyable movie that all of that is forgivable in the end. Very refreshing. 9/10.
Firstly, the story isn't bad at all, although it'll hardly win any
awards. It's pretty difficult for horror movies to continually be
original, and this certainly has some moments in it. The villain seems
to have some originality; it's not some Chucky imitation. The story
lacks depth, and the characters aren't fleshed out at all. The real
point of this movie is to be a horror film and nothing more. After the
first few (poor) scenes, this movie does one of two things: keep you
waiting to jump or trying to make you jump. From the rest of the
audience's reactions, I'd say it did a pretty good job at that.
The acting was nothing to write home about, but for this genre, it's more good than bad.
Overall, I would say this a horror movie that deserves a trip to the theater. Compared to many of the sad horror attempts that come out, this isn't too terrible. And it doesn't rely on an abundance of gore like many others do.
After a recent flood in the last few years of very terrible horror
films, it's good to know there are some directors out there still able
to make something the way it's supposed to be made. There have been a
few movies that have had their moments, don't get me wrong. However,
the lot of so called 'horror' films that are made for PG-13 ratings
have been nothing by disappointments to hardcore horror fans. Dead
Silence is like an spot of dry land in that flood.
We all have seen some commercials for this movie and heard the little rhyme that accompanies it. The ads only give so much away though, and I am going to not give away any more. However, I will let you know that this movie will be more than worth your time if you truly like the horror genre.
As good as it is, it is not without a small amount of horror cliché. However, one might not be able to make such a movie anyway. However, the freaky parts are very freaky and you will feel yourself being pulled into the plights of the characters.
I have never been one to find ventriloquist dummies scary. But if you are, than this movie will frighten you. It's not a movie that relies on big "jump" scenes either. It's images and implications are really frightening.
See this movie right away and you won't regret it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Story about Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) whose wife is killed--her tongue
ripped out of her mouth--although there was only a ventriloquist's
dummy in the house. Detective Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) thinks Jamie
is as guilty as hell...but he didn't do it. He traces it back to his
home town and a dead lady ventriloquist named Mary Shaw and her creepy
This movie rightfully opens with the old Universal logo used in the 1930s. It fits--this is not a blood and guts movie. Heck it barely warrants an R rating! There's no nudity, sex, swearing and all the violence happens off screen. The views of the dead people--which are pretty gruesome--probably gave it the R.
This is a good solid horror film. It has some quiet creepy chills (especially at the beginning with the dummy on the bed) that really work on you--especially if you find dummies downright unsettling (like I do). There are some "jump" shocks with things leaping out at you--but not much. It has great music, nice direction (love how the maps become real) and has some truly eerie settings. The acting won't win any awards but it's pretty solid. Kwanten is good as the lead and Wahlberg has a few nice and purposefully funny moments in his role. It all leads up to a climax (on a dark and stormy night no less) and a final twist that works just great--even though it doesn't make a lot of sense. This is for those horror viewers that don't need blood and guts shoved in their face to enjoy a movie. I give it a 7.
Best line: "Who's the dummy now?"
I had no interest in seeing this movie, but my buddy wanted to see it
so we went to go and see it. I have to say that I was pleasantly
surprised. I wasn't so much scared, but it was indeed very creepy. This
movie almost reminds me of Pennsylvania legend "Bloody Mary". Donnie
Walberg definitely plays the guy you love to hate, and of course the
ending is good. So hey if you want a good thriller, then I say check it
out. If you know you're seeing a girl that's VERY jumpy, then guys
definitely take her so she can jump into your arms because this is a
good type of movie for that. Not as much gore as I would have liked,
but it was definitely fun to see. And of course check out the Jigsaw
Yes this is short, yes it's sweet but hey isn't less more?
Director Wan's follow-up to his smash-hit SAW (2004) is a crackerjack horror film about a ventriloquist's dummy, which seems to bring death to those around it. Kwanten, whose wife died mysteriously, returns to his hometown to investigate mysterious ventriloquist, who may be behind it all. Beware the Stare! Not entirely logical but atmospheric, stylish, well-directed and scary as hell! So suspenseful it creates a heightened sense of awareness in you. Superb subliminal score is reminiscent of SUSPIRIA (1977), and film's finale is a nod to INFERNO (1980). A treat for horror fans. Like SAW (2004), this was written by James Whannell, from a story by himself and director Wan. (from www.cultmovies.info)
James Wan & Leigh Whannell are masterminds in this gender especially when it comes to the twist in the end. I liked the Saw films because of the twist in the end. Saw had more gore less thrill but Dead Silence was the opposite it had more thrill less gore which was more of my type of film. The movie was emotionally & psychologically thrilling and was made so dark & sinister that really did suit the mood for the film. It's been a long time since I saw a movie this scary e.g. Jaws & IT. I don't think there ever has been a horror film about dummies but there was a Goosebumps episode called "Night of the Living Dummy" which was rather funny than scary so this film was quite different. I can't explain how horrifying it was, definitely the kind of movie that made my heart beat faster and hold the arms of the chair tight throughout the whole film. I prefer eerie & frighting scenes in a horror movie rather than violence & gore because the main aim of horror genre is to scare. The ending was the icing on the cake and when I left the cinema hall I was saying to myself "Wow! What an awesome movie" It had one of the best twist I ever seen in film history. Overall in my opinion Dead Silence is one of the best horror films ever and I liked it better then Saw. I also noticed the Jigsaw puppet in the scene where there was a room full of puppets and a clown puppet on a chair. It was on the ground in front of the support beam.
This movie helped me regain my faith in horror movies to scare me.
Also, faith that there are still directors out there waiting for there
chance to scare us again. When I was younger, I got scared watching
horror movies. When I got older, except for Nightmare on Elm Street and
John Carpenter's The Thing, I haven't really been scared. I enjoy the
movies, but not scared. This movie re-instated the fact that I "can" be
Then there are the creative transitions in the movie. Awesome! Those and the atmospheric lighting and musical score created a most eerie atmosphere. Sometimes the slightest of tension before the storm.
The triumph being the director's choice of sound editing. Shhh! I won't give this away. But I extremely appreciated that gem. (RE: the title of the movie)
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