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Dead Silence (2007)

A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

Director:

James Wan

Writers:

Leigh Whannell (screenplay), James Wan (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Kwanten ... Jamie Ashen
Amber Valletta ... Ella Ashen
Donnie Wahlberg ... Det. Lipton
Michael Fairman ... Henry Walker
Joan Heney Joan Heney ... Marion Walker
Bob Gunton ... Edward Ashen
Laura Regan ... Lisa Ashen
Dmitry Chepovetsky ... Richard Walker
Judith Roberts ... Mary Shaw
Keir Gilchrist ... Young Henry
Steven Taylor Steven Taylor ... Michael Ashen
David Talbot David Talbot ... Priest
Steve Adams ... 1941 Detective
Shelley Peterson Shelley Peterson ... Lisa's Mom
Enn Reitel ... Billy (voice)
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Storyline

Every town has its own ghost story, and a local folktale around Ravens Fair is about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw. After she went mad in the 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a young boy who yelled out in one of her performances that she was a fraud. Because of this she was hunted down by townspeople who in the ultimate act of revenge, cut out her tongue and then killed her. They buried her along with her "children," a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls, and assumed they had silenced her forever. However, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths around them after Mary Shaws collection has returned from their graves and have come to seek revenge on people that killed her and their families. Far from the pall of their cursed hometown, newlyweds Jamie and Lisa Ashen thought they had established a fresh start, until Jamie's wife is grotesquely killed in their apartment. Jamie returns to Ravens Fair for the funeral, intent on unraveling the mystery of Lisa's death. Once... Written by Christopher Hernandez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You scream. You die.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence and images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MySpace | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shhhh... See more »

Filming Locations:

Elora, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,842,725, 18 March 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,809,076, 19 April 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,217,407
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is dedicated to producer Gregg Hoffman. He died 2 years before the film had its theatrical release. See more »

Goofs

During scene in motel room, Jamie's wedding band switches hands and disappears several times. See more »

Quotes

[first title card]
Title Card: In the 6th Century B.C. it was believed that the spirits of the dead would speak through the stomach region of the living.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 1930s Universal Pictures logo is used in the opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Unrated DVD contains the following extended shots which were omitted from the "R" rated version.
  • Mary Shaw has a creepy, disgusting, long tongue.
  • A gorier death for Henry, as Mary Shaw is shown eating Henry's tongue and saying "I now have your voice, Henry."
  • The tongue comes out and licks Jamie after the clown admits the "secret" to him about his wife.
See more »


Soundtracks

Lucky in Love
Written by Alex Heffes
Courtesy of Evolution Music Partners
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Refreshing Horror Tale.
16 March 2007 | by drownnnsodaSee all my reviews

"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.


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