Old ladies, ventriloquist dummies, decrepit small-towns, and dolls are all exploited for their full creepy potential in Dead Silence, a relatively innocent but thoroughly scary horror feature from the makers of SAW. After a heavily stylized black-and-white opening credit sequence that shows the story’s central ghost, Mary Shaw, constructing her beloved ventriloquist dolls back in her heyday, the film transports viewers to the present.
As newlyweds Jamie (Ryan Kwanten) and Lisa Ashen putter lovingly about their apartment far from their hometown of Raven’s Fair, it is clear that something bad is about to happen. This dread is only further cemented when a knock on the door leads the lovebirds to discover an unmarked box containing a worn but eerily lifelike ventriloquist’s dummy. Lisa is all too friendly towards the doll and gets what’s coming to her when Jamie goes out to pick up some takeout, returning to find his wife’s mangled body (minus her tongue) propped up like the dummy seemingly responsible for her death.
With detective Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) on his heels, and a very guilty dummy in his passenger seat, grieving Jamie returns to Raven’s Fair with the hunch that his wife’s death is linked to the town’s murdered ventriloquist, Mary Shaw. Once grand, Raven’s Fair is now in a state of decay, and many of its inhabitants have died mysterious and brutal deaths in the years since Jamie was last home. Jamie arrives at his wealthy father’s home, only to find a young new bride (Amber Valetta) by his side. No one wants to talk about Mary Shaw, let alone whisper her name. If Jamie is going to get to the bottom of the Mary Shaw legend, he’ll have to face the town’s past on his own.
I thought this movie was close to average. Dead Silence reminded me of how Saw’s storyline plays out. Except, with this movie, there’s a lot less blood and gore than in Saw. I’m not sure why they would file this under the horror genre because it wasn’t scary, at all. There was maybe 3 good scenes, in the entire movie and that’s including the ending. Another one is at the beginning, when Billy the dummy killed someone.
As for death scenes, I only recall seeing 3. I thought the ending was weird but it was a good twist. The actors did a good job on their roles, in my opinion. Well, except for the cop, played by Donnie Wahlberg. There was a scene with the cop that made me laugh. It was when he was going to chase the main guy and he said “Don’t make me chase you! I only have a half a tank of gas.”
I thought the film would have been a lot better, from the reviews I read, but it wasn’t as great as people said. I thought the movie, itself, could have been a lot better, too. It was more of a mystery movie than a horror movie. So, if you plan on watching this movie, don’t expect it to be too scary and expect it to be more like a Saw play out.
I would only recommend this movie, if you are in desperate need of watching something different and want to see a movie like Saw. Other than that, you wouldn’t miss anything great.
Movie Critic Blog Rating: