Dead Silence (2007) Movie Review
Written By: LFG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: James Wan
Producer: Oren Koules, Mark Burg
Writers: Leigh Whannell
Date Released: March 16, 2007
Ryan Kwanten as Jamie Ashen
Amber Valletta as Ella Ashen
Donnie Wahlberg as Detective Jim Lipton
Bob Gunton as Edward Ashen
Judith Roberts as Mary Shaw
Michael Fairman as Henry Walker
Laura Regan as Lisa Ashen
Joan Heney as Marion Walker
Steven Taylor as Michael Ashen
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife, Lisa (Laura Regan), were enjoying a night together in their apartment when they received an anonymous gift box with a ventriloquist doll inside called Billy. After a while, Jamie leaves Lisa playing with Billy as he needs to pickup their takeout order from a nearby restaurant. Upon his return, he is shocked to find blood all over their apartment floor, which led to the bedroom where Lisa was propped up on their bed—dead, with her tongue cut off. Jamie is devastated and decides to return to his hometown, Raven’s Fair, after he finds a note inside the Billy’s box about a woman named Mary Shaw (Judith Roberts). He hopes to find answers about his wife’s death especially since it turns out Mary is a deceased ventriloquist who was also from his hometown. He meets with his estranged father, Edward (Bob Gunton), who was now remarried to a young woman named Ella (Amber Valletta). As Jamie begins to unravel the mystery behind Mary Shaw, he finds out the truth behind his family’s connection to her and the reason behind why his family is cursed.
There is a bit of gore to the film but only barely. The most horrifying scenes all featured characters with their tongues ripped out. There is a disturbing yet unique scene in particular where it was revealed that the protagonist’s father was dead all this time, but he has become a dummy after a stick is inserted behind his head down to his spine as a way to “operate” him discreetly.
The Grave Review
Dead Silence (2007) is not just another horror movie about a revenge-seeking possessed doll coming to life and killing the people around it. In reality, its premise is much more than that. The film touches other aspects of life such as family dynamics and even pride, which was the sole reason why Mary Shaw murdered that little boy who called her out during her live performance. Her bruised ego got the best of her, and in the end, it hit her right back.
Despite how interesting the plot may be, most of the characters lacked depth and acting was lackluster—especially the main protagonist, Jamie, and the detective, Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg). The only one who stood out was Ella. It was obvious from the start that she had something to do with what was happening in the Ashen family, but once you finish the film and the twist in the ending is revealed, you can’t help but rewatch the scenes which featured her with her husband. Unless you have a keen eye, you won’t notice how she was being a ventriloquist and controlling Edward all this time.
The film does right in its creep factor in so many ways, for instance, the number of demonic marionette dolls alone inside Mary Shaw’s theatre is enough to keep anyone up the entire night. But what makes this plot interesting is the way Mary Shaw kills off her poor victims. You can immediately feel her presence since it always comes with dead silence, hence the title of the film.
Dolls who are possessed by an evil spirit will always bring a sense of discomfort to viewers since at some point in our lives, we used to play with one. The film is a decent watch and packs a lot of jump scares.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Dead Silence (2007) 2 out of 5 graves.
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