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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.84%
Worth A Look: 33.87%
Average: 6.45%
Pretty Bad: 12.9%
Total Crap41.94%

7 reviews, 20 user ratings

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Dead Silence (2007)
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by David Hollands

"A surprisingly fun and effective killer dummy flick."
4 stars

REPRINTED FROM MONDOMAGAZINE.NET: James Wan is responsible for the cinematic abortion that was Saw. So was Mr. Leigh Whannell, the writer of Saw. Both men are also responsible for Dead Silence. Saw attempted to be an overly-serious, David Fincher-esque thriller but was so ludicrously executed it failed. Here, however, Wan and Whannell seem to want the audience to have fun with the material. The result is, surprisingly, much more of a treat to watch.

The director and writer seem to realize that their premise is ridiculous, creating a funhouse experience for the audience. One in which it is actually good to laugh at the big jump scares and pseudo-terrifying moments.

The story is so simple — you could write the entire movie, with dialogue, on your palm — Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife Lisa (Laura Regan) are enjoying a pleasant evening together when a mysterious package arrives on their doorstep. Inside the package is a ventriloquist’s dummy — one that apparently brutally murders Lisa when Jamie leaves the apartment. Pursued by Det. Lipton (the manly Donnie Wahlberg), who believes the poor protagonist is responsible for the killing, Jamie returns to his old hometown of Raven’s Fair to plan his wife’s funeral and also to solve the mystery of her death — what a romantic. Many ghostly encounters and intentionally hilarious moving dummy moments follow.

There are many admirable qualities to Dead Silence. James Wan directs with a wonderful visual sense and a keen knowledge for staging the various set pieces in the film. Cinematographer John Leonetti has created a shadow-filled wonderland that works its magic on an audience member’s nerves. Charlie Clouser contributes a moody and effective musical score that is best described as 1950s style horror movie music filtered through modern synthesizers. The biggest surprise is the believable script because — as I said before — Leigh Whannell also wrote Saw. And the whole “I can easily kick the dummy away” trap is avoided by having the demonic wood carvings be a conduit for a much more destructive force. Of course the great performances of Kwaten and Wahlberg helped matters.

Dead Silence most likely won’t set your world on fire. The only substance found in a film involving a female monster that steals tongues is — at best — an unintentionally clever comment on the remaining seeds of the “women should be seen and not heard” crap that remains in our patriarchal society; especially so considering the single female victim versus the festering kill pile of macho men or men with dead or mentally unstable wives.

If you’re looking for a fun and breezy time at the movies, you really can’t go wrong with Dead Silence.

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originally posted: 10/01/09 12:57:09
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell neat little horror flick its not gory its creepy 4 stars
1/25/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Nifty little horror film. Don't be a dummy, see this. 3 stars
8/24/09 matt underrated, actually quite terrifying 4 stars
10/14/08 TreeTiger If you enjoy a good scare - this one does the trick... 4 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Story!! 3 stars
11/09/07 suck balls the name says it all 1 stars
10/30/07 hank3395 loved the suspense and the thrills and chills 5 stars
10/29/07 Mike R. i'm a huge movie fan if you like saw and other horror/thrillers you'll love dead silence 5 stars
10/25/07 art never saw it sorry folk's 1 stars
8/03/07 drew peters it attacks most peoples fears, dummys and clowns very good movie 5 stars
7/17/07 Total Crap There's lots of hints at upcoming scares, but THEY NEVER HAPPEN! It Sucked! 1 stars
7/01/07 action movie fan tons of atmosphere but story wasn,t compeeling enough-had potential though 3 stars
6/15/07 William Goss An almost-there throwback thriller with some effort and atmosphere, but no real scares. 3 stars
5/02/07 One who reserves single-star rating for the groosly offensive. Nothing offensive, just often lame and flawed by plot holes. 2 stars
4/15/07 littlemisswallflower Best review ever. I agree completley 1 stars
4/12/07 the wizz Just kinda like a lame, dark drama. I kept waiting for action but didn't get it. 1 stars
4/02/07 Mr X Who's the dummy? Anyone who watches this. 1 stars
3/24/07 Dr. Emmerman This movie is worthless piece of CRAP, I was the dummy for plunking down $9 to see this. 1 stars
3/20/07 SoStraightItHurts Wow... it's like Saw with Dolls. 1 stars
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  16-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jun-2007

  06-Jul-2007 (15)
  DVD: 29-Oct-2007

  03-Oct-2007 (M)
  DVD: 03-Oct-2007

[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  James Wan

Written by
  Leigh Whannell
  James Wan

  Ryan Kwanten
  Amber Valletta
  Donnie Wahlberg
  Bob Gunton

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