Dead Silence

Release Date: March 16, 2007

Movie of the Day for Sunday, February 25, 2007
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Nah, you're not the least bit creepy.

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Position Staff In Brief
48/50 Michael Bentley The plot had potential, but this is pretty dull for a "horror" movie. I'm really surprised it wasn't straight-to-video or cable.

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We can’t talk about Dead Silence without first discussing writer/director James Wan and his cohort, Leigh Whannell. The duo created a short film about a psychologically focused serial killer named Jigsaw. The studio liked what they saw and agreed to make a full feature from the premise. Perhaps you have heard of it. The production is called Saw. The duo’s immense success with Saw led to each of them working on the next two financially successful sequels though Wan only executive produced Saw II.

During his downtime, Wan has come up with a second idea for a franchise. The premise involves a town being haunted by the spirit of a crazy ventriloquist. Read that sentence again for full effect. Do you need to know anything else about the movie? It’s already a done deal that you are going to watch it, right? If you need to know more, you and I are quite different in some ways, but I will proceed with further details. It seems that the crazy ventriloquist in question, Mary Shaw, was once hunted down by the villagers-with-pitchforks-and-torches crowd. They cut out her tongue, killed her and defiled the corpse. You know how drunken, angry villagers can be. To further make the point about how much they hated the brains behind the dummy, they buried the woman with her “children”, a collection of dolls.

As generally happens in stories like this, what’s dead has not stayed buried. The dolls begin to crop up across the world and when they arrive, trouble follows. Imagine the sudden visibility of Bratz merchandise but with a body count. Yes, it’s just that scary. This is bad news for recently married Jamie and Lisa. One of them has an ill-fated encounter with some force possibly involved with Mary Shaw, losing a tongue in the process. This unusual murder methodology forces the other one to return home to Ravens Fair, the place where Shaw’s tumultuous events played out once upon a time. The surviving spouse is forced to unravel the mysteries of Mary Shaw’s curse before her army of inanimate collectibles slays again.

Dead Silence has a chance to be an all-time great B-movie in the Anthony Hopkins/Magic vein. Alternately, it could be yet another sucky horror movie in an already oversaturated marketplace. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of in between here. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Dead Silence
Main Cast Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg
Supporting Cast Bob Gunton
Director James Wan
Screenwriter Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Screen Count 1,800 (Estimated)
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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