DEAD SILENCE | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

DEAD SILENCE

There is an old ghost story in the sleepy town of Ravens Fair about Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist who went mad. Accused of the murder of a young boy, she was hunted down by vengeful townspeople who cut out her tongue and killed her. They buried her along with her "children," a hand-made collection of vaudeville dolls. Since that time, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths. The ghastly dolls from Mary Shaw`s collection are missing from the grave.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 12 Jul 2007
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Distributor: UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES
Cast: Amber Valletta
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: The "Child's Play" films

I stumbled on a strange word the other day, paediophobia - the fear of dolls, apparently. It bears special significance to me because I'm one! However, despite being terrified of all manner of dolls (especially the clown in Stephen King's "It") and the fact that Chucky from the classic "Child's Play" films can sometimes make me view my sister's Barbie dolls with suspicion, "Dead Silence" does itself no favours by evoking very little fear in a self-diagnosed paediophobic like me.

Brought to you by Malaysian-born director James Wan, the man behind the commercial horror hits "Saw" and its sequels, I was expecting another blood-soaked horror thriller for the ages. However, the story deteriorates very quickly after the opening minutes.

What happens? Newlyweds Jamie (Ryan Kwanten) and Lisa Ashen (Laura Regan) receive a creepy ventriloquist doll at their doorstep one stormy night. He goes out for some Chinese take-away and comes home to a brutally dismembered wife. Soon, we get involved in the old ghost story of Mary Shaw, about a ventriloquist who goes insane. Accused of a young boy's murder, she was hunted down by vengeful townsfolk who cut out her tongue. They buried her with her 'children', a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls. Since then, the town of Ravens Fair has been plagued by death. Lisa is merely the latest victim and Jamie must unravel the mystery of the dolls before a policeman arrests him for his wife's murder.

Well, what can I say? The horror was mostly based on sudden loud sounds rather than psychological terror, which might or might not work depending on your liking. In the "Saw" films, which did slide a little as they tried to milk Jigsaw's appeal as much as possible, the suspense was present because of the disproportionate tension within a very limited parameter (most of the scenes are often extended periods in a room or corridor). Expanding the story concept outside these premises seems to lose its trademark tension for Wan, not to mention the fact that the script was very uninspired, despite the best efforts from a very able cast.

Given, "Dead Silence" is more than your average slasher fare but it thoroughly failed to scare me with a subject matter I am certified of being scared of. Maybe I'll think about it again when I see some Barbie dolls.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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