You scream. You die
Director: James Wan
Released: July 2007
Plot: A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.
Back in 2004, Wan burst onto the horror scene with Saw, following it up with Insidious, The Conjuring before taking a break from horror to direct Aquaman, it could be thought that every horror film Wan touches turns into a licence to print money franchise, with one small exception. Dead Silence.
Back when I reviewed Thirteen Ghosts I said there were times when a campy and cheesy horror is just what you want to watch, especially around Halloween with your friends around. Dead Silence is most definitely a film that fits into that category and taking me back to when a horror film can be both entertaining and not take itself too seriously.
The imagery especially is downright disturbing in places, while the building tension and suspense that proves to be quite effective, helping to make up for the relatively thin plot and little in the way of character development, which in the grand scheme of things.
The part of the film that will stick with you and probably its biggest star is the dolls, much the same as Jigsaw from Saw or even Chucky in Childs Play, they stick with you long after the film finishes and along with their creator Mary Shaw are the only aspect of the film that makes me sad that the film didn’t spawn further films that could have delved deeper into the lore surrounding how and why they do what they do, maybe closing some of the many plotholes that pop up throughout
Dead Silence feels like a movie that came out roughly 5 years too late, closer in tone to movies like Ghost Ship or Darkness Falls than the decidedly more grown-up horror films audiences had become accustomed to at that point and Wan himself become a master at making only a couple of years later.