Sunday, July 28, 2013

Screaming Sunday - Dead Silence

By Sati. Sunday, July 28, 2013 , ,
Sati's movie rating - 74/100
Plot:  Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) comes home to find his wife Lisa disfigured and dead in their apartment just minutes after a mysterious, not to mention creepy, package was left on their doorstep containing an old ventriloquist dummy. With no alibi, a detective is left to assume Jamie as the prime suspect. Driven by an old ghost story, Jamie returns to Ravens Fair, his old hometown to prove his innocence.
The heroes: Ladies and gentlemen, it's Jason Stackhouse!
The antagonists: Ventriloquist dummies and one scary, freaky, awesome villain that controls them.
Best scene: The first night Jaime spends in a motel.
Oh-oh something's not right line: If you go looking for answers, you just might find them.
Morbid Trivia: During the climax, in the storage area with all 101 dolls, you can see Jigsaw's doll from the "Saw" films sitting on the floor, and Edgar Bergen's doll Charlie McCarthy on one of the shelves. The doll that Detective Lipton throws over his shoulder in this scene is a replica of ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson's doll, Danny O'Day. Fun fact #2 - watch out for Jigsaw doll in Warrens' special room with hunted objects in The Conjuring.
What makes it so great? I found out that the movie existed by pure accident, when discussing Annabelle the doll from The Conjuring. Someone mentioned that James Wan, the director, also made a whole movie about creepy dolls. So that's how I found out about Dead Silence. I see the film has outrageously low rating on Rotten Tomatoes and that's just not right. Sure, the acting isn't the best (Good God, Donnie Walhberg sucks ass) and there are some cheap and grotesque effects but you know what? This is a really scary film. If someone told me they watched it and didn't get scared, I'd call that person a liar. And I don't mean all the jump scares and your usual horror tactics - the story of the villain and her whole pursuit of the main hero is genuinely frightening.Wan has some awesome imagery in his movies and this one is no exception - there are incredible set pieces here - a cemetery with 100 ventriloquist dummies buried there, old theatre, motel rooms with neon lights shining through the windows...many times I was actually reminded of all those lovely, charming moments that made me lose sleep whenever Bob would appear in Twin Peaks. Also it's commendable that someone finally took the old horror iconic item - a ventriloquist dummy - and made it into a freaky, eerie film.
Scare factor: - 4/5 evil pumpkins - this is one freaky movie. You have a villain, who is creepy to begin with, appear in all those terrifying moments - even if you know she is going to be show up it's still absolutely horrifying when she does.
Gore factor:- 2/5 bloody Leatherfaces - there isn't much blood, but the way the victims are killed and made to look like dolls is quite disturbing, though the effects there weren't very good. There is something quite disturbing happening in the very end of the movie too.
Is there a twist? Yes and it's fucking awesome and insanely creepy. If you have a chance watch the alternate ending (it's on youtube) too as it clears some things up and it features even more of creepiness.
Hint: Do not do a double feature of that one and The Conjuring. I did that and it is now the 9th day I was not able to sleep in the dark.
Unsuitable for: People who have dolls in their house.
Repercussions: I'm scared of dolls for life now.

14 comments:

  1. I've always found dolls like these creepy! That photo of the clown doll seems like it could give Tim Curry's IT a run for his money.

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    1. They are really creepy, in the film there are 100 different dolls and they are all freaky as shit :)

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  2. Holy shit. I love this review.

    Dolls are inherently scary, so I'll bite and check this one out sometime. October seems too far away...but definitely by then.

    At my grandmother's house, she has a room in the attic that I'd always have to stay in when I visited. There was this one creepy doll with little button eyes that sat on a shelf near the foot of the bed. When I was little, I always imagined it was getting closer as I drifted off. Scared the shit out me then.

    Well, and now.
    F--k that doll.

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    1. Oh man, there is a doll that moves on its own in The Conjuring :P You're gonna love this one.

      Dolls in Dead Silence move their eyes a lot, only some of them are murderous :)

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  3. There's definitely some very creepy moments in Dead Silence but like James Wan's career it is hit or miss. As usual with his films since Saw, I was put off by its derivative nature. He seems to take ideas better realized by others and not really stamp his own identity on them. Insidious felt like a collection of ideas seen in the likes of Poltergeist, Amityville Horror, and even Paranormal Activity. Although Dead Silence wasn't as bad as Death Sentence (which miraculously, and ludicrously, showed how a mild-mannered family man became a raging vengeful killer by simply shaving his head) it still ranks low as another forgettable film in Wan's career.

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    1. I find there is plenty of his own identity in his movies. You can see this one and it's clear it's from the same dude who made Saw. I think Insidious and especially The Conjuring are much different than Saw and DS, which is great because they are more subtle and elegant but Wan doesn't lose the ability to scare the audience in the process. I found this one to be anything but forgettable.

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  4. Great review! I never realized Ryan Kwanten was in this. I remember coming across it when I was on IMDb thinking "What happened to Donnie Wahlberg's career?" once. I flipping hate dolls though. The Puppet Master scarred me for life as a kid, but I'm so insanely intrigued after reading this.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, I started watching and it's Jason! He was actually pretty good in this, comparing to Walhberg he did some masterclass acting here :P

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  5. Great review! I watched this one a few years back and was totally creeped out by it. I don't remember it super well, so I'll have to go back to it but I don't want to look at those damn dolls. I did not even realize that was Ryan Kwanten though!

    Have you seen Insidious? Wan did that as well and holy hell that scared the crap out of me. He is super talented at crafting tense scenes and executing a great scare.

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    1. Thank you! Those dolls were super creepy, though the one in The Conjuring was even worse.

      Oh yeah, Insidious, especially its musical score, scared the shit out of me.

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  6. Have not seen this film but my mom's house is filled with creepy dolls. I was just reading that the actual doll from The Conjuring was a Raggedy Ann doll, now that is scary!

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    1. Yeah it was! The one in the film is really freaky too, I'm so glad I don't have any dolls in my house.

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  7. Ooh, this does look creepy. I've never been scared of dolls, but maybe this will change my mind. :)

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    1. This one will make you at least a bit afraid of them :)

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