Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dead Silence (2007) Review:

Dolls in general always have a distinct unpleasantness about them, especially the ones from older generations. It’s that they are made to look human is what gives them such a weird feel. Their eyes constantly stare, never blink, and have a smile that only a puppeteer could love. But to see a movie such as this requires a little more than just an appreciation for the doll itself. The plot is the most terrifying thing here (in good way).

Ryan Kwanten is a widower for some strange reason....
After receiving an anonymous package that contains a mysterious doll, Jamie Ashen, played by Ryan Kwanten becomes a widower who saw the death of his wife and now he's on the search to discover the truth. The truth takes him to Raven's Fair, a very ominous looking town to boot. Shouldn't the word "Raven" mean something to him though? A raven is the symbol of death. Guess he didn't know that. Soon he learns from his ill-stricken father that the town has an old folktale about a woman named Mary Shaw (Judith Roberts).

To get more information, he even visits the mortician of Raven’s Fair, surprising that he's still alive. There he learns that ever since Shaw's alleged murder, the town has been tormented with gruesome deaths. And the way they were performed were done the same way Shaw died; having their tongue cut out. Not pretty. And as Ashen digs deeper to find the truth, he is literally confronted with some horrifying details!

Judith Roberts (Mary Shaw) & her creepy doll.....Billy.....
Perhaps the dialog did not excel the story as fast as I would have liked it too though. Ashen also runs into a hard headed detective (Donnie Wahlberg) who doesn't quit at trying to punish Ashen for killing his wife. It's when these too talk that it seems like the tension is lost and the whole story is left behind. The same goes for when Ashen is conversing with the mortician and his father. Why do the conversations have to be so painfully slow when the plot moves fast everywhere else?

Nonetheless, the scares are in this movie. The ghost of Mary Shaw is frightening. Her face looks like a weathered wooden board that just keeps cracking and peeling. Her crazed grin and undead eyes feel like they penetrate the soul, almost like she knows you’re scared too. Jo-Ann MacNeil was the make-up artist and I think she made the look of Shaw as the best as it could have been. The gore is there too but the real spectacle lies in the dolls and the horror within them. The music by Charlie Clouser was great too. Every time there was a scare to be had, Clouser knew how to make the audience jump.

Besides having sluggish dialog, Dead Silence has everything a horror movie could ask for. It has good scares, a palatable plot and the music is right on target.

Points Earned --> 9:10

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