March 16, 2007 Dead Silence
Studio: Universal Pictures Rating: R for horror violence and images.
The people behind the "Saw" franchise venture once again into thriller territory but this time the frights are more mental than physical.
Trust me, you are no "dummy" if you enjoy "Dead Silence."
Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell struck gold with their "Saw" trilogy. Ingenious tricks and traps along with surprising twists and turns left moviegoers hungry for more.
In "Dead Silence," Ryan Kwanten plays Jamie. As he and his wife are planning a relaxing evening at home a mysterious dummy is delivered to their door.
With no note or return address, Jamie doesn't know who sent the wooden doll. Discarding it, Jamie leaves on an errand.
But when he returns his wife is dead.
The police think he's responsible but Jamie believes that somehow the dummy may be involved. However he has a tough time convincing everyone else that a ventriloquist's doll is more than just a toy. As Jamie begins looking into the matter he finds out an old ghost story may have something to do with his wife's tragic death.
Unlike the "Saw" films which are filled with blood and gore, "Dead Silence" tries much harder to scare you than shock you. Despite an average effort by its leading man, the movie manages to jolt you several times along the way.
Kwanten's Jamie is almost as wooden as the dolls he's investigating but Donnie Wahlberg turns in a nice performance as a cop investigating the murder. The pacing of the movie is a little deliberate but the mood is dark and scary. Music and sound add to the atmosphere and there is a nice twist near the end that will surprise you.
In some ways "Dead Silence" falls short of being a really good movie. But it delivers enough chills to make it worthwhile.
On my rating scale, "Dead Silence" earns a Double.
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