The movie poster states “from the writers and director and producers of Saw”. Add to that the composer of Saw and probably some more people and you’ve got quite the expectation when popping in this flick in your DVD-player. Not the least of horror films it has to live up to and you’re probably wondering “did it make it?” Well, let’s just see and find out!
In short: No. Not by a long shot. It’s hard to live up to Saw. That one came out of nowhere when we were still smacked in the face with the post-Scream-teen-slashers by studio’s still hoping to make a quick buck. Saw was original and had a clever twist ending and that is one of the things they’ve also put into this movie, including a same kind of musical theme to emphasize the shock and awe of the scene. In this case however you can scrap the “clever” from the twist ending. It’s a fun twist and makes the previous 80 minutes more meaningful, but just a little. Well, enough about the ending, let’s just have an overview about those previous 80 minutes.
Dead Silence is a ghost story about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw who was murdered by angry townsfolk after the disappearance of a little boy from the village of Ravens Fair some decades ago. On the next years, the cursed families and descendant of the killers has had mysterious and creepy deaths, with the tongues removed and faces disfigured. Skip to today where young couple Lisa and Jamie Ashen anonymously receive a mysterious package with a weird dummy inside. When Jamie leaves the apartment to buy Chinese food, he finds Lisa dead when he returns, totally disfigured and without her tongue. When recovering a reference to his old home town of Ravens Fair from the box the dummy came in he decides to go there, hot on his trail is detective Jim Lipton who suspects Jamie is the killer as he’s the only suspect.
Now this movie is a bit wrong-marketed. When looking at the cover one would suspect a killer doll concept. that is only touched upon partially in this movie and until the end it never is really certain if dolls are the killers, or at least one is. It might be, it turns his head and eyes occasionally and we get some shadows that suggest we have a killing doll here… but that the case? Well it’s a ghost story, so the slasher aspect one might expect is nowhere to be found. Forget the idea of a killer dummy on a murderous rampage, ain’t happening here. This movie has more in common with The Grudge then Child’s Play. What I also disliked was the color-filter over the entire movie, or better said the lack-of-color-filter. Every scene was desaturated to en enormous extent. See the warm flesh color of the doll on the poster, in movies this doll was practically white. Only the clown-doll with the red hair had actually red hair in the movie. The acting in the movie was nothing mention worthy, just OK for this kind of film. The movie makes more work of boohs than blood. Once again, people expecting a Saw-like movie are going to exit disappointed.
It’s not a bad movie, it’s a nice movie which has more in common with movies like The Grudge and old vintage horror movies but it is miss-marketed and that makes it a bit disappointing. As long as people don’t go in expecting a Saw flick they might be treated to a ghost story of their liking.