Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dead Silence - Review - @BrandonCSites / #JamesWan

Dead Silence (2007) **
D: James Wan
C: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton

Plot Synopsis: A young man returns to his hometown, after his wife is mysteriously murdered, seeking answers to an old urban legend involving a murdered ventriloquist who haunts the town killing anyone who screams. 

Review: Dolls and silence are two things that most people are inherently afraid of, even if they don't realize it. There's something creepy about the two, even though they seem innocent enough on the surface. The merger of two surefire ideas should have worked, but it doesn't. The problem is that the people behind this film feel as though everything should be spelled out through the use of special effects. It leaves nothing for the viewer to use their imagination to ponder over. 

When you hear dead silence, one's mind sets off an avalanche of ideas as to what might be lurking in that silence. Could it be a monster? Could it be some serial killer? While there are plenty of scenes that take place in silence, that fear of silence is never fully realized or becomes tangible.

As for the dolls aspect, when you see a doll in total darkness, people begin to wonder- What is behind the facade of that creepy doll and that creepy stare? Dead Silence goes through the usual motions, dumbing down the potential of the material and literally spelling everything out, when the film would have been better served by a more ambiguous approach.

After a suspenseful opening sequence, Dead Silence settles for being watchable – faint praise for a film that had such a unique concept at its disposal. [R] 89 mins.

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