Dead Silence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Silence Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 28, 2010
A creepy horror movie that builds an ominous atmosphere with an ambitious production design and great eerie cinematography (of course, James Wan), and even if the efficient story is nothing really special or original, it offers a nice twist in the end.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2011
I kinda liked it...though I'm probably in the minority. I'm terrified of puppets/dolls coming alive, so this movie freaked me out. I've watched so many horror films and I'm not phased by anything...except puppets/dolls. Ever since I was a kid, I thought they were just so fucking creepy. So this movie definitely scared me more than most of the horror films I've watched. I thought it was pretty decent. And damnnn Ryan Kwanten...every time his gorgeous Australian accent slipped through....I loved it.
The characters were fairly underdeveloped, and it was kind of predictable, but whatever. It was a pretty good B-movie. The pacing seemed a little fast for my taste, maybe that's why the characters weren't developed as well. But other than that, I can't complain. The twist at the end was cool. I'd watch it again.
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2007
There are two things in this world that creeps the hell out of me: the first being clowns and the second being evil puppets. Terrifyingly enough, this movie has both! Now, I'll be honest here and say that I didn't expect much out of this film. In fact, I was but a word of discouragement away from skipping it altogether. But I'm very pleased that I didn't, because this was so much better than I first gave it credit for. In similiarity to Insidious, it's a very atmospheric production, with spooky, nightmarish settings, enveloped in mist and spine-tingling tension. Although the characters are one-dimensional and pretty brainless in their actions, there's a lot to love about the movie in terms of scare factors and excitement. All-around, the directing is superb, and it feels like one of those old-school horror movies that I used to watch as a kid. Surely not to everyone's taste, but if you like Kwan's other films, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well. And did I mention how seriously creepy it is?
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2007
A creepy horror film with a high production value and good cast. There might not be a high enough body count for some, or for it to be classed as a slasher anyway. However it does have a spooky atmasphere with the creepy dolls. Not the most original or scary film, but at least it tried something new and different, among the endless carbon copy horrors being released these days. I have to add for a horror film the photography is great, you really can tell the attention to detail in every shot, from the angle, framing, lighting and colours. You don't notice that in many horror films!
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2011
Well I gotta admit this did sort of spook me which did surprise as I was expecting another silly killer doll film much like the Puppet Master series. Instead we have an intelligent chiller about a curse from a dead woman back in the 40's who was accused of killing a boy and was murdered by the local townsfolk in revenge, thus she returns from the grave to wreak revenge on descendants of the townsfolk using her beloved dolls as a kind of terror calling card and a way of getting to her victims.

Doesn't sound too great I know but its actually a really decent horror with plenty of little jump moments and allot of nice imagery and visual spookery from dark eerie houses, hallways and graveyards to the ever popular and unnerving close ups on sinister doll faces along with creepy moving eyes.

A nice cast help the film along with lead Ryan Kwanten (looking abit like Pat Swayze) being a likeable innocent detective of the mystery, Michael Fairman playing the old coroner warning of the impending dangers, Donnie Wahlberg as the tough take no crap police detective and Bob Gunton as Kwantens father. The whole film just moves along really well and has clearly been directed and put together with some care and attention, this isn't just a sloppy horror flick, a nice twist in the tale completes the story wrapping it up in a nice chilling bow :)
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2008
One of the creepiest and most frightening films I have ever seen! A must see!
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2007
Dead Silence exemplifies why more actually means less when it comes to horror. I don't understand why big studio horror films have to create this over the top atmosphere to make things scary. In one particular shot, it isn't enough to have the camera peering down a dark hall. The hall has to have windows and curtains flapping about in the wind, as the obvious spotlights peer in through each window to simulate the moon shining through. Or a character sleeping in a run down motel where the blood red vacancy light keeps flashing through the window; that would be really annoying in real life. It's like the filmmakers are trying to scream to you: this is creepy!!!
Shame because the film's concept reminds me of the urban legends I used to hear as a kid, either from my parents or the camp councilors trying to scare you over the camp fire. I enjoyed Dead Silence overall, but more so as a B-movie. Some of the scares were effective, despite being predictable as hell. Director James Wan uses darkness and low key light as effectively as some of the best Asian horror filmmakers like Hideo Nakata and Takashi Shimizu.
Ryan Kwanten is very likable as the protagonist, and the short roles played by Bob Gunton, Amber Valletta, and Michael Fairman do their part in establishing the deranged world of Raven's Fair. Except for Donnie Wahlberg, who hams up his part as the thinks-he's-smarter-than-he-is cop so much that the character seems very out of place for the serious tone that the film establishes.
Lots of flaws. Lots of things to admire. I can't recommend Dead Silence. But I can chalk it up to a guilty pleasure.
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2011
Alright, I am going to be brutally honest here, Dead Silence is dumb, laughable, but if you forget that, it does have a few scares that are not too cliche if you think about it. It is hard to create a horror flick with originality these days, but this film does try. My huge complaint here is that it is produced from the people who made the SAW franchise, and it literally feels like they took the entire story of Child's Play, hid the evidence and threw in a shit-load of SAW twists. The movie starts off extremely stupid and has no explaination and I was ready to turn it off, but midway through the film, I actually found myself mildly interested at what was going to happen next, but that does not make it a good film in any way. The thing that really made me quiver was the ending, oh wait, yeah it was pretty much SAW. I watched this movie for what it was, and if you are faint at heart, then you will enjoy this film. It's mindless, poorly acted and stupid, but it has the tone that a horror fan would devour upon. Dead Silence is definitely below average in the horror genre, but I had some fun with it!
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2010
If I were afraid of dummies, this would be extremely effective and truly scary. As it is, i'm not. There's nothing really wrong with this movie at all, it's just not all that new or particularly interesting. The characters are fine, but it can't really save a movie from being mediocre and bland when it comes to storytelling. I think the best parts are the beginning and the origin story of Mary Shaw. I would totally recommend it to people who get freaked out by puppets/dolls, it will totally get to you.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2010
Dead Silence which was directed by James Wan, one of the two other Saw creators, writes and directs this film, which is not a remake. In the years since the year 2000, it seems that only studios want to re imagine classics and butcher those titles and sell them to dimwitted teens that think that remakes are the real deal in horror, it's not. Original films will pop up here and there, and in 2007 we were given Dead Silence. Dead Silence is one scary film with a strong story line. It does indeed scare you when you least expects it, and you may not looks at Dummies the same way again. Of all the Horror films that came out in this decade, Dead Silence is one of the few that really does satisfy, but if you're the type of Horror fan that likes dumb teenager films like I know what you did last summer rather than original well crafted films like this one, skip it. This film is not for that crowd. Overall a solid film in the horror genre and quite original.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2010
Freaky doll -_-
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2009
Ventriloquist dummies are scary, there's no denying that. Just look at the absolute classic that is Magic. That being one of my favourite films meant that I was bound to look at this film as some kind of cheap failure. Surprisingly, James Wan focuses more on the possession element than that of the dummy. The story is nothing new, crazy nutjob back from the dead seeking revenge etc. It is pretty entertaining, even if the characters do stupid things. The ending was a surprise and played out well. A decent enough horror to pass the time.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2007
Beware the stare of Mary Shaw / She had no children only dolls / And if you see her in your dreams / Be sure to never ever scream.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2007
Dead Silence is a typical example of a trailer that makes the film out to be much better than it is. Puppets and dolls are pretty scary, so this had the potential to be pretty good, instead it was a very typically cheesy Horror, with very Hammy acting, the storyline belonged back in the 80?s and was quite one-dimensional. Do we actually count the ending as a twist? Although it was the best bit about the film.

My biggest thrill during this film was thinking all the way through ? the cop looks like an older less good looking version of Mark Wahlberg and who?s name should appear on the credits? Donnie. Wahlerg
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2007
If you're scared of ventriloquist dummies, avoid this thing like the plague! This movie has a whole room full of them. The backstory to what is driving these spooky dummies was immensely thick and colorful. The gothic town of Ravens Fair where the dummies live has great set design. The characters were hard to believe in, especially the detective played by Donnie Wahlberg. It's more of a dark fairy tale than of this world.
More convincing was the ghost "Mary Shaw", who looked scary as heck, and what she did to her victims was even more frightening. Destined to be a horror classic!
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2007
I can't say I was expecting a lot from this due to mixed reviews, which is perhaps why I was pleasantly surprised by it.
First of all, it looks really slick. I know that nice looks don't automatically mean that what's inside is great, but it can help. Everything is filmed with that blue-grey filter used in The Ring, which does make things look artificial but also is very atmospheric. The set pieces are rather attractive and some of the shots are rather artistic.

There are two basic let-downs within the film. One is some of the CGI effects used towards the end, as they look a bit too obviously computer generated (though I concede it would be hard to create them any other way). The other is the plot itself. I like the general idea and most of the plot was at least passable, but there were elements that worked less well than others and some that perhaps were plot holes. For instance, everything going silent before attacks was a key feature in the beginning, but half way through this completely disappears.

Overall a good effort, and worth a watch but not one I feel particularly fond of. Dummies are certainly creepy though.
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2007
I think James Wan and Laigh Whannell's hearts really lie in horror. They really seem to delight in putting onscreen haunted houses and creepy dolls and decrepit rooms, haunted cops and evil villains. I love the fairy tale quality to the story of Mary Shaw, and it plays very well with the eeri tone they're going for. This film is a throwback to a breed of horror movie that has yet to be overdrawn, and is thus uniquely welcome. I was quite pleasantly surprised by this one. Not that it doesn't have problems, but it's a good one.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2008
Tale of an old ghost story regarding a mad ventriloquist, and a sleepy town plagued by death. The vaudeville dolls are quite creepy as they are connected to grisley happenings induced by Mary Shaw and her "children".
Super Reviewer
June 3, 2008
A great modern Gothic horror story. As far as the "evil puppet" genre of horror goes, I'm usually not interested or stirred, with the exception that I thought the Chucky movies had their production moments. This movie delivers a cleaner chunk of story, more puppets, and the rare, actually scary ghost. It plays up on the "if you scream, you die" gimmick that has been toyed with for a while now, and it's loaded with jump scares, but most of them land really damn well, as in I didn't even expect some of them. When it comes to horror without self-deprecating humor, horror that tries to be totally serious, this movie does a pretty damn good job. Many fans will have no doubt mentioned the "twist" ending, which I didn't guess but felt completely right for the story as it was appropriately foreshadowed. I won't say more than that the clues/characters involved are subtle and atmospheric enough that they click into their plot place without feeling forced.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2008
A good movie for sitting at home in the dark. It's a thriller. The acting is a bit tongue-in-cheek...but the visuals and the suspense is what makes this movie decent.
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