Sunday, October 26, 2014

Movie Review: "Dead Silence" (2007)

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Movie"Dead Silence"
Director: James Wan
Year: 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife Lisa (Laura Regan) are a normal couple getting ready to pick up dinner. It's just then that a package arrives for Jamie with a ventriloquist dummy inside of it. This dummy reminds Lisa of a rhyme from their home town.

"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, she had no children only dolls, and if you see her in your dream, be sure to never ever scream."

When Jamie leaves to pick up takeout, Lisa is left alone with the doll. She starts to hear voices and is attacked by some strange force. When Jamie arrives home, he finds his wife dead with her tongue ripped out. Jamie becomes the prime suspect in the case and he heads to his hometown to clear his name and solve the mystery of the strange dummy.

Awesomely creepy soundtrack aside, this is not a great movie. It's not that original, doesn't have any good dialogue, and other than the main rhyme, isn't that scary. Though there are a few attempts at shocking the audience, the scare factor mainly relies on the ventriloquist dummy and whether or not you find it creepy enough to justify a full-length dummy. We don't ever get heavily invested in the plight of the main characters, and I even started to get annoyed by Jamie in the middle of the movie. Maybe this had more to do with Ryan Kwanten's expressionless face than anything. Jamie is not all that compelling as a main character and is stupid enough to bring the damn doll with him to his dad's house. What!? Just burn the stupid thing! The deaths in the movie are the same over and over again, and while the dead faces look okay as far as makeup goes, they are meant to be more visually shocking than anything and aren't. There's not any suspense leading up to the deaths, and even in the beginning of the movie, you can pretty much assume that the doll is the culprit. There's no mystery and no intrigue. As with many horror movies as of late, there is not a whole lot of rhyme or reason to why the characters do what they do throughout the course of the film. All of their actions are done to drive a very weak plot, which speaks to the lack of a good screenplay. BigJ thinks Donnie Wahlberg is a discount store version of his brother Mark to which I say screw you. Donnie Wahlberg is a king! He's a better singer than he is an actor....right??? He does his cliche Boston tough guy cop act not unlike his role in the "Saw" franchise, though he clearly breaks tons of search and seizure laws throughout the film (but we're nitpicking at this point, we suppose).

Director James Wan obviously went to the M. Night Shyamalan school of twist endings since he is always trying to execute them flawlessly, though this twist doesn't pay off and is rather predictable if you're really paying attention.We are fully aware that Wan is capable of much, much more and much better horror movies, but this is a decent enough attempt if you hate dolls that much. And while we're on the subject of dolls, let's just all collectively agree to not have dolls anymore. It might save us all a whole lot of trouble.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 21%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "Saw"

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