Dead Silence

March 16th, 2007


Dead Silence

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Still of Ryan Kwanten in Dead SilenceStill of Donnie Wahlberg in Dead SilenceStill of Judith Roberts in Dead SilenceStill of Amber Valletta and Bob Gunton in Dead SilenceStill of Donnie Wahlberg in Dead SilenceStill of Ryan Kwanten in Dead Silence

A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 6.0/10 (27,665 voted)

Critic's Score: 34/100

Director: James Wan

Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg

Every town has it's own ghost story, and a local folktale around Ravens Fair is about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw. After she went mad in the 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a young boy who yelled out in one of her performances that she was a fraud. Because of this she was hunted down by townspeople who in the ultimate act of revenge, cut out her tongue and then killed her. They buried her along with her "children," a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls, and assumed they had silenced her forever. However, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths around them after Mary Shaws collection has returned from their graves and have come to seek revenge on people that killed her and their families. Far from the pall of their cursed hometown, newlyweds Jamie and Lisa Ashen thought they had established a fresh start, until Jamie's wife is grotesquely killed in their apartment...

Writers: Leigh Whannell, James Wan

Ryan Kwanten - Jamie Ashen
Amber Valletta - Ella Ashen
Donnie Wahlberg - Det. Lipton
Michael Fairman - Henry Walker
Joan Heney - Marion Walker
Bob Gunton - Edward Ashen
Laura Regan - Lisa Ashen
Dmitry Chepovetsky - Richard Walker
Judith Roberts - Mary Shaw
Keir Gilchrist - Young Henry
Steven Taylor - Michael Ashen
David Talbot - Priest
Steve Adams - 1941 Detective
Shelley Peterson - Lisa's Mom
Enn Reitel - Billy (voice)

Taglines: You scream. You die.


Official Website: MySpace | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 16 March 2007

Filming Locations: Elora, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,842,725 (USA) (18 March 2007) (1805 Screens)

Gross: $22,217,407 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (unrated version)

Did You Know?

Donnie Wahlberg's character's name (Detective Lipton) has the same last name as his character in the HBO mini series Band of Brothers (2nd Lt. Lipton)

Continuity: When Lisa is attacked by the Doll and is spitting blood out on the floor, the white sheet on her back keeps moving from being wrapped down around her waist, to pulled back up almost to her shoulders between shots.

Det. Jim Lipton: [to Jamie] If you say I told you so, I'll shoot you.

User Review

Nightmare fuel with something creepy for everyone

Rating: 9/10

If you have nightmares easily, I suggest staying away from this film: it's pure nightmare fuel. If you have an active imagination, you could have trouble sleeping with the film's imagery burned into the back of your eyeballs.

The story's intriguing enough. There just aren't enough horror films these days about menacing old ventriloquist ladies that are buried with their creepy dolls, who have come back from the dead to seek vengeance on the families that put her in the grave, by tearing out their tongues. The atmosphere is heavy, the creepy music is provided by SAW'S Charlie Clouser, the colors are washed out, and the sets are surreal.

Many will dismiss it as a formulaic, clichéd horror film. The SAW creators, who are huge horror fans, have fun making their own version of the American horror film by throwing in plenty of classic tropes such as the wise-cracking detective (Donnie Wahlberg) and the crazy old lady that knows more than she should.

I was pleased that the film didn't shy away from gore: it wasn't gratuitous, but it did enhance the horror. Most ghost stories tend to be separate from the gore flicks (I'm a fan of both), but I always enjoy seeing them combined. Another aspect that was interesting was the "silence" mode that signaled the presence of evil.

It's got plenty of horror elements to provide scares: aged film, folk tales, singing children, antique furniture, voice recordings fading out, flickering lights, dead loved ones beckoning from beyond the grave, photographs of dead families, cackling old women, wide-eyed dolls, billowing curtains, plenty of thunder and lightning, open caskets, dank crawlspaces, and a pervading sense of evil throughout.

Critics won't dig it, but I've shown it to two groups of friends and the majority were terrified and claimed it to be one of the scariest movies they'd seen. If you're a fan of atmospheric horror that aims to creep you to the bone, you should be more than pleased.


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