When I can fit two movies in a weekend, you know I’m slacking off on writing my novel. Either way, I know I was and I’m not proud of it. There’s still a few days to redeem myself though. We’ll see how that goes. Anyways, at least my blog seems to be benefiting a bit. Dead Silence has been intriguing me and even though Eric at theipc advised me to forget it, I didn’t listen. Maybe I should have? Either way, lets see how that was.
Director: James Wan
Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Judith Roberts
Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife (Joan Heney) are happily married until one day, his wife was murdered in a gruesome way while he was out to get takeout. It makes him into the prime suspect for her death, especially in the eyes of Detective Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg). Following clues, he ends up taking his wife’s body back home to Raven’s Fair to bury and at the same time, look into what had happened. There he learns of the story about a past ventriloquist called Mary Shaw whose name haunts the town after her death.
There is no doubt in my mind that James Wan (with his writer Leigh Whannell) is pretty awesome together in the world of horror. After all, despite many people feeling that Insidious was missing a good ending, I still felt it was pretty strong as a horror movie. Thats coming from my inexperience and lower tolerance of horror movies, I think. Still, whatever it is, I was convinced that James Wan knew what he was doing. I haven’t seen the Saw franchise so I have no comparison but that is also one of the reasons why I decided to watch Dead Silence. The second reason was that Ryan Kwanten (not in True Blood being a simple-minded Jason) would be interesting, at the very least, it’ll bring something nice to the screen.
The only thing that scared me when I was a child was clowns and being never revealed to ventriloquist and that whole world of creepiness, I didn’t exactly find this scary. It just felt REALLY slow. Like I like slow but this was just nearing boring. So I paused this movie..umm…*counts on fingers* forget it, I don’t remember how many times. I just didn’t feel like there was anything making me want to wait for the next thing because I sat there and predicted what would happen for most of the movie. So what was wrong with this? It comes to the point that in comparison with Insidious, that one was creeping me out throughout the movie and didn’t have just an epic ending but this one was the other way around. Honestly, by the last bit and of course, he always has a twist, it changed the game a bit, so why couldn’t the rest of the movie be like that? Sorry, this review is more of a rant.
Okay, I’m not hating on the movie. I did rate it like 3 out of 5 stars on Netflix, means I liked it (apparently). The characters were done well. I mean, for the most part, James Wan and Leigh Whannell seem to really agree on what is creepy and Mary Shaw plus ventriloquists are definitely in that arena. Rotting old ladies are also very scary. I’m totally on board with that. Dead Silence had decent scares. The scenes all had nice eerie atmosphere to complement it. A lot of the details were actually quite good. As usual, its his style to use atmosphere to build up the fear than with excessive gore (maybe thats not the case with Saw? I know nothing of that).
I always look at the characters a bit. The characters aren’t exactly in depth here but one I hated was the detective. That guy was stupid and I wanted to punch his face because he annoyed me. Ryan Kwanten was definitely different from how I usually see him. It actually makes me want to see The Right Kind of Wrong. I think that might more be his ballpark. All the characters weren’t around enough to give me any deep feeling or attachment so if and when they did die, it really didn’t make me feel anything much, plus, everyone dies the same way so after a while, its not extremely surprising.
It seems like Dead Silence really caught me on a bad day but I guess, its hard to follow a pretty awesome movie like Children of Men that had a great storyline. However, Dead Silence does have many many hints of the works of James Wan. If you appreciate his work, this might not be a bad choice, especially if dolls and that sort of thing tend to freak you out. My suggestion is to tough out the first half because its filled with not so great dialogue and a really slow plot but by the second half in Ravens Fair and the investigation is getting deeper, the tension really builds up for the big finale/twist 🙂 So no, not all bad, the ending really pushes it in the good area.