Directed by: James Wan
Premise: Jamie (Ryan Kwanten) returns to his hometown after his wife is murdered in the same manner as a series of mysterious deaths plaguing the dying town. As he attempts to discover the reason for his wife’s death, Jamie uncovers a town curse.
What Works: Director James Wan has a very effective cinematic vision and like Saw the look of Dead Silence is appropriately stylized. The film plays on the creepiness of dolls and clowns and is able to use subtle effects and tricks to create an effective atmosphere.
What Doesn’t: For all of the film’s success in tone and look, Dead Silence is inept in its storytelling. Dramatic scenes go by too fast, with actors spitting out their lines as quickly as they can so the film can move on to more scenes of people walking around in the dark for no reason. After the initial murder, nothing happens in the story until the conclusion. The film tries for a twist ending but when the story gets there it makes no sense and is confusing instead of scary.
Bottom Line: Dead Silence is a below average horror film. Although it does have appropriate atmosphere, it does not have a coherent story, nor is the film able to create a sense of purpose or tension.
Episode: #133 (March 18, 2007)