DVD Review: Dead Silence

Dead SilenceOh wow, ventriloquists are creepy. I’m afraid of everything, so my review of the Dead Silence unrated DVD may be a little different than those brave souls out there. Let me just start by mentioning that the PR team for this film sent me an e-card last week, which made me laugh out loud… and then have nightmares for a week. It was a card with a talking doll telling me she was happy that I would be reviewing the film for slashfilm.com. If that didn’t freak me out enough, I then had to watch the film.

In Dead Silence, Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) is a guy trying to prove his innocence after he is accused of killing his wife right after a creepy puppet ends up outside of their door. Detective Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) accuses Jamie of the murder, so he returns to his hometown to try to prove that a creepy ventriloquist named Mary Shaw is behind the killing.

My favorite thing about this film was the opening title sequence. It was probably one of the best shot opening montages I have seen in a while. The panning shots of puppet blueprints and puppet-making notes were creatively lit, shot with an old style film look, and played over a fitting score. The cinematography after the initial sequence however, was spotty. It was great in some shots, but over-stylized in others.

The acting in Dead Silence is pretty plain. There was nothing great about it, but also nothing I can pick apart. The story was decent, although not as full as I would have liked. The characters were also a bit shallow, but it’s a horror flick, so I’m willing to forgive these things if the film is scary, and scary it definitely is, although I do think that anything involving dolls coming to life will freak me out.

The DVD comes with an alternate beginning and ending. I didn’t care much for the beginning piece, but the ending was actually probably scarier than anything else in the film, so it was a great addition to the DVD. Dead Silence is a fun horror film to enjoy in the dark. Just remember while you watch to “be sure you never, ever scream” (I had to write that).

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