DEAD SILENCE (2007)
(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)
With Insidious: Chapter 3 out in theaters now, I thought I’d post a short review for the James Wan/Leigh Whannell collaboration Dead Silence that I had written before I started The Movie Madhouse…
Dead Silence is filled with spooky atmosphere and great cinematography as director James Wan has a sumptuous visual style. The problem here is that Wan is a little too deliberate and obvious in the use of the classic horror trappings. He’s a little too in your face with the spooky stuff where a little more mystery and a little more patience with delivering the goods would have helped make this scarier. Wan let’s his horror elements out of the box immediately and then parades them out in the open where a little lurking in the shadows would have worked in the film’s favor. We know from the first scene that there is something evil about Billy the doll so, after a half hour in, nothing from it surprises or scares us anymore. We also know what’s going on from early on, too, so, there’s little suspense. Wan…who works from a screenplay by Leigh Whannell…is a good director who got a little too giddy with his first straight horror after directing the original and best of the Saw films. Saw showed us Wan can give us mystery, suspense and can make us wait to the right moment to hit us with the surprises. Too bad he got a little over enthusiastic here…though some fault must be given to Leigh Whannell’s over-anxious screenplay, too. Wan’s more recent horrors, Insidious and The Conjuring show he’s learned his lesson to a good degree though he still has a habit of getting a bit over-theatrical when more subtle touches were working a lot better. Dead Silence stars Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta and Donnie Wahlberg. Definitely still worth a look!
2 and 1/2 Billys.