Reviewed by: Chris Sosa
|Featuring:||Leigh Whannell, Amber Valletta, Ryan Kwanten, Donnie Wahlberg, Christina Cox|
|Producer:||Oren Koules, Gregg Hoffman, Mark Burg|
“You scream. You die.”
“Dead Silence” tells the tale of Jamie Ashen, a young man on a search for answers following the gruesome death of his wife. In one of the film’s opening scenes, Jamie’s wife Lisa is brutally murdered, found with her mouth in a screaming position, and all signs point toward Jamie as the killer. On a quest to prove his innocence, Jamie leaves town to visit the home of his father, with only a mysterious doll and an old poem as clues to his wife’s demise. Jamie’s quest points him toward the legend of Mary Shaw, a famed ventriloquist who has long since passed.
What follows is a fairly average ghost story, and a boring one at that. Anyone who has seen “Darkness Falls,” “The Others,” “The Ring,” or any of the other hosts of Asian-inspired horror films knows exactly what to expect. Only this film is not nearly as entertaining or intriguing as any of the afore-mentioned films. “Dead Silence” feels almost like an episode of “Supernatural” that just doesn’t want to end. And when it finally does, the audience is left wandering why they wasted the last hour-and-a-half of their lives on this bore of a film.
Regarding the films content, this film is surprisingly clean. From a Christian perspective, the most troubling element will be its violent content, which is incredibly tame by horror movie standards. As for sexual content, this film is spotless. Language is also very tame, milder than what one would hear even in a typical public setting. Substance abuse is, also, not an issue in this film.
For those concerned with the film’s violence, it is nowhere near the level of exploitation of other horror films such as the recent remake of “The Hills Have Eyes.” “Dead Silence” prefers the approach of movies such as “The Ring” and “Dark Water,” relying more on jump-scenes and quick-flashes than actual gruesome acts. The only notable exceptions to this are one of the opening scenes in which the wife is spewing blood from her mouth and one later scene of horror movie gore which will be left unsaid, so as to not reveal the final plot twist.
For Christians concerned about spiritual content in “Dead Silence,” this film is really nothing more than a surface-level ghost story. Unlike a movie such as “The Others,” “Dead Silence” takes no swipes at Christianity, and really doesn’t dwell on any true aspects of the occult. The “spiritual” content in this movie is generally somewhat laughable, and would most likely not be a problem for anyone considering viewing a horror movie in the first place. Occult-related aspects are quite minimal for a ghost story, avoiding the more voodoo-oriented material of movies such as “Child’s Play,” or more notably “The Skeleton Key.”
Overall, “Dead Silence” is a mediocre take on a worn-out subject. While this film is much less troubling than most other horror movies in terms of content, one may have a difficult time staying awake through this plodding mess. I certainly did.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.