Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Wan|
|Produced by||Mark Burg
|Screenplay by||Leigh Whannell|
|Story by||James Wan
|Music by||Charlie Clouser|
|Cinematography||John R. Leonetti|
|Editing by||Michael Knue|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||89 minutes
92 minutes (Unrated)
Dead Silence (originally titled Shhhh... and Silence, with alternate title suggestions such as The Doll and Mary Shaw) is a 2007 horror film, directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the creators of Saw. The film stars Ryan Kwanten, Judith Roberts, Donnie Wahlberg, and Amber Valletta.
Every town has its own ghost story, and a local folktale around Ravens Fair is about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw. After she went mad in the 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a young boy who yelled out in one of her performances that she was a fraud. Because of this she was hunted down by townspeople who in the ultimate act of revenge, cut out her tongue and then killed her. They buried her along with her "children," a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls, and assumed they had silenced her forever. However, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths around them after Mary Shaws collection has returned from their graves and have come to seek revenge on people that killed her and their families. Far from the pall of their cursed hometown, newlyweds Jamie and Lisa Ashen thought they had established a fresh start, until Jamie's wife is grotesquely killed in their apartment. Jamie returns to Ravens Fair for the funeral, intent on unraveling the mystery of Lisa's death. Once reunited with his ill father, Edward, and his father's new young bride, Ella, Jamie must dig into the town's bloody past to find out who killed his wife and why. All the while, he is doggedly pursued by a detective who doesn't believe a word he says. As he uncovers the legend of Mary Shaw, he will unlock the story of her curse and the truth behind the threat from a rhyme in his childhood: if you see Mary Shaw and scream, she'll take your tongue. And the last thing you will hear before you die...is your own voice speaking back to you.
- Ryan Kwanten as Jamie Ashen
- Amber Valletta as Ella Ashen
- Donnie Wahlberg as Detective Jim Lipton
- Bob Gunton as Edward Ashen
- Judith Roberts as Mary Shaw
- Michael Fairman as Henry Walker
- Laura Regan as Lisa Ashen
- Joan Heney as Marion Walker
In the United States, as of April 16, 2007, the film's total gross has been worth US$16.5 million (according to Box Office Mojo), and screenings of Dead Silence were ceased in most theaters sixteen days following its release; the film's estimated production budget was US$20 million. As of April 1, 2009, US$5,408,331 has been generated globally. Tentative plans for a sequel were abandoned.
The film received generally negative reviews; Rotten Tomatoes rated the film with a 21% "Rotten" based on 76 reviews with a consensus of "More tasteful than recent slasher flicks, but Dead Silence is undone by boring characters, bland dialogue, and an unnecessary and obvious twist ending."
|Dead Silence Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Charlie Clouser, Aiden|
|Released||March 16, 2007|
|Genre||Score, Horror Punk, Gothic Rock|
|Producer||Charlie Clouser, Aiden|
|Charlie Clouser, Aiden chronology|
|Singles from Rain in Hell, Dead Silence|
Lakeshore Records released the soundtrack of Dead Silence on the 20th March, 2007. The CD contains 31 tracks, the first track being the song "We Sleep Forever" performed by American rock band Aiden. The rest of the CD is taken up by Charlie Clouser's film's score. Clouser has worked on many film scores such as the Saw series and Resident Evil: Extinction.
- Track listing
- "We Sleep Forever" - Aiden
- "Main Titles" [2:56]
- "Sheet" [1:08]
- "Blood" [1:41]
- "Apartment" [1:28]
- "Raven's Fair" [0:59]
- "Dad's House" [0:47]
- "Ella" [1:29]
- "My Son" [1:03]
- "What Poem?" [1:31]
- "Caskets" [1:57]
- "Motel Hearse" [1:22]
- "It Can't Be" [1:40]
- "Funeral" [0:49]
- "Billy" [2:42]
- "Perplexed" [1:25]
- "Steal Billy" [0:50]
- "Lips Moving" [1:57]
- "Coffin" [2:16]
- "Photos" [1:36]
- "Map Drive" [0:49]
- "Guignol" [1:57]
- "He Talked" [3:06]
- "It's Soup" [2:09]
- "Full Tank" [1:49]
- "Doll Wall" [1:37]
- "All the Dolls" [1:07]
- "One Left" [0:27]
- "Mary Shaw" [0:31]
- "Dummy" [1:05]
- "Family Album" [0:37]
- Many alternate scenes were released on the unrated DVD, depicting Mary Shaw with a long, slimy tongue, made of numerous tongues from her victims. In the scenes, she uses her tongue to frighten her victims, making it slither from her mouth (and licks Jamie's cheek in one scene). Along with the tongues of her victims, Mary acquires their voice as well.
- In an alternate ending, Ella simply knocks Jamie out after he discovers his father was a puppet all along. Then, she explains that the original Ella was a human being with Edward as an abusive husband. Edward knocked her down the stairs, and killed their unborn child. Ella dug up the grave where the puppet Billy was buried, and became possessed by Mary Shaw. Afterward, Ella makes a family photograph, and then, dressed as Mary Shaw, tells a bedtime story to a child by candlelight, later revealed to be Jamie with his tongue ripped out (or would have been had they added the visual effect planned). This story is the poem. Ella also reveals that only silence can save you from Mary Shaw. Then she blows out the candle, ending the movie.
- The Billy puppet, from the Saw franchise, makes a brief cameo; it can be seen sitting on the floor as Jamie starts to walk towards the clown doll.
In his personal blog, screenwriter Whannell reveals the origins of the film within the context of the "Hollywood" film industry. In a candid post entitled, "Dud Silence: The Hellish Experience Of Making A Bad Horror Film", Whannell explains that the film was conceived following the advice of his agent at the time and that a "script doctor" was eventually employed by the production studio. Whannell concludes the post with a description of the key lessons that were learned following the Dead Silence experience:
After everything is said and done, I’m almost glad ‘Dead Silence’ happened, because it gave me an extreme, coal-face lesson in what not to do. It was like learning to swim by leaping off Niagara Falls. I only write scripts on spec now, which means that I write them in my own time without getting paid and then take them out into the world to see if anyone’s interested. Never again will I enter the arranged marriage of selling a pitch. I have also become very gun-shy about working with studios. In the world of independent film, what you write ends up on screen. Plus, they don’t have the money to bring in script doctors! Works fine for me. Who knows, maybe one day I will work with a studio again...
- Dead Silence at Box Office Mojo
- Bloody Disgusting Staff (10). "Universal Puts the Hush on ‘Dead Silence’". Bloody Disgusting. BLOODY DISGUSTING LLC. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Chris Eggertsen (23). "The Top 10 Killer Toy Movies for the Holidays!". Bloody Disgusting. BLOODY DISGUSTING LLC. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- IMDb (1990–2012). "Release dates for Dead Silence (2007)". IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Box Office Mojo (Unknown). "Dead Silence". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Dead Silence (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- The Numbers (1997–2012). "Dead Silence - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Leigh Whannell (31). "Dud Silence: The Hellish Experience Of Making A Bad Horror Film". Word In The Stone. Leigh Whannell. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Official website
- Dead Silence at the Internet Movie Database
- Dead Silence at Box Office Mojo
- Dead Silence at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dead Silence at Metacritic