Dead Silence (2007) d. Wan, James (USA)
"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw
She had no children, only dolls
And if you see her, do not scream
Or she'll rip your tongue out at the seam."
When Ryan Kwanten’s wife is found murdered with her tongue mysteriously and brutally torn out by the roots, he is led on a wild chase to track down her killer; a pursuit that leads him back to his hometown, uncovering some very dark (surprise!) family secrets along the way.
Director Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell, the creators of the Saw uber-franchise, return to the horror fray, this time with a ghostly tale of a murderous ventriloquist named Mary Shaw (Judith Roberts). Granted, the subject matter has a relative freshness to it, and the variety of creepy puppets should certainly spook those who already pass by their sister’s doll collection with a certain degree of apprehension.
However, the script suffers from unsympathetic, half-baked characters and murky, muddled logic, while John R. Leonetti’s cinematography renders everything slick and glossy as Mary Shaw’s collection.
Much like Saw, there’s plenty to like and plenty to nitpick at once the lights come back on, including a so-so attempt at a “gotcha!” twist ending.