Dead Silence (2007) begins in the apartment of Jamie Ashen and his wife Lisa. A knock on their door leads them to a package left outside. When they open it, they find a ventriloquist dummy named “Billy” inside. Billy had belonged to Mary Shaw, the subject of an urban legend in their hometown of Raven’s Fair.
Jamie leaves to buy Chinese takeout and, while he’s gone, Lisa decides to play a joke on him. She sets Billy on the bed and covers him with a sheet. Then, she leaves the bedroom and checks her figure in the mirror. She shoves a pillow up her shirt in order to see how she’ll look pregnant.
Suddenly, all the volume in the apartment fades. It is deathly silent and Lisa is frightened. She wanders the apartment until she reaches the bedroom. When she enters, the sheet covers her head and she is knocked backward so hard she is damaged internally. Lisa is dragged through her own blood and back into the bedroom.
When Jamie returns home, it is no longer silent. He finds Lisa dead in the bedroom, her tongue torn from her mouth.
After Jamie has been released from police custody, he accompanies Lisa’s body back to Raven’s Fair taking the ventriloquist dummy along with him. He is pursued there by Detective Lipton, who believes he murdered his wife. Jamie convinces him he is not guilty and the two investigate Mary Shaw, who is more than an urban legend. She is a ghost and, if you see her and scream, she will rip your tongue out.
Dead Silence was not well received at the time of its release and flopped at the box office, it is a rare horror gem, though. The atmosphere is gloomy and almost gothic.
Jamie Ashen – Ryan Kwanten
Ella Ashen – Amber Valleta
Detective Jim Lipton – Donnie Wahlberg
Mary Shaw – Judith Roberts
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS:
-Leigh Whannell, screenwriter of Saw and Dead Silence, declared he would never pitch a script again after the film flopped. He blamed studio interference and lack of ideas for the movie’s failure. He now writes scripts on spec.
-The doll from SAW (also called Billy) has a cameo. It can be seen in Mary Shaw's workshop, leaning against a support beam. Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy can also be seen laying on a shelf.
-The film was featured as a haunted house at Universal Studios in 2007. It was part of their "Halloween Horror Nights."
Beware the stare of Mary Shaw,
She had no children only dolls,
And if you see her in your dreams,
Be sure to never ever scream.
Mary Shaw puts on a show with Billy in a remote theater and is heckled by a young boy who claims he saw her lips move. Billy wants to punish the boy and Mary argues with him. Their act is so good, you almost believe Billy is alive.
I’d just had my oldest son the second time I saw this movie. My husband and I were sitting in the dark and I had just put my new baby to sleep in my lap.
The most frightening scene in the entire movie began. This is the part where the mortician’s wife (a woman who suffers from mental illness) has hidden beneath their house and her husband has entered the crawlspace to find her. I grew tense as the volume dropped to dead silence.
The crawlspace door closes, trapping the mortician under the house. When he tries to open it, the frightening visage of Mary Shaw appears.
At this precise moment, my husband decided to scare me. He grabbed me as the mortician screamed and I screamed, nearly tossing my baby into the air. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy with him. (He thought I was going to hit him, but I didn’t. I did yell though.)
HOW YOU CAN WATCH:
Dead Silence is rated R. It is available for purchase on Amazon.
Tune in tomorrow for a special October Fright: Some free fiction from Naching T. Kassa! And, be sure to share your favorite movie memory in the comments below before hopping to the next blog.