Sunday, February 7, 2016
Kevin Watt versus Dead Silence
She had no children, only dolls
And if you see her in your dreams
Make sure you never ever scream…
Or she'll rip your tongue out at the seam.
Furious 7, the Saw franchise, The Conjuring, Insidious; James Wan (writer/director) is legit. In 2007 he brought us his imagining of the creepy ghost story in the form of Dead Silence, and he swung for the fences but struck out.
The story takes place in spooky hamlet of Ravens Fair, home to ventriloquist Mary Shaw who is buried with all her dolls. Jamie (Ryan Kwatlen) returns home to Ravens Fair after he believes Mary Shaw is somehow involved in his wife’s murder. Jamie’s investigation efforts are hindered by a cynical cop (Donnie Wahlberg) who believes Jamie killed his wife. Throw in a creepy doll named Billy and let the games begin.
I will give James Wan points for trying. There are so any textbook tacky horror effects that they put a smile on your face instead of goosebumps. Did the hearse really drive through town in the dead of night under a veil of fog? Is there really going to be thunder and lighting every time evil in confronted? Are we really going to walk through the house in the dark when all the lights work just fine? Does the cop really carry around a portable electric razor? Does the home of Mary Shaw still have all her property intact after being abandoned for 66 years in order to reveal crucial plot points? Yes, to all counts. Sigh.
In the end the dialogue, the plot, the directing all fail to hit their intended mark. Dead Silence comes off as cheesy but not in the good way. James Wan’s body of work is evidence he knows the genre but I guess everyone is entitled to a stumble.