When the movie “Saw” hit it big at the box office, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were thrown a bunch of money to make another horror movie. They made “Dead Silence”. Inspired by the creepy tricycle riding doll from “Saw”, they made a ghost story about an old ventriloquist and her doll. Mary Shaw is sort of an urban legend they created; she had no children just dolls, if you scream she’ll rip your tongue out or something like that.
Ryan Kwanten, who now stars in HBO’s “True Blood”, plays Jaime a grieving widow investigating the mysterious murder of his wife. That’s right a horror movie without a hot female lead. What gives? Donnie Wahlberg plays the detective on the case; he also plays the lead cop role in “Saw 2”. He plays the usual gruff investigator who always seems to using his electric razor. Jaime comes from a wealthy family and his stepmother, played by former supermodel Amber Valetta, is only there to be apart of the big final twist ending. The whole Mary Shaw myth and legend is not that scary and her backstory is completely unoriginal and feels tacked on. The filmmakers use a lot of effects and bullshit to mask that fact that this story is pretty weak and not all that scary.
Billy is the name of Mary’s ventriloquist doll (also the name as the “Saw” doll) that seems to briefly come to life somewhat by Mary’s spirit or something. The other dolls just seem to move their eyes, which is creepy, but it has been done so many times that it does very little to actually frighten you. This is your basic gothic ghost story, which is code for boring. The whole male lead thing really threw me off. Coming from the guys who made “Saw”, I guess I was expecting a whole lot more. This known as the M. Night Shyamalan effect. It sets the bar pretty high which will inevitably set you up for disappointment. This movie is really nothing special as it floats in a sea of mediocrity. Check it out if you find it on cable or satellite, but don’t pay any money to see it.