Dead Silence (2007, USA) C-91m. SCOPE *** D: James Wan. Starring Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valetta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan. Director Wan's follow-up to his smash-hit SAW (2004) is a crackerjack horror film about a ventriloquist's dummy, which seems to bring death to those around it. Kwanten, whose wife died mysteriously, returns to his hometown to investigate mysterious ventriloquist, who may be behind it all. Beware the Stare! Not entirely logical but atmospheric, stylish, well-directed and scary as hell! So suspenseful it creates a heightened sense of awareness in you. Superb subliminal score is reminiscent of SUSPIRIA (1977), and film's finale is a nod to INFERNO (1980). A treat for horror fans. Like SAW (2004), this was written by Leigh Whannell, from a story by himself and director Wan. DVD version contains an alternate opening and ending.


© Ron Altman