Dead Silence (2007)

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German title Dead Silence
Original title Dead Silence
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2007
length 89 minutes
Extended version: 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director James Wan
script Leigh Whannell ,
James Wan
production Mark Burg ,
Gregg Hoffman ,
Oren Koules
music Charlie Clouser
camera John R. Leonetti
cut Michael N. Knue

Dead Silence (cross-reference: Dead Silence - One word and you're dead ) is an American horror film from 2007 . The screenwriter is Leigh Whannell , who played a leading role in Saw in 2003 and also wrote the screenplay for it. The director is James Wan , who also directed Saw . Furthermore, both worked together as producers for all other Saw parts. The leading roles are played by Ryan Kwanten , Donnie Wahlberg , Amber Valletta and Michael Fairman . Ryan Kwanten plays Jamie Ashen in the film, who finds his wife murdered after the mysterious delivery of a ventriloquist doll and begins to look for the killer who, he is certain, is the same person who sent him the doll.

The film premiered on March 17, 2007 in the USA and on November 8, 2007, the film was released directly on DVD in Germany. The film had an estimated budget of $ 20 million and grossed $ 22 million worldwide, with nearly $ 17 million in the United States.


Jamie Ashen and his wife Lisa receive a mysterious package with no return address and a ventriloquist dummy named "Billy" in it. You wonder who could have sent the package. Then Lisa remembers a few verses she heard as a child about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw.

Jamie doesn't care and gets something to eat. When he comes back he finds Lisa dead in bed with her tongue torn out. Billy is lying on the floor next to her. Detective Lipton suspects Ashen of the murder but is forced to let him go due to lack of evidence. At home, Jamie checks the package again and finds out that the doll for the repertoire of ventriloquist Mary Shaw comes from his hometown of Ravens Fair.

Jamie travels to Raven's Fair to attend to Lisa's funeral and also asks his estranged father Edward what he knows about Mary Shaw. He is in a wheelchair after a stroke and has a new wife, Ella, who looks after him. Edward and Ella tell of the children's verses who talk about Mary Shaw's preferences for tongues to tear out of their victims. Jamie leaves the house and warns Ella about his father's cold heartedness. After Lisa's funeral, Jamie finds an old cemetery where he finds Mary Shaw's grave and all of her dolls. Marion, the undertaker's senile wife, warns him of the danger posed by Shaw's dolls, and Jamie believes it would be best if he put Billy back in his grave. He does so and finds the doll in his motel room the same evening, next to Detective Lipton, who has followed Jamie to make sure he doesn't flee, as he still believes he was responsible for the murder of Lisa. Jamie tells him about the children's verses, but Lipton is unimpressed and confiscates the doll. The next morning, Jamie steals Detective Lipton's doll and takes it to the undertaker Henry Walken, who now tells him all about Mary Shaw.

Shaw was a successful ventriloquist in her childhood with ambitions to make the perfect doll. One night at a gig a boy named Michael called in that he could see the movement of her lips. Mary countered by letting the doll and herself talk at the same time, astonishing the entire audience. Shortly afterwards the boy disappeared and was never found. Mary Shaw was charged and the Ashen family killed her by tearing out her tongue. Her last wish was to be converted into a doll herself and buried with her 101 dolls. Henry, as a young boy, went into his father's morgue and accidentally knocked the coffin over. Mary Shaw rose and came up to Henry, who could only survive by covering his mouth so as not to scream; Mary can only kill her victims if they scream. Henry's father came into the room shortly afterwards and found his son crouching in the corner and Shaw's body lying on the floor.

Jamie investigates the old theater that used to be Shaw's performances and finds its locker room and plans to build the perfect doll. Jamie visits his father again, who tells him that the missing boy was Jamie's great-uncle at the time. He also says that the family killed Shaw by forcing her to scream and then cutting out her tongue. The family's wives, children and grandchildren then met the same fate. Edward goes on to say that Shaw will be back to get him and Jamie as well. When Jamie is about to leave, he runs into Lipton, who says that all the dolls have disappeared from the cemetery. At the same time, Jamie receives a call from Henry asking him to come back to the theater. Henry was previously killed in his home by Mary Shaw. Jamie sets off and Lipton follows him. Once there, they notice a hidden back room, where they find the body of Michael Ashen, who was hung on strings like a puppet. There is also a wall opposite them with the 100 dolls lined up in showcases. Suddenly one of the dolls, possessed by Mary Shaw, begins to speak. She says she wants to silence those who silenced her and that she killed Lisa because she was pregnant and had a child in the family.

Shaw appears behind the doll, but Lipton shoots it. When she begins to penetrate her other dolls, Lipton and Jamie burn them and flee, pursued by Shaw. When the footbridge they are fleeing over breaks apart, Shaw kills Lipton while he falls as he screams. Jamie climbs up again, is surprised by Shaw at the top and, frightened but without screaming, falls down into the flooded costume rooms, from where he swims outside and leaves the burning theater behind him, where the puppets and the threat from Mary Shaw find their end.

But Jamie remembers that Billy is still there. He drives to Henry to destroy it, but only finds him dead, while Marion tells him that his father came to get the doll. So Jamie drives to his father's house and finds Billy upstairs. When Mary Shaw reappears, Jamie throws the doll into the fire just before it can attack him. Then Jamie finds his father sitting in a wheelchair with a blank look. He looks at it closely and notices that its entire back is hollowed out and that it is shaped like a ventriloquist's dummy. He now sees that Ella used his father as a doll all along to lure Jamie and that she is the perfect doll Shaw wanted to build. Ella appears behind him, becomes possessed by Shaw, and attacks Jamie. He now has to scream in shock and is killed by having his tongue torn out. The film ends with Mary Shaw looking through a photo album with pictures of her victims made into ventriloquist mannequins.


The film received average to poor reviews. At Rotten Tomatoes he maintains the low average rating of 21%.

“Instead of bloody shocks, Wan relies on old-fashioned horror effects such as blowing curtains, fog and creaking doors. That works! "

Dead Silence may be worth a look for genre fanatics, but misses keeping the audience awake for over an hour and a half due to the lack of careful construction of suspense. Anyone who finds it silly anyway that ventriloquist dolls develop a life of their own is in the wrong film anyway - as are those who expect the Saw massacre to continue. "

- Filmstarts .de

“There are truly worlds between Dead Silence and its global success, Saw , but thanks to a largely convincing staging and the involuntarily entertaining story in some places, the film can just about place itself in the lower mid-range of the genre, but overall it is more of a candidate for a direct-to -DVD evaluation. "


"Predictable puppet horror film with initially drastic effects and an increasingly anemic story."


In the theater, when Jamie Ashton and Det. Lipton find the dolls, the Saw doll can also be seen briefly at the bottom of the picture, a reference to the film Saw by director James Wan .


role actor German Voice actor
Jamie Ashen Ryan Kwanten Stefan Günther
Det. Lipton Donnie Wahlberg Frank Röth
Ella Ashen Amber Valletta Shandra Schadt
Henry Walken Michael Fairman Norbert Gastell
Edward Ashen Bob Gunton Tobias Lelle

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Dead Silence . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , August 2007 (PDF; test number: 111 120 DVD).
  2. IMDb: Full cast and crew for Dead Silence (2007)
  3. IMDb: Budget and box office results Dead Silence (2007)
  4. Dead Silence
  5. ^ Dead Silence
  6. ^ Dead Silence
  7. Dead Silence. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 4, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  8. Dead Silence. In: German synchronous index , accessed on October 4, 2017 .