Dead Silence is a 2007 horror movie from the makers of the Saw movie series. It has less Gorn, but the chilling horror that this film provides covers the loss.The movie tells the story of Jamie Ashen, who receives an anonymous package containing a ventriloquist dollnamed Billy. Shortly after, he goes to run a quick errand, leaving his wife alone in the house with the doll. When he returns, he finds his wife dead and mutilated with her tongue torn out. Police suspect Jamie as her murderer. When he journeys to his hometown of Raven's Fair (taking the doll with him) to bury his wife and to find some answers, they send detectiveJimLipton to spy on him.Jamie arrives to his home where he finds his aging father, Edward, has remarried to a young blonde named Ella. She reminds him of an old poem that told about Mary Shaw, a murdered ventriloquist who seeks revenge, killing and ripping out the tongues of anyone who screams upon seeing her ghost. After getting more disturbing information and warnings, Jamie decides to bury the doll, hoping this will end his torture.To say that things go downhill from there doesn't even begin to cover it...Warning: Some unmarked spoilers below.
Adult Fear: Your spouse is killed while you're out running an errand. If that wasn't bad enough, all evidence points to you as the murderer.
Your son gets kidnapped and you never find him.
Aside Glance: Billy does this quite a few times when no one's watching him.
Asshole Victim: From the moment he was shown on the screen, we all knew that Detective Jim Lipton will get what's coming to him before the end credits start rolling. Edward Ashen could also be considered an example - although we don't actually see what he was like prior to the events of the movie, it is heavily implied that he was a total dick to Jamie and his numerous wives.
The Bechdel Test: Fails. There are only four women with speaking lines in the film; Lisa is dead within ten minutes, Marion is a senile old woman, Mary Shaw is the film's Big Bad, and Ella is Shaw's "perfect doll." Neither of them really interact with each other, aside from one offscreen moment where Marion and Mary Shaw speak; and even then, it was technically Billy she was talking to.
Dead Guy Puppet: Michael Ashen ends up as a marionette made from his own body. Edward is later revealed to have been turned into a ventriloquist dummy.
Demonic Dummy / Creepy Doll: Even though Billy is the doll shown throughout most of the film and he is also an example, the clown doll in the rocking chair is one of the most horrifying dolls in movie history...ever.
It certainly doesn't help that it looks like Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It.
Edward is extremely creepy as a doll only from behind. This extends to the other two corpses made into dolls, as well.
Demonic Possession: The film was originally going to have a different take on Ella - the alternate ending and a deleted scene shows Ella as a regular human woman, who, after losing her and Edward's unborn child after he pushed her down the stairs, was drawn to Mary Shaw's resting place and ended up becoming possessed by her.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted. It isn't the fall that kills Lipton - just the fact that he can't help but scream on the way down.
Disproportionate Retribution: Some young, bratty child heckles you during one of your ventriloquist shows? Kill him and turn him into a puppet!
Mary Shaw's entire plan for revenge, really. Violently murdering the people who killed you is bad enough, but dedicating your afterlife to eliminating their entire bloodline is just abominable.
The Dragon: In a manner of speaking: Billy is the dummy we see the most in the film. Mary Shaw appears to have favored him in life, and most of the scares involve him somehow. Not surprising, considering how creepy he is; he's the one on the above poster.
The Dreaded: The people of Raven's Fair fear Mary Shaw, even years after her death. They refuse to speak her name, and one of the reasons Lipton doesn't buy Jamie's story is because no one in the town appears to have heard of her. Jamie counters that the townspeople have—- they're just that afraid of her.
Evil Genius: Mary Shaw made her own dummies; that would require considerable skill in woodwork and artistic design, and a general understanding of human anatomy. Turning people into dummies would also seem to require some knowledge in human biology.
Foreshadowing: During the burning down of the theatre, Mary Shaw briefly materializes behind Michael Ashen's puppet/corpse. It doesn't seem like much at first, but later on we see that people she's turned into dummies/puppets also work as a Soul Jar for her, just like her other dummies.
Ghostly Goals: Mary Shaw wishes to "silence all those who silenced [her]."
Gorn: Generally avoided, but the faces of Mary's victims and Edward's hollowed-out corpse are definite examples.
Harmful to Minors: As a child, Henry had to deal with the trauma of seeing Mary Shaw's corpse - and, to make matters worse, he saw it after the modifications had been made. She then gets up and starts walking towards him...
Hope Spot: Jamie has destroyed all of Mary's dolls apart from Billy. He tracks Billy down and throws him into the fire. Now all of Mary's dolls are destroyed, everything is going to be just fine- no, sorry, the dolls she made from corpses do count. And Edward is one of them. And Ella is the "perfect doll".
Puppet Permutation: Not only are Michael and Edward turned into dolls, the ending shows that Jamie, Lisa, Henry and Lipton have all been turned into them as well. Also, Mary Shaw's final wish was to have her corpse turned into a ventriloquist doll.
Quieter Than Silence: One of the signs of Mary Shaw's appearance is all the normal everyday sounds slowing down, distorting, and finally fading out, leaving absolute silence behind. The only things that make any sound are the victims and her...
Shout-Out: In the hidden room, one of the puppets is Billy from Saw.
The fact that the main dummy in this film is also named Billy (and also wears the same outfit as the Saw Billy) is a further reference.
Weaksauce Weakness: It's heavily implied (and outright stated in the deleted scenes) Mary Shaw can only kill you if you scream while she's around. Fortunately for her, there are absolutely no deaf nor mute people to be seen in the entire film. Or somebody who CANNOT scream despite not being deaf/mute.
Wham Line: "She was carrying the last Ashen inside her."