Dead Silence
Dead silence.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Wan
Produced by Mark Burg
Oren Koules
Gregg Hoffman
Written by Leigh Whannell
Starring Ryan Kwanten
Amber Valletta
Donnie Wahlberg
Bob Gunton
Music by Charlie Clouser
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Editing by Michael Knue
Studio Twisted Pictures
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) March 16, 2007 (2007-03-16)
Running time 89 minutes
92 minutes (Unrated)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $22,217,407[1]

Dead Silence (originally titled Shhhh... and Silence, with alternate title suggestions such as The Doll and Mary Shaw[2]) is a 2007 horror film, directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the creators of Saw. The film stars Ryan Kwanten as the main protagonist, Jamie Ashen, Judith Roberts as Mary Shaw, Donnie Wahlberg as Detective Jim Lipton, and Amber Valletta as Jamie's fathers third wife, Ella.[3]


Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife, Lisa (Laura Regan), receive a mysterious ventriloquist doll in the mail, 'Billy', in an unmarked package with no return address. Jamie and Lisa wonder who would have sent the doll. Lisa then remembers a poem she knew when she was younger, about a woman named Mary Shaw.

Jamie disregards this and leaves to get dinner; Jamie returns to discover Lisa is dead with her tongue ripped out, and Billy is lying on the floor near her body. Detective Jim Lipton (Donnie Wahlberg) suspects Jamie of the murder, but there is no evidence against him. Jamie returns to his apartment and discovers that Billy belonged to Mary Shaw (Judith Roberts), a ventriloquist from his hometown of Ravens Fair.

Returning to the town for Lisa's funeral, he first confronts his estranged father about Mary Shaw. Jamie's father has suffered a stroke and is now wheel-chair bound, and he has a new wife, Ella (Amber Valletta), who takes care of him. His father and Ella remind him of the children's poem regarding Shaw and her penchant for cutting out her victims' tongues. "Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, she had no children – only dolls; and if you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream." Jamie leaves his fathers home, warning Ella that his father is a monster. After Lisa's funeral, Jamie wanders into an old cemetery where he finds Shaw's grave and those of her puppets. Marion (Joan Heney), the mortician's senile wife, warns him of the danger of Shaw's puppets, and he realizes he should rebury Billy. He does so, only to find the puppet in his room later in the night, accompanied by Lipton, still not convinced of Jamie's innocence. Jamie tells him about the poem, but Lipton is skeptical. The next morning, Jamie steals Billy from the detective, and he brings him to the mortician, Henry, who finally tells him about Mary Shaw.

Shaw was a famous ventriloquist whose ambition was to make the perfect puppet. One night at a performance, a young boy named Michael (Steven Taylor) heckled her, claiming that he could see Mary's lips moving. Mary quickly rebuffed this by presenting herself and Billy talking at the same time, and impressed the entire audience. Michael went missing shortly after. While his body was never found, Shaw was blamed, and the Ashen clan murdered her by cutting her tongue out. Her final wish was to turn her body into a ventriloquist's puppet and to be buried with her 101 puppets. Henry, at a very young age, wandered into his fathers mortuary and accidentally knocked the coffin over. Shaw's body came to life and she began approaching Henry. He survived because he covered his mouth to keep from screaming; Mary can only kill her victims when they scream. Henry's father then burst into the room, and discovered Henry cowering in the corner and Shaw's body on the floor.


Mary Shaw's 100 puppets (101 including Billy)

Jamie investigates the theater and finds Shaw's dressing room. He discovers an old book with plans to make the perfect puppet. Jamie confronts his father later in the night and learns that the missing boy was his great-uncle. His father tells him that the boy's family murdered Shaw by forcing her to scream and then cut out her tongue. The men involved were then killed off one by one, found with their tongues ripped out. Their wives, children, and children's children all suffered the same fate. His father then tells him Shaw will come back for himself and Jamie as well. Lipton then arrives and tells Jamie that he exhumed Shaw's puppets' graves and that all of them are missing. Jamie then receives a phone call from Henry, telling him to go to the theater, when in truth Henry had just been murdered by Mary Shaw in the crawl space underneath his home. With the detective following close behind, Jamie returns to the theater and Shaw's living quarters. Discovering a hidden back room that Jamie didn't locate the first time, they find the body of Michael Ashen, murdered by Mary Shaw, strung up like a marionette, and 100 of Shaw's puppets placed in cases on the wall. Suddenly, one of the dolls begins talking to them. The doll, possessed by Shaw, tells them she wants to silence those who silenced her, and that she killed Lisa because she was pregnant.

Shaw herself appears behind the doll but Lipton shoots the doll and she disappears. She then begins materializing via the other dolls. After setting the room on fire, they run from the theater with Shaw's ghost chasing them. When the catwalk in which they are running collapses, Shaw kills Lipton in mid-fall after he screams. Jamie, however, continues to climb upward on the collapsed catwalk, only to be greeted by Mary Shaw when he reaches the top. He falls through the floor of the theater and lands in the flooded costume room of the theatre. Grabbing the fallen flashlight, he makes his escape. The theater burns down, destroying all of Shaw's dolls and puts an end to her reign of terror.

After he drives away, Jamie realizes that Billy is the only remaining puppet, and that the only way to get rid of Shaw is to destroy him. He goes to Henry, with who he had left Billy, only to discover that he is dead with his tongue ripped out. After Marion tells Jamie that his father took the doll, he returns to his father's house to destroy Billy. When he arrives, Mary Shaw reappears, but is forced to retreat when Jamie throws Billy into the fireplace. As she is forced back into the shadows, Jamie finds his father sitting in his wheelchair, staring blankly into space. As he approaches him, Jamie is horrified as he discovers his father is dead with his entire back hollowed out and replaced with a wooden shaft used in ventriloquist dummies. Jamie realizes his father had been wearing the same suit the entire time, and Ella had been at his side the entire time with her hand behind his back. He realizes that Ella is the perfect puppet that Shaw strove to make and has been using the elder Ashen's corpse as a puppet to lure Jamie. Ella heckles Jamie and Mary Shaw materializes again through her perfect puppet. Jamie screams as Mary Shaw attacks him, presumably taking his tongue. The film ends with the poem being recited as Shaw is looking through a scrap book with the pictures of her recent victims turned into dolls.[4]


Box officeEdit

Despite a wide release, it has only made around $16.5M domestically as of April 16, 2007 (according to Box Office Mojo). It was pulled from most theaters just 16 days after release. Its estimated production budget was $20M. As of April 1, 2009, it has made $5,408,331 worldwide.[5] Tentative plans for a sequel were abandoned.


The film received generally negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes rated the film with a 20% "Rotten" based on 74 reviews with a consensus of "More tasteful than recent slasher flicks, but "Dead Silence" is undone by boring characters, bland dialogue, and an unnecessary and obvious twist ending."


It was released nationwide on March 16, 2007, and was released R-rated and Unrated on DVD and Unrated on HD DVD on June 26, 2007. The film has since grossed $17,304,718 in DVD sales.[6][7]


Dead Silence Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Charlie Clouser, Aiden
Released March 16, 2007
Recorded March 16, 2007
Genre Score, Horror Punk, Gothic Rock
Length 51:19
Label Lakeshore Records
Producer Charlie Clouser, Aiden
Charlie Clouser, Aiden chronology

<span />

Saw III (2006) 'Dead Silence' Saw IV (2007)
Singles from Rain in Hell, Dead Silence
  1. "We Sleep Forever"
    Released: March 2007
Lakeshore Records released the soundtrack of Dead Silence on the 20th March, 2007. The CD contains 31 tracks, the first track being the song "We Sleep Forever" performed by American rock band Aiden. The rest of the CD is taken up by the movie's score composed and performed by Charlie Clouser who has worked on many film scores such as the Saw series and Resident Evil: Extinction. The Main Titles theme (the 1st track on the soundtrack) was used as the main theme for Knotts Scary Farms Doll Factory Maze which has a similar theme to Dead Silence...
Track listing

We Sleep Forever Aiden 1 Main Titles [2:56] 2 Sheet [1:08]

  1. Blood [1:41]
  2. Apartment [1:28]
  3. Raven's Fair [0:59]
  4. Dad's House [0:47]
  5. Ella [1:29]
  6. My Son [1:03]
  7. What Poem? [1:31]
  8. Caskets [1:57]
  9. Motel Hearse [1:22]
  10. It Can't Be [1:40]
  11. Funeral [0:49]
  12. Billy [2:42]
  13. Perplexed [1:25]
  14. Steal Billy [0:50]
  15. Lips Moving [1:57]
  16. Coffin [2:16]
  17. Photos [1:36]
  18. Map Drive [0:49]
  19. Guignol [1:57]
  20. He Talked [3:06]
  21. It's Soup [2:09]
  22. Full Tank [1:49]
  23. Doll Wall [1:37]
  24. All the Dolls [1:07]
  25. One Left [0:27]
  26. Mary Shaw [0:31]
  27. Dummy [1:05]
  28. Family Album [0:37]

Alternate footageEdit

  • Many alternate scenes were released on the unrated DVD, depicting Mary Shaw with a long, slimy tongue, made of numerous tongues from her victims. In the scenes, she uses her tongue to frighten her victims, making it slither from her mouth (and licks Jamie's cheek in one scene). Along with the tongues of her victims, Mary acquires their voice as well.
  • In an alternate ending, Ella simply knocks Jamie out after he discovers his father was a puppet all along. Then, she explains that the original Ella was a human being with Edward as an abusive husband. Edward knocked her down the stairs, and killed her unborn child. Ella dug up the grave where the puppet Billy was buried, and became possessed by Mary Shaw. Afterward, Ella makes a family photograph, and then, dressed as Mary Shaw, tells a bedtime story to a child by candlelight, later revealed to be Jamie with his tongue ripped out (or would have been had they added the visual effect planned). This story is the poem. Ella also reveals that only silence can save you from Mary Shaw. Then she blows out the candle, ending the movie.
  • The Billy puppet, from the Saw franchise, makes a brief cameo; it can be seen sitting on the floor as Jamie starts to walk towards the clown doll.


External linksEdit

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