Metascore
34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 15
  2. Negative: 8 out of 15
  1. 63
    The dialogue isn't ridiculous, and sometimes it's witty: A cynical cop (Donnie Wahlberg) doesn't buy Jamie's theory that the doll had something to do with the murder: "The mystery toy department is down the hall. This is the homicide department."
  2. Boasts nothing new under the sun, but it does provide a few decent scares.
  3. 50
    This new movie is a more credible, less grisly act of filmmaking , but it's a less compelling exercise. It doesn't have the ruthless moral reasoning of the first two "Saw" pictures, however grotesque and specious that reasoning was. But it does have a plot that revolves around a ventriloquist and her demon doll.
  4. 50
    Again coaxing the worst imaginable performances out of his actors (see also: Cary Elwes and Danny Glover in "Saw"), Wan casts charisma-free unknown Ryan Kwanten as a young married man whose small-town past catches up to him.
  5. Terrified of puppets? Enjoy being scared? Then you'll be half-satisfied with Dead Silence, a rote horror pantomime.
  6. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    40
    Dolls are innately unnerving, but the movie's semi-menacing Charlie McCarthys never live up to their potential. As creaky nonsense goes, though, this is chock-full of corny goodness down to its hilarious sense-shredding "twist," which the movie reveals like a magician proudly unveiling a dead rabbit.
  7. 40
    Wan does manage to infuse his film with some of the subtle unsubtleties of classic Euro-horror outings, chief among them the palpable, dreamlike sense of dislocation and the abiding severance from reality that tends to make nongenre fans wonder if someone spiked their popcorn with LSD.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    38
    There are no two ways about it: A chubby-cheeked dummy doing stuff it shouldn't be doing is spooky stuff. But Wan isn't on such sure footing with his actors -- Wahlberg is stilted as the tough-guy cop, and Kwanten is blandly uninteresting.
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    38
    Too slack to do much harrowing and falls back on some very raggedy commonplaces at the points when it should be delivering knockout scares.
  10. Reviewed by: Jason Anderson
    38
    The movie's uninteresting characters, boneheaded dialogue and flagrantly nonsensical narrative detract considerably from the virtues of the visual design.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    30
    Only those in a cold sweat for their weekly horror fix will bother with this formulaic and rather lazy exercise in booga-booga scare tactics.
  12. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    30
    The director, James Wan, and the writer, Leigh Whannell (the team behind the controversially brutal "Saw" series), deliver the mandatory shocks and gross-outs, backed by dissonant bursts of music and made almost elegant by the cinematographer John R. Leonetti's desaturated images.
  13. 30
    As "Saw" demonstrated, Wan and Whannell have a carnivalesque sense of fun and a sure instinct for recycling classic horror tropes, but their characters are so flat and their plotting so listless that this low-budget feature fails to generate much suspense.
  14. There's no attempt at humor in Dead Silence, but the biggest sin in the film is the lack of scares.
  15. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    0
    A conflation of the horror genre's laziest tropes, plot angles and shorthands, this inept creation isn't so much a film as it is a smorgasbord.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 8 out of 25
  1. Jan 14, 2012
    6
    Not as bad as people made it out to be. Fantastic twist at the end. Kind of scary. It will sruprise you how everything is set up. Great forNot as bad as people made it out to be. Fantastic twist at the end. Kind of scary. It will sruprise you how everything is set up. Great for watching it with the girlfriend. Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2014
    7
    All of James Wan's movies have different tones, but this one was by far the strangest. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this weird horror movie. It hadAll of James Wan's movies have different tones, but this one was by far the strangest. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this weird horror movie. It had a couple very effective jump scares and a lot of good tension. This plot was very weird and crazy, but it was simple and interesting. The twist at the end, though, was pretty unnecessary which I didn't particularly like. I recommend this one if you like Wan's other films. Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2014
    6
    James Wan sets up a few good scares to go along with the uneasy atmosphere here. I don't know what it is but he apparently likes using dead,James Wan sets up a few good scares to go along with the uneasy atmosphere here. I don't know what it is but he apparently likes using dead, creepy old ladies in his horror movies. To go along with the scary looking old lady there are plenty of unsettling ventriloquist dummies around. Both bring quite a few good scares thanks to how unpleasant they all look.

    The story itself isn't too bad. I just wish it was a little more fleshed out. The characters in the small town are quite interesting, each of them with their own unique quirks. It's a shame we get to watch them make so many dumb decisions. Overall I just wanted more from both aspects. Honestly had this have been a TV show where we could have spent more time in it's unique setting and learned more about it's characters I would have loved that. As it stands the whole thing feels like there could have been more going on. I just wish there was more to the mystery at hand.

    If you're looking for some good scares then yeah you should check this out. It fails to deliver fully on it's unique story and characters, but still provides some decent frights. It might not stick with you long, but James Wan once again makes one of the better horror flicks I've watched. So if you're looking for some decent scares then pick this one up. There are plenty of creepy ventriloquist dummies and one terrifying old lady who are ready to deliver. My total score for it is a 6.5/10.
    Full Review »