Searching "Dead Silence" and "The Ring"

What’s wooden and eerie to some? Answer: Ventriloquist dummies.

What’s been critically acclaimed to be stale and a holder of poor production? Answer: Dead Silence.

Dead Silence promo photo.  Image courtesy:

I hope the crickets won’t be loudly ringing  after you read the next paragraphs that peer into the 2007 film. Stay with me for a while as I compare the Dead Silence with The Ring

While I am not in touch with my horror film interpretation abilities (Alfred Hitchcock critics throw stop sign here), I could not press through the film without colliding with an analytical voice that compared the movie to The Ring. I wanted to figure why The Ring received more praise than Dead Silence. Both movies present fine aesthetic approaches, but Dead Silence placed me as an observer. The Ring allowed me to ride shotgun through the scenes, and Dead Silence cut my chances of being an investigator quicker than the film’s tongue slicing.

Dead Silence outlined Jamie Ashen on a quest to piece the link between his family, a doll, and the mysterious murder of his wife, Lisa Ashen. Dressed in a uniform suiting one ready for direct combat, Dead Silence is a movie that moves along with intention. There isn’t much character dialogue in the beginning, and the theme is fairly one-dimensional. The main character, Jamie Ashen is determined to find the relationship between his family and a ventriloquist dummy that strangely shows up at his doorstep. When Lisa dies in what appears to be  an odd incident, he battles the “conventional” Det. Lipton who is eager to list Jamie as his wife’s murderer. They eventually team up to halt the haunting of the long deceased ventriloquist,  Mary Shaw.

Perhaps the most intriguing quality about the film is that it drifts along underneath a cloak of fitting lighting and special effects. The only problem is that the movie becomes flat lined when it ceases to depart from that focus. The details and themes become smothered, conveying an unimpressive work. The aspect that triggered my curiosity is that The Ring was applauded form its sense of mystique and atmospheric parts.

Luckily, I was also able to answer even more questions surrounding The Ring, thanks to the detective skills that it allowed me to acquire. 

What’s ghastly and remains an staple in films of terror? Answer: Haunting apparitions

What’s cyclical and is profoundly defined? Answer: The Ring

The Ring, which was adapted from a novel, hit movie screens in 2002. It involves a journalist, Rachel, who is determined to find the true reason for the strange death of a teenager who died after viewing a gruesome videotape. The quest becomes fueled when she and her nephew Aidan view it. Rachel and Noah, a film expert work together to figure out the mystery of the videotape.

A scene from The Ring

The video shows odd abstract portions to understanding the story of a mentally ill horse breeder who tosses her daughter down a well. At the time of the incident, she stayed alive for some time and is the ghost who seeks victims seven days after they view the tape.

What gels the film together is the concept of “a ring,” prominently seen through snippets of the tape. It ends up being the visual effect of light and the covering of the well by the distraught mother. This concept is bathed in ever shallow aesthetic approach like Dead Silence. The only difference is that The Ring was highly acclaimed possibly for its multi-layered complex. Everything from the symbols in the tape to the routes taken by Rachel and crew provides for a solid horror movie. Watching it makes one feel like they are coming along for the trek, while remaining open to a few shocks of horror here and there.

Minus all of the blatant violence and atmosphere Dead Silence had the potential to be a fresh film. It hushed when it screamed of predictability, and lack of audience involvement. The Ring, however, was able to weave its way through the artistic jewl of the video. It happily resounded among critics and became a horror movie icon.


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