#108 Dead Silence (2007) Dir. James Wan
Straight after the completion of Saw, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan were advised to immediately write another screenplay so they had something to sell once their first film hit festivals and Dead Silence is the result. This is a much more restrained effort than Saw, already pointing to the stylings Wan would apply to Insidious and The Conjuring, and it works best when you look at it as an old-fashioned “around-the-campfire” kind of story. It’s very simple and very silly but not without it’s flourishes. The desaturated visuals are quite nice, the only emphasis being on the colour red and there are one or two set-pieces orchestrated with a master’s command. The whole thing is deflated once the scares become more reliant on a weak CGI monster but an impressive last-minute twist finishes things on a high. Dead Silence is a sly and ghoulish little spook-tale that won’t necessarily keep you up at night but it is a fun lesser work in the Wan/Whannell canon.