Ok – now that I got that out of the way.
I think Dead Silence is one creepy-ass film.
[Warning – Massive use of run on sentences, overuse of commas and exclamation points, possible misspellings and just general not making much sense ahead.]
I’ve mentioned here before how when I first saw the trailer I was, well, speechless at first, but then said “I am never, ever going to see that movie.” And if there was anyone in the room at the time (I don’t even know) they were probably all “Yeah, right.” In fact, I pretty much knew the very second I said that that I was eventually going to see the movie cause I knew that all my life I have never been able to stop myself from watching (who the hell am I kidding – seeking out) the very things that scare the crap out of me. Even as an adult who shouldn’t be scared of creepy old ladies and dummies. Yay for me and being a weenie!
And why, you may ask, do I seek out this shit that scares the ever loving crap out of me – not only while I’m watching it, but also sometimes late at night when it’s pitch black and I can’t sleep – freaking especially in the creepy house I used to live in in Gaston?
Is it an addiction? I dunno. Obsession? Maybe. Love of all things adrenaline rush inducing? Perhaps. Or just plain old love? That is def a big part, yes. I just love creepy shit. I can take or leave a lot of the contemporary gore, and I love old slasher flicks and really weird horror. But creepy is what I live for in a horror movie. And it’s actually pretty hard to come by.
Recently I was in on a discussion about Dead Silence in the comments section of this horror movie questionnaire dealie that Kindertrauma started. I, and a few other folks listed it somewhere in their “It’s a Horror to Know You” and we were talking about how it’s possible that the excessive hype for a lot of movies these days can kinda give you these freakishly high expectations and can, as a result, cause you to not like a movie that you really wanted to like. That is really the only explanation that makes sense to me when people say they don’t think Dead Silence is scary. I’m all….whaaaaa huh? The thing is – I only saw the trailer on TV once. And I didn’t see any of the other hype. So it’s entirely possible that that is the only reason I am not one of the nay sayers who are all down on Dead Silence. I mean I totally get that the CGI is IDIOTIC in that movie. I’ll be the first to admit it. But I really don’t think the movie is as bad or boring or lame as a lot of folks (horror bloggers, really – them’s the folks I hear complainin) seem to make it out to be. So it might just be that my experience wasn’t ruined because it lacked the hype that other folks were subjected to. I’m all about the experience in general anyway – as opposed to critical analysis of storyline of character or what-have-you. Not that I don’t think about those things – I just really really like getting into the experience and forgetting about all that other stuff. And to me Dead Silence provides a totally creepy experience that I can just slip right into. I’m fine with leaving the critiquing to someone else.
So…anyway – there are no groundbreaking discoveries there or anything – I just really like talking about this stuff and if your interested check out the links, and if you want like a zillion recommendations for horror movies to watch check out all of the It’s a Horror to Know Yous on Kindertrauma – cause you’ll get that and more. And cause they’re really fun to read.
Now on with some freaky-ass cellar action!!!!
I love how, in life in general, different things can remind you of other things and sometimes it just keeps going on and on, like some sort of jigsaw puzzly maze. Sometimes a movie can remind me of another movie and then that movies reminds me of another movie and on and on – but each time the reminding thing changes a little bit.
Ok – I know you’re looking at me like I just dropped acid or something so I’ll just stop trying to explain my fool head off and get on with the groovy, creepy screen grabs and you can see what I mean though pictures.
I’m gonna sort of compare Dead Silence and Funeral Home here in a loose manner. They’re not that similar in a lot of ways – but I personally find that there are some similarities in vibe and whatnot.
Here is the outside of the funeral home in Dead Silence and the external shot of the house in Funeral Home.
I find the external shots of both houses and both cellars to have the similarities in vibe that I’m talking about here.
They both have that stone exterior going on – which kinda puts you in the vicinity of castle coolness, as far as I’m concerned. Another external similarity is the isolation. That is actually something that I think puts a lot of houses in horror movies in the same “vibe” category for me. Just the fact that it is an old, usually victorian style, house that is very isolated puts a whole movie into a certain vibe category for me. So just from that one angle we’re talking about Silent Night, Bloody Night, Salem’s Lot, The Silent Scream, The House of the Devil, Cathy’s Curse (I know, I know…how can I even think of putting Cathy’s Curse in this list. I can’t help my what my vibe chooses. I just can’t.) and even Black Christmas cause, even though the house isn’t totally isolated it kinda has that vibe to me. Maybe it’s the snow. Plus it has a good cellar scene. There’s probably a ton more that would fit here for me – but that’s all I got off the top of my head.
We are introduced to the cellar/embalming area in Dead Silence through the elderly funeral home owner’s telling of a story that happened to him as a kid. Oh, and if you haven’t seen Dead Silence and plan on it – you might wanna read this whole thing later – cause I’m gonna spoil part of it right now.
When the funeral home owner was a kid, this scary ventriloquist woman – Mary Shaw – was lynched by the town folk for some evil doings and had a dying request that she, not only be buried with her dummies, but that she also be turned into a dummy herself before burial. Now, the point that turning her into a dummy sort of escapes me cause it doesn’t really factor into the rest of the film. It’s seems like maybe they were gonna go somewhere with the dead-ventriloquist-woman-as-dummy idea but then forgot. But we all forget things from time to time, so I’m cool with them forgetting. Or maybe it’s just that the use of her being turned into a dummy was really subtle and I didn’t get it. That is entirely possible.
So, a post turn-me-into-a-dummy-with-a-special-surgical-procedure Mary Shaw is in the cellar in her casket and the funeral home owner’s kid (who is now, in the present day time, the elderly funeral home owner – get it? No, really, I didn’t drop any acid earlier.) is curious about this freaky lady, so he sneaks down to the cellar and climbs onto the edge of the table and peers into her casket and knocks the whole thing on the ground almost on top of him.
Here he is frantically crawling away….
Crawling away from what?!?!
He’s frantically crawling away from the creepiest lady in the world!!!
I think this whole kid in the cellar part is really just so freaky. I mean the idea of this, not supernatural, event happening to this kid is, to me, scarier than most of the movie just because it totally could happen (as opposed to the stupid CGI mouths that abound in this movie) and it’s the thought of something real like that happening that I think is pretty right on – as far as being able to use your imagination or put yourself in the place of the character. I mean if this creepy lady falling out of a casket in the dark cellar happened to me when I was a kid I’m pretty sure I would have spent at least part of my life in a rubber room.
Here is another shot of her on the floor with the lights on after his dad came downstairs to rescue him. I wanted to show you this cause it’s just cool. The linoleum, the row of cabinets, the (what appears to be) wooden file cabinet. It’s all so cool.
Oh, and here she is before the dad’s rescue, all up and about ready to get some (supernatural) freaky shit on. See, before she was just dead on the floor. Now she’s dead and up and about. To me it’s still scary, although obviously not as plausible. Not that that ever stopped me from being freaked out. After I saw some Frankenstein flick when I was a kid I was convince for years that he was going go crawl out from under my dresser that had a 4 inch clearance from the floor.
But check out those shelves. Unfortunately this cellar doesn’t have the canning jars that I am so fond of – but it does have those cool old bottles – which are, really, just as good in my book. I also love the hanging lamp and those high institutional windows. Very nice!
Funeral Home does have jars in the cellar…and I’m just gonna go ahead and show them to you right now so we can share some good jar vibes before moving on to the rest of the similarities vibe action.
This here is the entrance to the cellar – which happens to also be the embalming spot – just like in Dead Silence. You can tell that we are about to enter the cellar (we’re backing up into the cellar in this photo below) because you can see the jars on the left. In case you are ever lost and you are being chased around an unfamiliar old house by some freaky something, you will always know that you are in a cellar if you see jars. So if you see jars just go up and out. Don’t forget…jars = up and out.
Here we are watching the teenage girl run past some jars that are full of food. It’s too dark and blurry to tell what’s in them, so we can all just forget about trying to figure it out. It looks kinda like tomatoes on the top shelf there – but really we’re just gonna torture ourselves if we keep trying to figure it out. Best to move on.
And here… I know what you’re thinking! A close up of the jars!! We can finally try to figure out what’s in them!! But no dice. It just looks like a potato chip or a lemon.
So since we can’t determine the contents of the jars we’ll just thank them for being there and say goodbye to them and move on to the other similarities.
The general blue color is another thing that I find similar in these two movies. I love blue movies – or blue photos for that matter – and even though the quality of Funeral Home is pretty poor, it’s good enough – and you can totally get the blue horror movie vibe.
Another similarity is the GIANT sink action. Oh god I love giant sinks!
I mean get a load of that baby! I want that mother flipping sink in my cellar! Universe – get me that sink!
And if you can’t swing that, then get me this sink! Are we clear? Giant sink!
Ok, now that the sink begging segment is out of the way, lets move on to the little door freakout.
In this photo down here there’s another view of the groovy shelves (plus more creepy dummy for some extra atmosphere) and then the curtained doorway, which leads to A LITTLE DOOR. If you are unfamiliar with my sheer obsession with little doors in horror movies feel free to take a gander here and here and here and here to get a better grasp on the situation.
Not only is there a little door here – but what the hell is that thing over the little door?!? Is it a drop down shelf type thing maybe? I mean, can’t someone just pop up right about now in the movie and just show me what that is? I really want to know. Or maybe… YES!!!!! In the special features – wouldn’t that be great if they went around and showed you what all the cool stuff was (I mean, in addition to all the other blardy blar stuff people watch those things for)? Because I ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW. Hear that movie peoples? Give it up on the around-the-house 411. Or, you know, if there is some hard to identify foodstuffs in a movie. TELL US WHAT IT IS PLEASE. Thank you.
So here we see the elderly man (who, don’t forget was the little boy who had the traumatic moment with the creepy Mary Shaw cadaver in this very spot many years ago) getting down on his knees to crawl though the little door cause he hears a woman whimpering in there. He thinks it’s his wife.
And here he is trying to get back out of the little door, which has – oh so creepily – been closed and locked behind him. Why is he trying so desperately to get out, you ask?
Cause of this.
I don’t think anyone, ever, in the history of forever ever wanted to see a creepy-ass hand coming out from behind something in a dark place. Ever.
Ok – deep breath and moving on…
Funeral Home also has some maze-like doorways and spaces – which in my realm is just a half notch below little doors. Check out this door to some unknown place – but ok really, the other main feature in this photo is the faucet. What the…? Where did…? How the…?
I want a mother flipping faucet like that in my cellar universe! That’s what I want! Giant sink and big weird faucet! Oh and maze-like caverns and little doors and jars and bottles and stuff. Got it? Good.
Alright. This whole faucet, maze-space, little door, jar hysteria has pretty much exhausted me. I have more cellars to show you. Many more. But I think I’m gonna make this baby a 2 parter.
I’d actually just like to wrap up by saying…what. Is there anything we’ve learned from this? Is there anything we ever learn from this horror movie house rambling? That I like blue?
Maybe that’s it.
But the real clincher is…blue isn’t even my favorite color. How’s that for a twist!