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Leigh Whannell on Dead Silence

Published March 15, 2007 in Movie News
By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures.
Dead Silence Poster Dead Silence
If you're expecting another gore fest when you hear "from the writers and director of Saw," you'll have to give Dead Silence some special consideration. Leigh Whannell and James Wan didn't want to keep repeating themselves, so they cooked up a new kind of horror.

Interview: Leigh Whannell on Dead Silence


"We've always loved these old Hammer horror films and Roger Corman horror films," said Whannell. "Even the old horror films, the Mario Bava films, there's a certain quality they have, a kind of eerie, spooky quality that today's horror films don't have. I really don't know how that fits in. I don't know if there's a need out there. I don't know if you're walking around thinking, 'Hmm, I'd really love to see a horror film made in the traditional old style of the Hammer horror films.' But that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to hark back to an old episode of The Twilight Zone as opposed to a Japanese horror film that was made last year."

And after doing a Saw film every year, shouldn't the guys get to try something new? "The potential disappointment of it is that it's not a carbon copy of Saw at all. It may be a horror film but it's very different. A lot of people have talked about is this the right follow up or whether we see it as the right move to make after the Saw films. I don't know whether it's the right move business-wise or career-wise, but for us it's a story we wanted to tell.".



Luckily, early audiences have been supportive. "I remember at the test screening for this, we did a test screening out in the suburbs of LA. We're out at some mall and I remember walking into the lobby of the theater and there was this huge line of kids all in black T-shirts, Tool T-shirts and Marilyn Manson T-shirts. These were the kids who loved Saw and I just thought, 'Oh my God, we're dead.' Because I knew that these guys wanted to see another Saw. And sure enough, as soon as they sat down, the lady running the test screening walked to the front of the theater and said, 'All right, guys. We're now going to show you the new film by the guys who created Saw.' And this huge cheer erupted and my head just dropped because I was like, 'Oh my God, they're expecting limbs flying, body parts, traps.' And that is not what Dead silence is. The happy ending to that story was, they kept a few kids behind, and she came out and said, 'Okay, hands up if you liked that movie' and everyone's hands went up so I was like, 'Okay, that's good.' She said, 'Hands up if you loved it.' And nearly all of the kids put their hands up."

So 3 out of 4 Saw fans agree, Dead Silence holds up. "Hopefully, we don't disappoint any of those fans. Hopefully they go with us with Dead Silence because it's not about body parts for this. It's very different. It's more about creeping people out. That's what we wanted to do, just actually scare people and give people some nightmares as opposed to just have them look away because someone's having their arms cut off. Hopefully people still recognize that sort of bizarre element that James and I want to go for. If you look back at the first Saw film, it's got some pretty bizarre things in there from the talking doll on a tricycle to the pig mask. There are some pretty weird elements and Dead Silence definitely has those. You'll definitely recognize it as a Wan/Whannell film because there's some crazy bizarre twists in there so hopefully that's the stuff that reminds you of Saw as opposed to the limbs flying."

Dead Silence opens Friday, March 16th.

For the trailer and more movie info, go to Dead Silence Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Universal Pictures.
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