Every town has its own ghost story, and a local folktale around Ravens Fair is about a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw. After she went mad in the 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a young boy who yelled out in one of her performances that she was a fraud. Because of this she was hunted down by townspeople who in the ultimate act of revenge, cut out her tongue and then killed her. They buried her along with her "children," a handmade collection of vaudeville dolls, and assumed they had silenced her forever. However, Ravens Fair has been plagued by mysterious deaths around them after Mary Shaws collection has returned from their graves and have come to seek revenge on people that killed her and their families. Far from the pall of their cursed hometown, newlyweds Jamie and Lisa Ashen thought they had established a fresh start, until Jamie's wife is grotesquely killed in their apartment. Jamie returns to Ravens Fair for the funeral, intent on unraveling the mystery of Lisa's death. Once...Written by
The film was made into a haunted house at Universal's "Halloween Horror Nights" in 2007 in Florida. See more »
The ventriloquist dummy is considered evidence due to the fact that it arrived the same day Lisa died yet the doll is not retrieved from the crime scene allowing Jamie to take it to his hometown to investigate it's history. Det. Lipton confronts Jamie for trying to get rid of evidence by burying the doll which could have easily been avoided if the authorities had simply retrieved the doll from the crime scene. See more »
Det. Jim Lipton:
[to Jaime, after Jaime pushes him down]
Jaime! You don't want to make me chase you!
Det. Jim Lipton:
[after Jaime drives away, heads to his car]
I don't even have a full tank of gas!
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The closing credits starts with a dedication to producer Gregg Hoffman. See more »
Unrated DVD contains the following extended shots which were omitted from the "R" rated version.
Mary Shaw has a creepy, disgusting, long tongue.
A gorier death for Henry, as Mary Shaw is shown eating Henry's tongue and saying "I now have your voice, Henry."
The tongue comes out and licks Jamie after the clown admits the "secret" to him about his wife.
If you have nightmares easily, I suggest staying away from this film: it's pure nightmare fuel. If you have an active imagination, you could have trouble sleeping with the film's imagery burned into the back of your eyeballs.
The story's intriguing enough. There just aren't enough horror films these days about menacing old ventriloquist ladies that are buried with their creepy dolls, who have come back from the dead to seek vengeance on the families that put her in the grave, by tearing out their tongues. The atmosphere is heavy, the creepy music is provided by SAW'S Charlie Clouser, the colors are washed out, and the sets are surreal.
Many will dismiss it as a formulaic, clichéd horror film. The SAW creators, who are huge horror fans, have fun making their own version of the American horror film by throwing in plenty of classic tropes such as the wise-cracking detective (Donnie Wahlberg) and the crazy old lady that knows more than she should.
I was pleased that the film didn't shy away from gore: it wasn't gratuitous, but it did enhance the horror. Most ghost stories tend to be separate from the gore flicks (I'm a fan of both), but I always enjoy seeing them combined. Another aspect that was interesting was the "silence" mode that signaled the presence of evil.
It's got plenty of horror elements to provide scares: aged film, folk tales, singing children, antique furniture, voice recordings fading out, flickering lights, dead loved ones beckoning from beyond the grave, photographs of dead families, cackling old women, wide-eyed dolls, billowing curtains, plenty of thunder and lightning, open caskets, dank crawlspaces, and a pervading sense of evil throughout.
Critics won't dig it, but I've shown it to two groups of friends and the majority were terrified and claimed it to be one of the scariest movies they'd seen. If you're a fan of atmospheric horror that aims to creep you to the bone, you should be more than pleased.
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