PlotGetting ready for dinner one night, Jamie Ashen and his wife Lisa receive a mysterious ventriloquist doll named "Billy", in an unmarked package. Wondering who sent the doll, Lisa recalls a poem about a woman named Mary Shaw. Jamie disregards this and leaves to get dinner. After Lisa plays around with Billy, all the sounds disappear and Billy comes to life, and attacks Lisa. When Jamie arrives with their dinner, he hears Lisa call him into the bedroom, but becomes confused when he notices blood all over the floor. Jamie finds Lisa in their bed, dead with her tongue ripped out, and Billy lying near her body. Detective Jim Lipton brings Jamie in for questioning of the murder of his wife, but releases him due to lack of evidence. While ripping the lining of the box Billy came in, Jamie discovers that Billy belonged to Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist from his hometown of Ravens Fair.
Returning to Ravens Fair to make arrangements for his wife's funeral, Jamie asks his wealthy father, Edw...
Getting ready for dinner one night, Jamie Ashen and his wife Lisa receive a mysterious ventriloquist doll named "Billy", in an unmarked package. Wondering who sent the doll, Lisa recalls a poem about a woman named Mary Shaw. Jamie disregards this and leaves to get dinner. After Lisa plays around with Billy, all the sounds disappear and Billy comes to life, and attacks Lisa. When Jamie arrives with their dinner, he hears Lisa call him into the bedroom, but becomes confused when he notices blood all over the floor. Jamie finds Lisa in their bed, dead with her tongue ripped out, and Billy lying near her body. Detective Jim Lipton brings Jamie in for questioning of the murder of his wife, but releases him due to lack of evidence. While ripping the lining of the box Billy came in, Jamie discovers that Billy belonged to Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist from his hometown of Ravens Fair.
Returning to Ravens Fair to make arrangements for his wife's funeral, Jamie asks his wealthy father, Edward, what he knows about Mary Shaw. Edward is wheelchair-bound with a new, much younger wife, Ella, who takes care of him. Edward writes it off as small town superstition-"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children, only dolls. If you see her in your dreams, make sure you never ever scream, or she'll cut your tongue out at the seam". Before leaving, Jamie warns Ella that Edward is a monster, but she assures him that he has changed and is no longer a threat to anyone. Meanwhile, the town's elderly mortician, Henry, is shocked when he opens Lisa's body bag, because he recognizes a pattern in the way she was murdered. After Lisa's funeral, Jamie wanders around the cemetery and finds Marion, Hank's senile wife, and warns him of the danger of Shaw's puppets and he realizes he should rebury Billy. The mortician shows up soon after to take his rambling wife back home. Jamie then realizes that the old woman was standing by Mary Shaw's grave and those of her puppets. He does so, but Detective Jim Lipton had followed him to Ravens Fair and had seen him bury it. Lipton digs it back up, unconvinced of Jamie's innocence in Lisa's death and believing that he's trying to conceal evidence. Jamie tells him about the poem, but Lipton is skeptical. The next morning, Jamie brings Billy to the mortician, Henry, who finally tells him about Mary Shaw.
Shaw was a famous ventriloquist whose ambition was to make the perfect puppet. At one performance, a young boy named Michael heckled her, saying that he could see her lips moving when performing with Billy, upsetting Mary, and the boy went missing shortly after. Shaw was blamed for the disappearance, and the boy's family killed her. Her final wish was to have her body turned into a ventriloquist's puppet and to be buried with her 101 puppets. A young Henry wandered into his fathers mortuary and accidentally knocked over her coffin. Shaw's body briefly came to life and approached Henry, but he survived by covering his mouth to keep from screaming, as Shaw can only kill her victims when they scream.
Jamie goes to the abandoned theater, where Mary Shaw had lived, and finds Shaw's dressing room and discovers an old book with plans to make the perfect puppet. Jamie confronts Edward and learns that the missing boy Michael was his great-uncle, and that Jamie's own family murdered Shaw by forcing her to scream and then cutting out her tongue. The men involved were killed off one by one, and all were found with their tongues ripped out. Their children, and children's children all suffered the same fate. Edward also deliberately drove Jamie away to spare him, but knows that Shaw will now come back for them. Meanwhile, at Hank's house (Billy was left there after Jamie asked him about Mary), Hank believes he hears his wife talking to herself in her hiding spot. In reality, the ghost is acting as a "ventriloquist" and mimics Marion's voice, leading Henry into the space under the house and trapping him. Shaw's ghost then shows herself, causing Hank to scream and allowing her to kill him. Still unconvinced that Jamie is innocent, Lipton goes back to Mary Shaw's gravesite to dig up the remaining puppets. He tells Jamie that Shaw's puppets are all missing from their graves. Jamie receives a phone call from "Henry", telling him to go to the theater because he has proof that shows Jamie is innocent in his wife's murder.
Jamie and Lipton go to the theater, following Henry's voice to Shaw's living quarters. In a hidden back room, they find the body of Michael Ashen, who was kidnapped and murdered by Mary Shaw, strung up like a marionette, and a wall of 100 of Shaw's puppets, back in their cases after having been dug up from their graves. Slowly, their heads turn to their left one by one, to face a clown doll, possessed by Shaw. Through the doll, Shaw tells Jamie that she killed Lisa because she was pregnant with the last of Jamie's family line. Lipton shoots the doll, but Shaw possesses the body of another. Realizing they must destroy all the dolls, they set the room on fire and try to flee the theater. Shaw's ghost chases them, and kills Lipton after he screams when he slips from the catwalk as it collapses. Jamie escapes as the theater burns down, destroying the dolls.
Billy is the only remaining puppet, and the only way to get rid of Shaw is to destroy him. He reaches Henry's house to find Marion crying over his mutilated body, and tells Jamie that Edward took the doll. Jamie returns to his father's house to destroy Billy. He finds the doll in a dusty, neglected room of his father's mansion. Shaw reappears, but is forced to retreat when Jamie throws Billy into the fireplace. Jamie finds Edward in his wheelchair, but is horrified to discover that his father is dead, his entire back hollowed out and replaced with a wooden shaft used in ventriloquist dummies. Jamie realizes Edward has been wearing the same suit, and that Ella has been at his side the entire time with her hand behind his back. When Ella, Mary Shaw's "perfect doll", appears, Jamie screams, and Shaw kills him. The film ends with Jamie reciting the poem and the audience is shown pictures of the human puppets including Lisa, Henry, Edward, Lipton, Ella and Jamie, then Mary closes the book.
In an alternate ending, Ella had been abused by Edward until she suffered a miscarriage; seeking revenge, she dug up one of Mary Shaw's puppets and was possessed by her spirit, becoming the perfect puppet that Shaw strove to make. After killing Edward, she hollowed out his corpse and used it as a puppet to lure Jamie back to Ravens Fair. Ella sits a tied-up Jamie alongside Edward and Lisa in a macabre family portrait. Jamie screams as Mary Shaw attacks him, presumably taking his tongue. The film ends with Ella reciting the poem to Jamie's corpse, tucked into bed like a child. Before blowing out the candle, Ella tells Jamie that if he sees Mary Shaw, the only thing that will protect him is silence.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dead_Silence", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0