Note: I played this on PS3, I’ve heard the XBOX 360 copy is still messed up with bugs.
Sure, as gamers, we’ve been to some horrifying places. Raccoon City, Rapture, USG Ishimura, and even Brennenburg Castle. While they are all psychologically damaging in their own way, nothing compares to a place that is surrounded in fog.
Earlier this week I tackled the game to film adaption of Silent Hill, and favored it with an Okay score. Now it’s time to tackle the latest cinematic venture into the mysterious and cursed town of Silent Hill. This movie, which is loosely based on the game, Silent Hill 3, tells the story of Heather (Adelaide Clemens) and her father Harry (Sean Bean) who, since the occurrences of the first film, have been moving all over the country to try and escape the past horrors that involved the town of Silent Hill. That may sound confusing if you haven’t played the games, but without spoiling much for you… Heather = Sharon. Got it? Good. Let’s continue on. Obviously, the past catches up with them and forces Heather to return to Silent Hill in order to save her father from the horrors within.
What Works: The visuals are still fantastic the second time around, all the sets are detailed well, and easily fit within the world of the games. The fog, the ash, the rusty world, all of it is stunningly beautiful and executed well. Little details from the games are incorporated well and little props you may recognize make an appearance, it made me quite happy.
I also have to give the story some positivity this time around because they did a much better job at least keeping to what occurred in the game. The script is a improvement this time around as well. Probably the biggest step forward for the cinematic form of Silent Hill was having a better structured cast that mostly performed well with each other. Adelaide Clemens is wonderful as Heather, she looks like her, walks like her, and she has a fantastic screen presence and definitely carries the film forward. Sean Bean has just about the same amount of screen time as in the first one, but he is still a great addition, and Deborah Kara Unger is back as well as Dahlia, with a new look and new temperament which is very refreshing.
What Didn’t Work: I noted above that the story was closer to the game, but it’s not close enough for it to be enjoyable, important scenes and details of the game are ignored, or shown out of context. Example: The Detective’s role in the story is so severely reduced that it’s almost criminal. I mentioned the script was better, but the dialogue still starts to suffer as the film progresses, hitting a dreadful peak at the end of the film. While we had some pretty good acting this time around, there are some that are bad enough to drag the film down even further. I’m looking at you Kit Harington and especially you Malcolm McDowell, and you can’t blame the script for your lack of enthusiasm in the roles you were given. Blah.
Once again, creatures like Pyramid Head make an appearance when they don’t belong there. The addition of the mannequin spider is also perplexing. Speaking of that scene in general, what was the point of that scene? I found no point at all to even introduce the girl that Heather sees there and tries to rescue. It’s pointless and cheesy. So is most of the ending of the film too.
Based on my criticisms, you’d probably expect a Just Bad or maybe even a Painful, but the feeling that came to mind the most was my level of Disappointment. I was really excited for this movie, and as fun as it was to watch in 3D, I came out not feeling angry but just feeling sad. Sure, the visuals are stunning, and the acting and script see some improvement, however, it’s the really their choices in telling the story of the game, some really bad performances and dialogue, some characters shown that were pointless or some characters that were important that barely made an appearance that makes a good chunk of this movie quite a drag.
I’ll give Silent Hill Revelations a 4 out of 10. It is available on Netflix if you’re interested.