Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Silent Hill

In the past, Hollywood has thrown some pretty poor videogame based films at their audience such as Doom, Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider, so it was with trepidation that I went to see the adaptation of the successful computer game series Silent Hill.

I had never played the game and had it pinned as a family member of Resident Evil and expected a movie based on a town over-run with zombies and lots of shot-gun action. Instead I was pleasantly surprised with uber-nightmarish visuals and no cheap shock-tactic camera tricks. The demons are most certainly real in the town of Silent Hill and creepy as hell to boot.

It all begins when a little girl, Sharon, goes sleep walking in the middle of the night and her parents find her on a precipice near the family house looking into a firey cataclysm. that only she can see. It turns out that this is not uncommon and she often goes off in the middle of the night in search of a place called Silent Hill. Rose, her mother, disagrees with her husband, played by Sean Bean, that the daughter needs psychological help and decides to take her to the deserted town of Silent Hill to find some answers.

However, a lone cop spots Rose and Sharon asking for directions to Silent Hill at a petrol station and follows them towards the deserted town. After pulling them over and with Rose hitting the gas to escape to her destination, a pursuit ends in disaster with an awakening on the edge of the dreamlike ash-raining town. Worse still, Sharon is missing and Rose enters Silent Hill to find her.

Things quickly descend into a living darkness and after failing to find her daughter in a plot sequence familiar to Don't Look Now, Rose hooks up with the cop, Cybil, to find her daughter. If they can get out alive and find out just what is going on.

Silent Hill's first half fires along at a great pace, with monsters, demons and fantastic dark visual sequences which are among the best I have seen in any horror film. However, what lets the movie down is when it tries to explain itself and the last half an hour, although still pretty cool, implodes on itself with mediocre dialogue and a flimsy plot structure in an attempt to tie up loose ends and explain to the audience just what the hell is going on when I feel viewers should be left in the dark just like the characters were for most of the film. Nevertheless, it is the best video game cum movie I have seen so far and would make a good DVD to add to any burgeoning horror collection.

I would give this film 3 giant swords out of 5.



Anonymous Lou said...

The cinematographer did a fantastic job on this film. Not only with the nightmarish sequences and evil creatures, but also by playing numerous visual tricks with the landscapes. Its creates a truley creepy and unsettling atmosphere. Its refreshing to see a horror film that avoids jumps and quick shocks and plays out more like a long nightmare. I agree about the ending and the plot, but maybe Gan was being faithful to the plot of the game? I also give this film 3 out of 5.

9:19 pm  
Blogger Skry said...

I haven't seen the film, but I have seen the adverts for it and it does look very good. The CGI and dark sequences that you talk about look great in the advert and now I know they haven't just put the best few seconds in to trick you into paying for the movie I'll probably go and see it some time.

I'm also happy to hear that there aren't any shock "HERE'S A LOUD SPLIT SECOND SOUND EFFECT" tactics to try to scare you, as they piss me off immensely!

10:26 pm  

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