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Silent Hill (2006)

August 18th, 2007 by Maxim · No Comments · 7,803 Views

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3/5

Silent Hill [Blue-ray]

Based on video game, which I haven’t played. Since I’ve seen other game-to-movie adaptation I didn’t expect much. “Doom”, for example, was a really bad movie. It’s about a woman, Rose, has a sick daughter, Sharon, who has seizures and nightmarish dreams about a city of Silent Hill, and who’s also sleep-walking. To help her, Rose takes her to this town despite her husband’s wishes. On the way she gets more attention from a policewoman then she’s comfortable with and tried to get away in her car, but crashes and bumps her head. When she wakes up, Sharon is gone. Rose goes on the search for her beloved daughter in this dream-like town, that was abandoned when an underground coal fire erupted and many inhabitants died in the fire. When it gets dark the town is transformed into a real Hell-raiser, full of monsters and demons. Those who survived the fire hide from Darkness in a town’s church.

The movie indeed has a feel of a computer game: the monsters, the sounds, the light, the CGIs, the camera angles. Unlike Doom though, it did not feel like someone is playing the game and you are watching over his shoulder. The city looks like it’s been abandoned before a volcanic eruption with all the ash in the air falling like snow. There are a lot of people being beaten, set on fire or skinned alive. The sheer amount of gore and violence (hence the R rating) - that’s what makes it like a computer game. It’s not scary though and does not have those moments that a typical horror movie has designed to make you jump up from your seat. It’s actually not bad, at least it’s better then Doom, Cat Woman, Gigli or freaking Ultraviolet or Epic Movie. Those were really bad. At two hours seven minutes it was too long for me: it did begin to feel like a bad dream.

The story is pretty good and I found it gripping. Though the director and writers go into details of the back-story of Alessa and the cult in Silent Hill that turned her into an evil creature – too deep. So deep it’s hard to follow. In many places I thought I knew exactly where the story was going, but I was proven wrong every time, which I credit to the writers and the director. Considering how weak the dialog was, the acting was rather good. Except for Sean Bean, who is always bad. Although he is the only well-known actor in the movie, he plays a secondary role, as writers opted for a cliché of mother-daughter relationship. The father character, who is trying to search for his wife and daughter on his own, is rather useless in this movie and has nothing to add to the story. It’s a completely different kind of a horror movie – not some horny teen slasher movie that Americans are fond of (unfortunately).

Most monsters were not CGI but rather real people in costumes – the way the movies were made for 100 years, which worked well for me – better then I could expect from CGIs. The guy who crawled on the ground with his legs twisted behind his back was not scary – raised a brow of mine because he looked like a dusty yoga practitioner. The leather-clothed motorcycle lady-cop Cybil was great. The way she moved her hips when she reached for the gun or her flashlight! When Rose runs through the hospital corridor she encounters nurses. The nurses in their prosthetic costumes moved like mummies in “The Mummy” – funny. And where did pyramid-headed guy disappear from the movie after he ripped the skin of a woman? Why can’t Darkness go into the church? Does the cult really have the magic/faith/whatever to keep evil out? Aren’t they themselves evil if they don’t have problem burning people on the stake inside the church? “Burn the witch!”" shouts were a bit off. Good musical score – adds to the atmosphere of abandoned haunted town a lot.

IMDb says there’s Silent Hill 2 out there. I think the two hours I spent watching the first one was satisfactory, but not enough to watch the sequel for another two hours.

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Rated 3/5 on Aug 18 2007
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Tags: DVD · Drama · Horror · Movies · Supernatural

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