The following review is a guest piece written by Erik French, older brother of the esteemed Colin French of Strange Bacon Reviews. He is more of a scholar, yet less of a gentleman. He cares about Asia, and about bad movies written based on video games. So without further ado, here is his piece on the latest Silent Hill flick.
I went into Silent Hill: Revelation hoping to be proved wrong. Sure, I knew the move was going to be a bit gimmicky (being shot in 3D and all), and the trailers hadn’t looked too promising, but as a fan of the Silent Hill series, I thought that maybe I’d still enjoy the film. Unfortunately, this movie is riddled with so many flaws and defects that it completely falls flat.
The movie is based on the third silent hill game, following Heather Mason as she tries to learn more about her past but more importantly just survive as a series of nightmarish events draw her to Silent Hill. The movie tries to follow the plot of the game, but deviates frequently in ways that make little sense. A crucial character is killed off shortly after his introduction, a hedonistic, middle-aged villain is turned into a well-meaning, curly-haired love interest – I could go on.
The game’s plot was already somewhat muddled and disjointed, and its translation into a screenplay has only made the plot more nonsensical and difficult to follow. Events seem to occur at random, characters are left underdeveloped, and there is no logical progression to the story. The film flounders around for a bit before leaving viewers with an unsatisfactory climax which tapers off with an awkward closing scene. What you end up with is a story that is inferior in every way to the one told by the video game.
The acting is pretty poor, and the screenplay isn’t much better. Dialogue is stilted and awkward. Carrie-Anne Moss and Kit Harington in particularl do a very poor job of delivering their lines, and are completely unconvincing. To be fair, Sean Bean and Adelaide Clemens do a half-way decent job considering the script. Also, Adelaide Clemens is completely gorgeous.
But overall, the acting and writing are both beneath what you would expect from your run-of-the-mill horror flick.
The special effects are pretty well done, and the 3D does make for some interesting moments. Silent Hill’s iconic falling ash and dense fog in particular benefit from this treatment. Most of the time though, the 3D is just used to amplify the movie’s considerable gore. While the special effects are pretty solid, they just don’t make up for the poor plot and dialogue which really are sub-par, even by horror movie standards.
I really wanted to like this movie, but even as a fan of the material I found myself unable to appreciate it. The original Silent Hill movie wasn’t great – but it was far better than this. Still, if you are into Silent Hill, pyramid head, 3-D horror films, and weird nurses without faces – give it a watch.
The weirdest thing about this movie is that while Sean Bean’s character dies a horrific death in the video game, he actually survives the whole movie.