DVD + Blu-ray
Based on the best-selling horror action game, Silent Hill stars Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire) as Rose, a desperate mother who takes her adopted daughter, Sharon, to the town of Silent Hill in an attempt to cure her of her ailment. After a violent car crash, Sharon disappears and Rose begins her desperate search to get her back. She descends into a fog of smoldering ash and into the center of the twisted reality of a town's terrible secret. Pursued by grotesquely deformed creatures and a townspeople stuck in permanent purgatory, Rose begins to uncover the truth behind the apocalyptic disaster that burned the town 30 years back. Dare to step inside the horrific town of Silent Hill, where darkness preys on every soul and Hell's creations await around every corner. But know that once you enter...there is no turning back.
A lot of movies can be described as "dripping with atmosphere," but in the case of Silent Hill it's literally true. Faithfully adapted from the Konami video games by French director Christophe Gans and Pulp Fiction cowriter Roger Avary (both self-confessed video game addicts), this dark and grisly horror-fest is nothing if not a triumph of cinematography and production design, consisting of a minimal and mostly incoherent plot propped up by a mysterious maze of sets that literally seep, drip, and ooze with the atmospheric evil of past misdeeds. Welcome to the abandoned and perpetually foggy ghost town of Silent Hill, where grey ash falls like snow, a devastating coal-mine fire still burns in a hellish underground, and demons of various shapes and sizes make your worst nightmares seem like a walk in the park. It's here that distressed mother Rose (played by Pitch Black heroine Radha Mitchell) has taken her daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) in hopes of discovering the source of Sharon's sleepwalking nightmares. What they find instead is a burned-out legacy of unspeakable evil, as Silent Hill's dark secrets are revealed. As opposing denizens of Silent Hill's meta-morphing underworld, Canadian actresses Alice Krige and Deborah Kara Unger seem to be the only ones who recognize this morbid mess as campy comedy; Gans (who established his visual flair with The Brotherhood of the Wolf) and Avary take it far too seriously, and the entire movie is utterly devoid of any emotional hooks or plot logic that would make us care about anything that happens. In crafting a loyal big-screen rendition of Silent Hill and its Playstation sequels, they've forgotten that movies play by a different and more demanding set of rules. As a result, they've made an impressive-looking but ultimately hollow horror film that only Silent Hill game-players can truly appreciate. --Jeff Shannon
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The movie is very much like a hybrid between the first game and the second game. All the factors that brought together the games and made them terrifying were used in this movie. Select characters from the games were included. Even Pyramidhead makes an appearance with his giant machete sword. This movie is canon to the Silent Hill Universe. Bear in mind, I'm not talking about that abomination they released as a "sequel" to this movie. That movie was truly terrible in every sense of the word and was an affront to the Silent Hill creators. So why do people who played the game hate this movie? I get why people who didn't play the game may not understand why this tiny town is home to some seriously messed up occultists and a ripped dude with an obtuse triangle on his head and sexy, demented nurses trying to cut a w-itch.
Confusing, sure. Annoying? Probably, because there is no real explanation as to why a place like Silent Hill exists on an ethereal plane such as that. Silent Hill the coal mining town, sure but not the one that flips back and forth. They did sort of phone in the explanation they gives. Something about demons. Demons? Blaming it on demons is some serious bush-league writing right there. It's easy to pin pretty much everything on demons. End of the world? Demons. Zombies? Demons. Donald Trump? Definitely demons. Jokes aside, this is a great movie. It played very well into the Silent Hill universe that terrorized me as a growing adolescent. It's well-worth a watch knowing it was based on a video game. Keeping that in mind, it helps alleviate what may be perceived as ridiculous or confusing.
Having no barometer, knowing nothing about the story line of the thing ... the myths and legends and monsters contained therein? I just sat down an watched it ...
It's pretty brutal in a visceral regard, but also the teeniest bit cerebral; it's not a thinker, be sure ... but one's mind is somewhat engaged throughout; there is a story here.
But the visuals ... I so want to start dropping spoilers and I think I will so you have been warned:
[ SPOILERS BELOW ]
... the part when that dude literally rips the skin off of that chick ... like pulling off a glove, so horrible ....
... the part where that poor police woman was slowly and painstakingly roasted over a pit
... the barbed wire, man ... the barbed wire ...
My apologies but there's only a few films I've seen (and I've seen many) that have left such simple and disturbing images lodged like unshakable ticks in my brain ... I love occasionally returning for another view ...
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I love movies that make you stop and think.