Once upon a time, I was filled with hope about the latest Silent Hill film to hit theaters. I was hoping that even though it wouldn’t be a perfect adaptation of the games, it’d still entertain me. When it came out in theasters, I didn’t get to see it because between Hurricane Sandy and a lack of funds. So when I could finally rent it, I jumped on to see if this movie was really as bad as people said it was.
Oh, it was worse. Let’s pick apart Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.
Oh good God, where do I begin with this mess? Well, I guess I might as well hit up the SPOILERS as soon as possible because otherwise this entire review will be me ripping the plot in half and pointing out all its obvious faults in terms of story. The original Silent Hill 3 is about Heather, a young woman who upon leaving a mall encounters monsters, crazy people telling her she must return to Silent Hill, and many other horrifying twists and turns. It is up to her to not only discover her true destiny, and but also to avenge her father and end the cycle of rebirth. This movie, however, takes all the in-depthness and emotional growth and uses it as toilet paper. The film is about Cheryl and her father Christopher Da Silva moving to a new town and taking on the mantle of Heather and Harry Mason. At school “Heather” meets cute, sensitive boy Vincent, who is still a part of the cult but is no longer the awesomely sneaky, vague smartass he was in the game. Not to mention, he’s sent to take Heather back to Silent Hill but changes his mind after one day because he thinks she’s not evil, because one day is enough to reverse a whole lifetime of brainwashing. Not to mention the fact that he/the script butchers the best line in the entire game.
Instead of Harry being killed, he’s captured and used as bait for Heather, and Claudia looks more like an S&M mistress than a religious leader. Not to mention Leonard’s not a monster, why the Hell not? It ends…somehow. I watched the film twice (sadly) and I’m not 100% sure what happened. Heather and Alessa become one (which is stupid), Pyramid Head fights monster-Claudia (also stupid), and then the cult is vanquished and Harry/Christopher goes off to find his wife Rose (who we never see but for one scene). Since, you know, it’s not like this is her father and he could very well never come back, Heather and Vincent just decide to go, getting in a truck with Travis Grady (from Silent Hill: Origins) followed by a prison bus rolling into Silent Hill (supposedly the bus that is carrying Murphy Pendleton, the protagonist of Silent Hill:Downpour).
The big issue of the day is the blatant use of familiar references for the gamers without any meaning behind it. Travis Grady is STILL driving that truck? REALLY? No one even liked Silent Hill: Origins that much. And the shout out to Silent Hill: Downpour makes little sense in this context. The game certainly doesn’t take place in the same universe as the movie, I can tell you that. But it goes beyond that. If you want to reappropriate Pyramid Head as the executioner in the universe, fine, but then don’t switch it around and make him Heather’s protector, which makes no sense in the context you created in the goddman first place. And the nurses are used poorly – at least in the first film they were meant to be there – it’s the hospital level. Now they are just there to be the sexy part of the film. A lot of the time, it feels like the director and the screen writer are just throwing shit in that doesn’t make sense and would only appeal (in a very poor way) to the fans of the game. But it appeals to no one cause the references are either totally botched or completely irrelevant.
Another issue is that the movie just doesn’t know where it wants to go in terms of story. They introduced a character, Suki, for all of 5 minutes and she’s immediately killed. What was the point of that? We only got to know her name and that she got lost on the road. And the big epic showdowns between Heather and Alessa, and Pyramid Head and Claudia were super anti-climatic. Its as if someone on the crew said, “Hey wouldn’t this fight be badass?” and then they couldn’t figure out how they wanted it to look so they just threw some crap choreography in and labelled it complete. There’s no sense of resolution, no finality, no ending – some stuff happened and now its over. It was never scary, exciting, suspenseful, or interesting. And even though there were some scenes which were handled well, they are suffocated by all the rest of the pointless crap that happens.
To the film’s credit, the original monsters they do have are pretty cool, though they are few and far between. They even have Robbie the Rabbit, the creepiest theme park mascot ever, all bloodied up and dead inside. Even teenaged Alessa comes off as pretty creepy and has an interesting design, and were able to move on from scary poorly dressed demon child. One of the greatest monsters comes in when Heather finds herself in a room full of mannequins, only to awaken a giant mannequin spider. And while it very similar to a boss you face in Silent Hill: Homecoming, it’s interesting to see that they added a twist to it. Not to mention it turns other people into mannequins and uses their heads as mouths. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
The cinematography is pretty well done – it still has the same dark grimy feel of the first, but with a lot less gore (yes, that’s actually a plus). The look of the movie really feels like the only connection to the original film. The acting ranges from melodramatic as all hell to wooden to passable. It feels like all the actors are kind of too old to be playing high schoolers and their parents, but considering the got people who kind of resembled the original characters, I’ll let it slide.
If there’s anything that Silent Hill: Revelation 3D teaches us is that one should never, ever mess with a good thing. While the first movie wasn’t perfect, it did manage to capture the spirit of the original game and keep it both scary and interesting. This film takes that legacy and shits all over it because no one knew what they were actually doing or trying to accomplish. It’s not just a terrible video game adaptation, it’s a terrible film in its own right. My advice is watch the first one AND THEN NEVER PICK THIS PIECE OF SHIT UP EVER. Pretend it doesn’t exist. Do it for your own sanity. As well as mine.
– Interesting monster designs.
– Good cinematography/design.
– Terrible plot, completely anticlimactic.
– Completely changes everything about the game.
– Throws in characters and concepts only to completely throw them away.
Unfortunately, for those of you who read this, whomever you are in the big wide Internet, Manic Movie Magic will be now be moving to Wednesdays.