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Silent Hill: Revelation, WTF?
It’s been six years since the first Silent Hill movie came out in theaters, and became known as one of the best video game adaptations. Unfortunately the style of the original director is nowhere in sight, with Michael J. Bassett taking over the directing and writing on the project. Mostly adapted from the third video game, the story follows Heather (Adelaide Clemens), the supposed adoptive daughter of Rose (Radha Mitchell) and Christopher (Sean Bean) of the last movie. All that’s explained to us in the beginning is that Heather is forced to jump from one city to the next in order to stay one step ahead of someone in pursuit of the small family. As Heather’s hallucinations of Silent Hill worsen, and her father goes missing she ventures into the ominous town to discover her origins.
1. Christophe Gans, you are missed. The first film was definitely flawed - no doubt about that; the dialogue was a bit cheesy and the story a little muddle. But Silent Hill had its charm, and was considered one of the better videogame adaptations. Particularly its visual style was most admired, especially when Gans used dancers to portray the disturbing creatures of the alternate world. Whenever the characters entered into the world of “the darkness”, the walls would peel away and the sinister happenings of Silent Hill would take over. It was delightfully horrific, and unfortunately the visual splendor of the first is missed with an obviously halved budget and a cheap imagining of the creatures from Bassett.
2. Unnecessary romances piss me off. Perhaps this isn’t something that applies to everyone, but I loathe forced romances. Our two leads, Heather and Vincent (Kit Harington), lack any chemistry - or personalities for that matter. Many Game of Thrones fans were pretty excited to see Jon Snow in a movie, but this isn’t going to be his breakthrough performance. Kit Harington’s American accent is pretty bad and it doesn’t help that his dialogue sucks and gives him absolutely no character development. Heather is pretty stand-offish when she first meets Vincent, and she doesn’t really warm up to him until she needs a chauffeur; she can’t drive for some reason. It doesn’t seem to worry her that he was following her home, but whatever he’s cute so I guess it’s alright. After maybe a three hour drive together (I really don’t know where they were driving from), Vincent is spouting strong feelings and exposition. Hardly romantic.
3. Character B says, “EXPOSITION! EXPOSITION!” Silent Hill borrowed story elements from the first video game of the series, but did take liberties with the source material. In order to retain consistency, Revelation attempts to incorporate the story of the first film into the frame of the Silent Hill 3 video game. The movie fails in its attempt horribly, and is extremely lazy in its method of storytelling. While some found the first film to be confusing it had a pretty linear narrative; Rose finds a random clue that leads her to another place with a clue, and along the way she receives teasers of the backstory. During the final climax not only does Rose get her answers, but the audience gets a gory finale. This movie doesn’t seem to give a sh-t. Instead of receiving clues, Heather meets characters who happen to know exactly what’s going on and proceed to recite, “Exposition! Exposition!” It’s one of the reasons no one has any character; they’re too busy going over the major plot points.
This movie is BAD. Not like the first film bad, which was flawed but rather entertaining - just straight up horrible. There came a point at which I was hoping for the credits to just roll, and for that crap to be over. For fans of the games, and of the first Silent Hill, this is a huge disappointment. It’s a wonder how the movie got some of these awesome actors, but then again many of them didn’t really seem to be giving their all. I can hardly remember Carrie-Anne Moss and Malcolm McDowell was just laughable, but to be fair everyone had crap to work with apparently. I didn’t watch the movie in 3D, and am actually thankful for saving the extra $6, but the gimmicky 3D scenes were pretty obvious. In another review, I read that it gets better as it goes along, but I could hardly care by the end of the movie.