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It's certainly no SILENCE OF THE LAMBS or OMEN, nor even CITIZEN KANE, but as far as videogame-based movies go, SILENT HILL is actually not too bad. That is to say, it's not a particularly great film by any means, but compared to the likes of SUPER MARIO BROS, DOUBLE DRAGON, STREET FIGHTER, and even the MORTAL KOMBAT movies, this is at least more watchable. About a mother who searches for her missing daughter in a titular city (a "ghost town", in other words), SILENT HILL looks appropriately gritty and nightmarish. The town itself is stunningly realized, whether in its "natural" ash-covered state, or in its darkened periods in which specters rise from the dead. Director Chrisophe Gans made a solid effort to say true to the tone of the game, and his palette of dark, gloomy colors, is commendable. Indeed, the cinematography and atmosphere are the film's strongest assets. The performances, too, are better than one might expect, with Radha Mitchell pulling off the role of the mother (dedicated to find her missing daughter) with all that she can and there's rarely a false note in her performance, and she's surrounded by other good actors such as Sean Bean, and Alice Krige as a seemingly benevolent but corrupt magistrate. But the film's strongest asset is the use of Akira Yamaoka's music from the games themselves. It has always annoyed me that many of these game-turned-movies don't even TRY to use the original tunes from their source material. Because this movie is an exception, it gets points. Which isn't to say that SILENT HILL is perfect. It still has some faults, one of which is the mostly useless subplot involving Bean's character. He spends most of the film searching in the rain for his missing wife, but his character arc never really goes anywhere and there's no major payoff for his journey at the end. It's not Bean's fault; he does a credible job, but I think the film would be stronger if his sidestory was excised. There are also a few moments when the storyline can get somewhat confusing, and the dialogue can be hit and miss at times. Some scenes may be too gory for one’s taste as well, particularly the climactic showdown. Still, considering the circumstances, SILENT HILL deserves credit for taking itself seriously and delivering a cautionary warning. For a movie based on a videogame, this is about as close as one can get to pulling off a half-decent effort. It doesn't belong on the greatest movies of all time list, but for what it is, it is a competently made, if not seamless, thriller.
Directed by Christophe Gans, Silent Hill is an adaptation of the video game of the same name. It incorprates elements of the first four games in the series. Occasionally beautifully shot, it perhaps suffers from the director's love for the game and insistence on development of the back stories, at the sacrifice of the pace and flow of the film.
It stars Radha Mitchell as Rose, whose daughter Sharon has recurring nightmares where she mentions a place called Silent Hill. Deciding it's the only way to cure the nightmares, Rose takes Sharon to find the mysterious town. Following a sequence of events ending with her being chased by a cop, Rose swerves to avoid a child in the middle of the road and crashes. Waking up some time later, she finds Silent Hill misty and dusky, and Sharon missing. She sets off into the town in search of her.
It's a horror film, but somehow it tries to be something more than that. There are clear attempts to establish this as a stylish thriller, and it just doesn't come off. The intrigue is set very well at the start, the almost distant parental emotions reminiscent of the beginning of Nic Roeg's Don't Look Now. It's not long though before the tension is built up as Rose begins the hunt for Sharon, and I felt as if it was building up nicely. The visuals of the film were amazing to start with - so dark and impressive, the near refusal to use colours for Rose a dark antithesis to the lush calming full colours used for the scenes with her husband in (ably played by Sean Bean, although he hardly has any screen time).
The problem comes with the plot development. As Rose encounter strange humanoid monsters who try to attack her, from dark humanoids with deep red glowing streaks across their bodies, to Pyramid Head monsters and vicious slashers, she also encounters other ladies who seem to be sharing a similar despondent fate in the murky Silent Hill. A sort of motley crew is formed, and confusion reigns as to the whereabouts of Sharon and the significance of the town, with the emergence of another girl, Alesha, who bears more than a striking resemblance to her.
It's all a little confusing, and when Rose encounters a secluded religious sect within the town, this just deepens. As if to try and counteract the confusion, Gans delivers a series of flashbacks and lengthy vocal explanations as to what has gone before. While these do serve to explain the events and what is going on (to a certain extent) they also manage top complete undermine any sort of plot flow and intrigue that the film has loosely hung on to. The existence of the other ladies is somewhat confusing, I guess they act as a sort of way of ensuring there's a group of heroines rather than just the one main protagonist.
The cast do an okay job. I mean, there's no overacting or particularly sub-par performances, although Alice Krige's cult leader is somewhat out of place at times. My main issue comes with how Gans seems to be constantly fighting with himself, on the one hand delivering explanations through flashbacks and sinister characters chatting away, but on the other using dialogue and events that serve to exacerbate any confusion that remains. I found the whole thing rather bizarre, and I suppose it could be put down to trying to make more of a story out of a video game than was there in the first place.
I often find that video game back stories tend to be brief. You only need a certain amount of mental stimulation and then you can let your imagination do the rest once the game is in full flow, the action and events at your fingertips filling in any blanks. The problem here is that our minds are still trying to do the same thing, but Gans pulls us in a few alternating directions and it just doesn't work. It's amazing to think this though, as visually has some stunning moments. The dark tones and fantasy visuals serve the purpose very well, and the way the haze and the mist are used throughout the film (particularly with a poignant air right at the end) do give you pause for thought; but it also reminds me of a similar film in terms of effectiveness of plot - M Night Shyamalan's The Mist, a Stephen King adaptation that keeps the despondency and ends up being an incredibly disappointing film even though visually and in terms of intrigue it promised so much. The same could be said here of Silent Hill - plenty of promise, and it's hard to fathom how something that looks so good could actually be really bad.
Disappointing then. Fan of the game will probably understand a hell of a lot more than I did. It's confusing and lacks clarity of direction, but curiously visually beautiful. Not one I'd recommend.
The very concept of creating a film based on a video game series is a contrasted idea. While serious movie buffs and people uninterested in video games will wave it away as a silly or childish idea (though this prejudice is slowly dying out) the fans of the franchise will see it as the pinnacle of the game developers career, garnering so much success as to fund the way for the big screen. Of course, passionate gamers are not easily satisfied, namely because they don't appreciate it when unknown suits chop and change the characters and story-lines that they had spent hours, days, weeks gaming with. The majority tend to know when they're games are being milked to within every last credible drop. So the consequences can be catastrophic when companies alienate their key audience who may end up boycotting any other release. The Silent Hill video games had spanned 7 years with 4 releases when this feature film was released and whilst it doesn't use any of the stories (its not an adaption) it does keep various elements that are encountered in the games. For those who don't know, the Silent Hill games are Survival Horror games, where the player takes control of the main protagonist, often searching a desolate town for loved ones or answers. However what makes the games gain the horror label are its enemies, psychologically distorted images of humans normally, accompanied by chilling soundtracks and gruesome cutscenes.
"To find your daughter, you must face the darkness of Hell." (Plot)
The stories in the video games may be similar and rather tame at times, but the environments, interactions with characters and scary scenes hold it together, making for a generally enjoyable gaming experience. So Silent Hill's plot was never going to win awards. Couple Sean Bean & Radha Mitchell (Chris & Rose) are struggling to understand the behaviour of their adopted daughter Sharron as she sleepwalks her way into dangerous situations, muttering the words 'Silent Hill'. Rose then takes her on a little journey to find such a place after googling it and only finding weak ghost stories. After some cold conversations with locals about Silent Hill, Rose ends up flooring it and being tailed by a cop (Laurie Holden) until a child appears in the middle of the road and crashes the car. Knocked unconscious from the accident, Rose awakens to find that Sharron has wandered off in a foggy, ash snowing town that they had sought. With the dense weather conditions and a collapsed bridge cutting off any escape route, Rose goes in search for her daughter and the answers puzzling her still. Along the way she is mortified by grotesque corpses and demonic children skulking about in the darkness. After coming across a maniacal Deborah Kara Unger claiming that Sharron is in fact her child, she reencounters the policewoman Cybil, who in turn attempts and arrest and dispatches a faceless, armless, acid spewing 'thing' with her handgun, only to see more of them wander closer in the distance. All while this is happening, Christopher hunts down anything related to Silent Hill, frantically searching for his wife and daughter to no avail. Eventually Rose & Cybil find an edgy woman sleuthing about in the decayed buildings and follow her back to her so called 'Sanctuary'. It is here when things take an insane turn and all sorts of devilish acts occur, further revealing the reasons behind the towns obscurity, the people dwelling within it and its relation to Sharron. Although there wasn't much to go on by the games, the film is rather ambitious with its splitting story-lines, unexplainable lunacy and intense end sequences.
"Mother is God in the eyes of a child." (Cast)
The main character Rose is portrayed well as an unrelenting mother figure who will stop at nothing to find her child. At times, Mitchell's screams of anguish seem incredibly forced as she's no doubt starting blankly at a green screen. Her part is a stereotypical role though as if it were her husband Bean running about the town, his interactions with its monsters would be far less threatening. Its only towards the end when she has to act judgmental and righteous that she looses some credibility. Sean Bean has a surprisingly small role as the father, scouting aimlessly around areas, trespassing and divulging in the towns history. His inclusion is shamefully tame. Holden's role as the cop, is decent enough as she takes to most of the evils with extreme prejudice thanks to her .45. Her haircut however is her main focal point. 12 year old Jodelle Ferland does a stellar job as Sharron, having to portray a second character with superb menace thanks to a gritty, undead yet innocent appearance and devious intention. Alice Krige's character Christabella is done well too as she acts out a patriarchal maniac, spouting words of supposed wisdom in front of her ignorant 'flock'. Deborah Kara Unger looks her part perfectly, but is let down by having dialogue that only consists of quotes and ancient sayings.
"Fire doesn't cleanse, it blackens." (Relation to Games)
Having played Silent Hill 2, I was keen on seeing this film, looking forward to how they include the creatures in game. The plot is along the lines of what happens in-game, except it attempts to cover the reasons behind the towns status as well as the past of characters. While it does have the addition of an unrelated Salem witch hunt theme, it blends in fairly well and makes for a gory, justified conclusion. Returning creature 'Pyramid Head' was a sight for sore eyes. The triangular helmet wearing, 7ft freak in a flesh stitched butchers apron, swings his gigantic sword with ease and is almost as frightening as his video game counterpart. His inclusion however is puzzling as he was the main characters interpretation of self loathing, a personal representation of fear and judgement.. still.. when the guy tears the skin off an unwitting bint and launches it at a church, you just have to say "fair enough". The barbed wire janitor/gimp/creature is also interesting thanks to his macabre posturing and fetish like dodgieness. I won't be writing too much about Alessa though as she is the final creature that ressembles the final boss of SH1. My personal favourite scene that represents the game well and is generally bloody freaky for anyone is with the Nurses. Bandaged women in white apparel miniskirts, twitch about in the darkness, endlessly drawn to the light. They use their surgical tools to swing away at anyone and anything - scalpels for example. Its soundtrack is entirely of Akira Yamaoka composition too (the original composer) which is a big plus and pleasant surprise considering most western films are dominated by the demands of Hollywood.
One particular difference I noticed between film and game is that its ending far more abstract and inconclusive than the several endings on offer in games. Instead, the film twists the audiences allegiance and perceptions that led them throughout the film - which in time, ends timidly (and by zooming in on a bush). Even though Silent Hill has stuck to its roots with some reluctance, it still isn't to the standard of being a stand alone film and only really caters to gamers and horror movie fans wanting to see some elaborate executions.
I was surprised to see people thinking that this film was, and I quote "crap".
The thing that angered my to my very core was how they had no reason for this. Other than fan boys and fan girls stating that "it has ruined the Silent Hill franchise" why? Oh, because instead of Harry Mason we have Radha Mitchell searching for her daughter. I thought this was an excellent switch of the Silent Hill protagonist since we see a strong female role for a change as a protagonist.
We see the young 'Sharon' (Jodelle Ferland) an adopted girl to Rose (Radha Mitchell) and Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean), who has experienced recurring nightmares of the town of Silent Hill. To find out why her daughter has been seeing Silent Hill in her dreams, Rose takes Sharon to the town of Silent Hill. While being chased by the Police Officer Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden) a ghostly version of 'Alessa Gillespie' appears in the road, forcing Rose to crash the car. When she wakes we see that Sharon is missing and a thick blanket of fog and ash consuming the town.
Throughout the film their is a feeling of mystery and eeriness. Especially after Sharon disappears and Rose and Cybil are attacked by the first Silent Hill monster we see. It seems that the transformation from game to film has worked very well. Especially in the portrayal of the universe that Silent Hill is based in.
Rather than the typical 'slasher' approach or attempting to make the audience jump every 2 minutes, Christophe Gans has helped keep the psychological horror that comes with the Silent Hill franchise. There is much symbolism throughout the film, an example is the 'Janitor'. We first see him when Rose experiences her first switch to the 'otherworld' (an industrial setting of Silent Hill which is much more dangerous than the 'fog world), and soon see why his character is forced to drag himself along while tangled in barbed wire.
In my opinion this was an excellent film in terms of recreating the Silent Hill universe in a film. It may not follow the Silent Hill 1 plot completely to the letter but gives us an idea of what we can expect in the new film 'Silent Hill: Revelations' (following the plot of Silent Hill 3 and Heather Mason).
RELEASED: 2006, Cert. 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 125 mins
DIRECTOR: Christophe Gans
PRODUCERS: Samuel Hadida, Don Carmody & Akira Yamaoka
SCREENPLAY: Roger Avary
MUSIC: Jeff Danna & Akira Yamaoka
Radha Mitchell as Rose Da Silva
Jodelle Ferland as Sharon Da Silva
Sean Bean as Christopher Da Silva
Laurie Holden as Policewoman Cybil Bennett
FILM ONLY REVIEW
When Rose and Christopher Da Silva's adopted daughter Sharon begins to sleepwalk and during her night-time ramblings speaks of a place called Silent Hill, Rose takes it upon herself (against Christopher's wishes) to try and find out if Silent Hill exists and if so, where it is. She learns it apparently is an abandoned ghost town in West Virginia which suffered an underground fire in a mining accident, and that to the present day, the fire still rages.
Locating Silent Hill on a map, Rose packs Sharon off in the car, attempting to drive to the mysterious location. After crashing the car and temporarily falling unconscious for a short spell, Rose wakes up to discover that Sharon has vanished, so she manages to re-start the car, driving through the erected barrier around the town of Silent Hill, then continuing by foot in search of her little daughter.
During Rose and Sharon's journey to Silent Hill, they are apprehended by an officious policewoman (Cybil Bennett) who after letting them go, follows them to Silent Hill.
Silent Hill is a strange, seemingly uninhabited town, where the streets are covered with a strange white ash that continues to fall from the sky.
In her search for Sharon, Rose discovers that Silent Hill isn't uninhabited. The town harbours strange creatures and peculiar beings, who seem hell-bent on preventing Rose from finding her daughter. With the eventual help of policewoman Cybil Bennett, Rose goes through hell and high water during her endeavours to battle with and outwit the town's bizarre inhabitants.
That sets the basic scene, and you must watch it yourself to discover what happens.
Firstly, I must say that my decision to watch Silent Hill was a blind, uninformed one, in the sense that I believed it was going to be a psychological thriller movie. I since have learned that it is based on a video game which I have never played or had anything at all to do with, so am unable to make any comparisons....also, this is a review of the film, not the game.
I found the first part of Silent Hill very good and gripping. The scene is well set, with a little girl sleepwalking, and in her waking hours drawing some disturbing pictures, both of which lead her parents to realise that something is deeply wrong. Rose and Sharon's drive to Silent Hill exudes an atmosphere of quite deliciously uncomfortable suspense with the scenery becoming creepy, shrouded in mist, bleak and foreboding, plus the introduction of the policewoman character adds an extra dimension of creepiness...then, once inside the town of Silent Hill, everything goes crazy to a point where for me, the film verges on being just short of unwatchable...but, I forced myself to persevere in case things took a turn for the better.
When it comes to all things off the wall, there is a marked difference between surrealism and ridiculousness....Silent Hill falls into the latter of those two, although I accept that the story is intended to be one of horror-tinged fantasy, yet I found the whole thing grossly overdone to the point where it simply became boring, even though some of the special effects are quite well done.
The whole film drags on for far too long, and there is too much packed into it in the way of fantasy, yet it also lacks substance from the acting and storyline aspects, and the music isn't too impressive either....it is far too noticeable. There was a point in the film where, although I'm certain it wasn't intended to be amusing, I raised a smile when Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire was playing on a juke box as although probably appropriate to what follows in the storyline, it seemed a somewhat silly choice of track, whereas I can think of many others that would perhaps have been more suitable.
Silent Hill is a very heavy-going film which stretches itself far beyond its own capabilities, and I think it would be much more watchable if it were subtle, rather than grossly over the top. The whole movie from start to finish could have adequately and easily been condensed into say 80 or so minutes, without losing any of its impact or short-changing the storyline....for me, it just seemed to get worse and worse as it went on.
However, I do rather like the ending - I mean the absolute ending, but the journey towards it is arduous beyond belief and I feel I wasted 125 minutes of my life! The only thing which kept me watching Silent Hill was my intention to review it.
In summary, all I can really say is that Silent Hill may appeal to people who enjoy fantasy and special effects, but for me it just tipped way too far over the edge, being one huge, long yawn and is something that is definitely worth missing.....ridiculous rather than frightening.
As far as my star rating is concerned, I'm tempted to go rock bottom, but will award two, simply for the first 20 or so minutes of the film and the final 5 or so minutes, both of which I quite enjoyed....but....shame about the rest!
At the time of writing, Silent Hill can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.71 to £28.81
Used: from 79p to £19.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
It has been a while since i have written a review, but after watching this movie, i felt it was for the greater good of humanity that i come back and write a review, warning people NEVER to watch this movie.
The basic premise of this movie is simple, and the movie could have been made simple, but the producers had other ideas. The movie is based around a video game series of the same name, and focuses around a family who have an adoptive daughter. The daughter, it turns out, is from a town called silent hill, which was mysteriously burned down in an underground coal fire some years before. The young girl has nightmares, however, and frequently sleepwalks and calles out "silent hill", prompting the mother to inexplicably kidnap the daughter, and take her to silent hill, despite the warning of a police officer and her husband.
Needless to say, she has a car crash and wakes up in a strange foggy palce, with no sign of her daughter. The police officer has also been inexplicably transported here, and as they try to walk back up the road, they find that there is no road at all now. heres where the movie now tries to live up to its so called "horror" genre, as the two women (the police officer turns out to be a petite blonde, how bout that) are attacked by what can only be described as a blob with a gimpy leg. the movie now loses all sense of reality, as the protagonist runs off searching for her daughter, and thinks she hears her down a dark abandoned staircase, and due to the laws of rubbish movies, has to go down, prompting an airraid siren, the walls peeling off, and then the whole thing reversing back to normal. The movie continues on this weird, quasi-scary tangent until the producers must have caught on that no-one knows what is going on, and have put in a completely random piece of dialogue by the "evil part" of the daughter, which has to literally follow through the entire story, explaining everything that has happened thusfar, with some of the worst child acting I have ever seen.
Even with a movie as bad as this, i still feel like a bad person when I give away an ending, so lets just say it is just as bad and pointless as the rest of this atrocious movie.
(Film only review)
== Welcome To Silent Hill ==
Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her husband Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) are worried about their daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) who has been having extreme nightmares and sleepwalking, while speaking the name of a town, Silent Hill. Desperate for answers, Rose takes Sharon to Silent Hill. As they approach the town, she is chased by police officer Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden) on a motorcycle. A mysterious child appears in the middle of the road, causing Rose to swerve and crash the car, knocking herself unconscious. When she awakens, Sharon is nowhere to be seen, and mist and falling ash surrounds inside the town.
Rose walks the abandoned strange streets of Silent Hill looking for her adopted daughter. However she encounters a group of demon like creatures that appear after loud sirens ring from the church to warn the town. Rose comes across a woman named Dahlia (Deborah Kara Unger) who speaks of dreadful things done to her own daughter, Alessa, by the towns folk a few years back. She claims that Sharon who is Rose's daughter is actually Alessa, Dahlia's daughter. Rose then returns to the car and runs into Cybil (the cop), who arrests her. Together they discover that the road leading out of town has disappeared and they realize they are trapped. They pair up together to battle the monsters in the town.
Scenes of their search are interspersed with scenes of Christopher's seemingly simultaneous search of the town (which is shown to be abandoned but otherwise normal; no mist and no falling ash), with the reluctant assistance of Officer Thomas Gucci (Kim Coates), who admits to have grown up in the town of Silent Hill. Christopher discovers documents showing the town was abandoned after a coal seam fire 30 odd years ago, along with a photo of Dahlia's daughter who bears a similar resemblance to Sharon. He is told to stop investigating Silent Hill under threat of incarceration. Faced with this, Christopher gives up the search and heads home. Can Rose save their daughter and get out of Silent Hill Alive?
=== Did You Enjoy It? ===
It was a fairly interesting movie and Silent Hill does actually come from a computer game, which is developed by Konami. Silent Hill is quite like the computer game and this does work to its advantage. While there aren't many movies like the games, Silent Hill is pretty much the only game like movie. Silent Hill has a good storyline and great special effects. The monster in the movie look exactly like the game, I think the director of the movie had set his eyes on making Silent Hill, simply perfect to the game. The movie doesn't have the most experienced cast, but the actors do a good job. The biggest star in the movie is without a doubt Sean Bean. All in all I really enjoyed Silent Hill because its a great story and is exactly like the game.
=== Cast ===
Radha Mitchell - as Rose Da Silva
Sean Bean - as Christopher Da Silva
Laurie Holden - as Cybil Bennett
Deborah Kara Unger - as Dahlia Gillespie
Kim Coates - as Officer Thomas Gucci
Tanya Allen - as Anna
Alice Krige - as Christabella
Jodelle Ferland - as Sharon / Alessa
Colleen Williams - as Archivist
Ron Gabriel - as Old Mechanic
Eve Crawford - as Sister Margaret
Derek Ritschel - as Young Police Officer
Amanda Hiebert - as Gas Attendant
Nicky Guadagni - as Distressed Woman
Maxine Dumont - as Christabella's Aide
=== The Director ===
Christophe Gans was born 11th March 1960, Antibes, France and has directed films such as Silver Slime, Necronomicon: Book of Dead, Crying Freeman and Brotherhood of the Wolf.
=== Bits and Bobs ===
The special effects from Silent Hill are pretty well designed and the monsters are expertly done, with them looking exactly like the game. Also the town of Silent Hill, with the falling ash is also just like the game and the effects look incredible.
The soundtrack to Silent Hill actually goes quite well with the movie and some of the sounds are taken from the games to give the movie that game like effect.
This movie in my own opinion is great value for money and is well worth more than one viewing. Silent Hill is the best film that has been taken from a game, others including Resident Evil, Doom and Mortal Kombat, plus many more but none of these compare to Silent Hill.
The runtime for Silent Hill is 125 minutes and the movie is Rated R for strong horror violence and gore, disturbing images, and some language. I would recommend Silent Hill as its a really enjoyable movie.
This review is also on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987
Thanks for reading my review :)
I have to say I've had fonder childhood memories than the one in which involved my older brother's playing the Silent Hill video games, waiting for a particularly underwear-soiling moment to arise, before locking me in on my lonesome (*shudders*). Having said this, having grown up with the popular Konami franchise and other similarly memorable classics, I've developed a strong liking towards the whole horror genre.
I've always been a firm believer that video games should be left un-tampered with; if nothing else than to preserve their reputation. Yet games continue to be savaged almost knowingly, till any possible remembrance of them is casually swept under the carpet thanks to a pitiful excuse for a film. To name a few: Super Mario Bros. (1993), Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil (2002) and Street Fighter (1994).
When, in 2006, I was told the news of the recent Silent Hill film release, I have to admit I was overwhelmed with horror, yet on second thoughts when I considered the possibilities and potential the storyline offered, I became relatively enthusiastic.
The film opens with a Rose (Radha Mitchell) and husband Christopher (Sean Bean) frantically searching for their adopted daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland), whom of which is in the middle of one of her daily sleep walking episodes. Despite her husband's best attempts (searching 'silent hill' in Google - a noble effort) to persuade his wife otherwise, the clever verdict is later made to take Sharon on a day trip to a nightmarish, dark place only muttered in her dreams - Silent Hill. The search for Silent Hill wasn't an easy task, and after sighting a road sign marked Silent Hill, an enthusiastic Rose, cannot resist speeding away from a very suspicious Officer who has pulled her over. An intense pursuit between Rose and Cyril soon follows of which results in a crash for both of them. When conscious, rose quickly realizes, Sharon has disappeared and is at the entrance to the deserted, dream-like town of Silent Hill. As Rose begins the search for her daughter, she remains oblivious to the horror and mystery surrounding her. Rose is led on a blind search for her beloved daughter, and finds herself becoming increasingly entwined into the disturbing past of Silent Hill.
I have to admit, if nothing else, I was very impressed by the special effects and look of the town's 'inhabitants'. French director, Christopher Gans, had said that the overall effect he aimed to achieve, was psychologically disturbing, in oppose to the usual disgust, of which I feel he achieved. I found it hard to believe, in fact, when watching the special features of the DVD that I later purchased, that the majority of the monsters' appearances were created solely with costumes and clever choreography, with hardly any help from special effects. Irrelevantly, (but worth a mention) the scene in which showed police officer, Cyril, being baked over a fire, which I found quite convincing, was literally filmed as it is shown - with her bound to a stake over a raging fire.
I've seen my share of horror films, and admittedly most were considerably more terrifying, but they also were extremely lacking in story and originality. I think those who are quite 'delicate' when it comes to gore and graphical violence, will find it a rather unpleasant experience.
Having read various reviews, its came to my attention, that a huge criticism is based on cast and acting. Arguably, it can be said at times maybe the acting was rather 'unconvincing', but I hadn't actually noticed, I was too absorbed in the thrilling plot, with thanks to convincing set design, monsters, unexpected scares and twists, which continued to pump adrenaline into the film throughout. I particularly enjoyed the 'element of surprise' factor, that guaranteed a few screams and curses, as each scene cleverly built tension, which was then immediately released at random, meaning the audience could only anticipate its arrival with guess work.
The conclusion of the film involving both Rose and Sharon driving home, after their terrible ordeal, sees them arrive to what seems to be their house which shows her husband as absent, yet the camera then switches to show her husband sitting at home also. I found this finale particularly intriguing, and completely open to interpretation, my 'understanding' was that from Rose, Sharon and Cyril's arrival in Silent Hill, they instantly became among the dead, along with the rest of crazy town, so even when let go from the town of Silent Hill, they were constrained to exist only as the deceased, (I'm open to explanations/other interpretations) be it in another dimension or something. (...Would explain the same place, same time thing...?).
In conclusion, after having the full Silent Hill experience, and being a huge fan of the Video games, I think the film does it justice. Some may argue that it wasn't particularly scary enough as far as horror movies go, which I agree with to such an extent. But playing it safe on Christopher Gan's part allowed the true depth and psychologically twisted nature of the game, to shine through. Had Gan's however not been so confined to the video game structure, perhaps it may have done significantly better. Despite its faults, it's refreshing to see a successful adaptation of a video game.
I constantly suggest this film to friends and family, who too enjoy the film, and would recommend it to fans of the video game or anyone seeking, and interesting film with depth or if nothing else, the ability to sit through the duration regardless of gore - so probably not a good choice for the more squeamish of audiences.
Happy watching! :)
As someone who is NOT particularly a fan of conventional horror films, I can easily say that this was one of the most terrifying films I've seen for a long time. And, for some reason, I absolutely loved it.
I've played a couple of the games but because I'm not too much of a self imposed fright-fan I never really finished them, however what I gleaned from those games is clearly employed in this, a quite faithful adaptation of the concept, and proof that game-to-film adaptations can be successful.
The story begins as Rose (Radha Mitchell) drives her daughter Sharon to a town called Silent Hill, which the little girl keeps talking about in her sleep and having vicious nightmares about. Whilst being pursued by a cop, Rose crashes her car and, when she comes to, finds herself in Silent Hill, a seemingly deserted town with eerie falling ash. It doesn't take her long to realise that Shorn is gone, and she is alone.
And then the siren wails.
This is where the nightmare begins.
As the walls around her begin to morph and disintegrate, Silent Hill is plunged into darkness, and the 'Otherworld' begins to make its mark. As Rose explores the dilapidated building she is in searching for Sharon, she meets some truly terrifying demons and monsters, in scenes that are both horrifying and gory, but in a less over the top way than in most horror flicks.
Roses search for her daughter soon finds her allied with the police woman who was pursuing her and also ended up in the hell-town, fighting an evil religious cult, and coming to grips with the nightmarish truth about Silent Hill.
The film is literally dripping with hellish imagery, sounds and sights. The monsters that Rose comes into contact with are truly horrific, and make your own worst fears seem a lot less scary. One particular scene, involving the iconic 'Pyramid Head' of the games, will leave you feeling uneasy for days...
What drives the film is its atmosphere. From the moment Rose awakes in the deserted, ash filled town, the mood is set for the tense two hours, and the increased understanding of what the siren is indicating, and the feeling of inevitable terror that results is horror genius. The dark corridors and sets, the fact that we can only see what Rose can see with her flashlight, shows that atmosphere is key, and makes the creatures seem so much more terrifying. One scene *Minor spoiler* involves Rose finding the mutilated corpse of a janitor in a cubicle in the "ash" version of Silent Hill. Before she knows it, the siren begins waling and the Otherworld takes over, plunging her in darkness and triggering the release of the demons. As Rose turns her flashlight on, we here a sickening thud coming from the cubicle wherein Rose had found the body, and as Rose looks on in horror, we see a bloody arm creep out of the door, and the mutilated and monstrous janitor begins pulling himself out of the cubicle, much to her horror. It's one of the scariest moments of the film, and is truly haunting.
The story is quite strong, if a little convoluted at times. The acting isn't the best. Sean Bean just can't, for the life of himself, pull off an American accent. I really am a Sean Bean fan, but he was quite terrible in this, so be prepared for that. Whilst the mother is a very likeable character and one who the audience will immediately pity and relate with, the actress doesn't come off as particularly strong, and emotional attachment to her is difficult at times.
Whilst this sort of horror will appeal to some, others might not find it scary at all. Whilst I do not find films like Saw or Hostel scary, psychological horrors like this do genuinely frighten me, but I also enjoy this sort of well thought out movie.
The film is incredible looking, terrifying, nightmarish and hellish. The characters are, if a little bland, likeable enough, and are simply props next to the character that is Silent Hill.
Scary and clever, this is worth watching if you like fantasy/psychological horror.
This film is taken from the story of the game Silent Hill. I had the game back years ago on the Play Station and used to love playing it and loved the story so had to see the film when it came out.
On first watching it was hard to understand the storyline even though I had played the game. A lot of it was easy but there were parts that needed a second watch to get the gist of it. I dont know whether this is because I had played the game and whether people who had not played it would understand the story differently.
The story line is about a little girl called Sharon who was having night mares and talked in them about Silent Hill. Her mother Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) decides to take her to the town to see if she can find out what is troubling her daughter but when she gets there she crashes her car and is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up Sharon has disappeared and she sets out to find her.
A police woman called Cybil goes with her to help her look and they find the town is very eerie and there are weird things going on.
Her husband Christoper played by Sean Bean comes to the town to find his family and the search is on.
The film is directed by Christophe Gans and is rated a 15 in the uk
I really enjoyed this film the second time I saw it and am glad I now have it on dvd.
Silent Hill was released in 2006, and is based on the game series of which I am vaguely familiar with. It stars Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Jodelle Ferland, and Laurie Holden, amongst others.
Silent Hill revolves around a girl called Sharon, and her mother who adopted her, Rose. Sharon is a troubled girl who has nightmares and is prone to sleepwalking. During sleeping she often cries out for the place, Silent Hill, so her Rose takes her there to try and solved the problem. The drama all begins when they are in a car crash, and Rose awakes to find Sharon missing from the passenger seat of the vehicle.
The story is quite simple and easy to follow, which makes this an effective watch. I have read reviews of this film that suggest it is just another attempt to convert a successful game into a film. As I mentioned, I have played one of the Silent Hill games a while a go, but not a hardcore fan. There are similarities such as the plot of one character trying to find another, and some of the creatures, and sites. After watching this film I am actually considering buying one of the newer Silent Hill games, because I think I may enjoy it.
A way that this film varies from a lot of others, in that the heroic characters are played by females, which is a nice change.
The story gets a bit more complex towards the end, and requires your attention, but all in all it's a fairly 'easy' film to watch.
The music works really well to create an atmosphere, especially in some of the initial outdoor scenes in Silent Hill. The mixture of strings and slow, low pitched grinding noises really help create an uneasy atmosphere, which makes you feel tense when watching, in the same way the game did - which is what the film director wants.
The sound of the siren which indicates 'dark' is coming, brings as much horror to the viewers as it does to the characters. Especially when you have heard it once and know what it signals.
The misty snowy outdoors of Silent Hill provide a misleading atmosphere, as if the soundtrack wasn't audible, one would assume it was a fairly calm place. However, this is all intentional, as when 'dark' arrives the whole town converts into this horrific, scary, burnt out place with all sorts of things to face.
The indoor locations are effectively frightening too. Dull, out of use buildings, which turn into burnt out metal wrecks, filled with gruesome and murderous creatures. From what I remember from playing one of the Silent Hill games, the locations are very similar, which is not a bad thing, as I think that it what makes it Silent Hill.
I was satisfied with Silent Hill, and it is a simple yet intriguing film, which I will most probably watch again. I did notice similarities to the game, but this film would probably be just as enjoyable to watch without any knowledge of it. I would like to see a sequel in the future, but perhaps with a different story and fresh characters - I feel this story was quite conclusive, which is good. I recommend watching this if you have any preconceptions about it, or if you are a horror fan!
I feel there was and aspect of the film that didn't quite satisfy me. I think I wanted to see more of the deserted town, empty caffe's, old playgrounds and such. For some reason this emptiness intrigues me! This is where again, I feel I need to purchase the game so I can experience this in my own time.
*note: this DVD can be purchased for around £4.99 in shops and online at the time of writing this review.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Video game adaptations on the silver screen are notorious for being dire, mostly because they tend to be made by Uwe Boll or Paul W.S. Anderson, but there is one that stands above the rest, at least from an artistic perspective. Silent Hill, at least for its brilliant first hour, follows the games brilliantly, and although the second half isn't so hot, it's still in the vein of the films, with brilliant cinematography and also the composer of the game's soundtrack, Akira Yamaoka providing the OST (and even including the brilliant song "I Want Love" from the Silent Hill 3 game).
Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her husband Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) are worried about their adopted daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland), who keeps sleepwalking and shouting "Silent Hill" in her slumber. To try and cure her of this and also figure out what's wrong, Rose takes her to the small isolated town, but find a lot more than they bargained for. She crashes her car on the way, and when she wakes up, Sharon is gone. She is forced to venture into the town to find her, but discovers that the town itself is one of two halves, and it transforms into a dark, hellish nightmare, where monsters roam the town and attacked the scared villagers, who mostly hide in the Church. Also investigating is Cybill, a police officer (who was in the game).
Christophe Gans' vision is highly accomplished - the aesthetics are virtually faultless. The first hour of the film is an excellent tribute to the games, but the final act takes the easy way out and is somewhat confusing, slightly miring an otherwise stellar film (Sean Bean's rather horrible American accent aside). It explains the expository elements with a cheap film reel clip, but visually, the film never falters, although it is worth mentioning that the 15 certificate was very generous, because this has numerous gruesome scenes that I was sure would be rated 18.
Silent Hill (2006) is a movie adaptation of the horror video game franchise by Konami. The film follows Rose (Radha Mitchell), whose adopted daughter Sharon keeps having a recurring night terror about a town called Silent Hill. Worried about her daughter Rose decides to drive to the town for some sort of answers, despite her husband Christopher's (Sean Bean) objections. While on the outskirts of the town their car crashes, only for Rose to awaken and find her daughter missing and the whole town covered in fog and falling ash. Rose tries to search the town for Sharon with some help from police officer Cybil (Laurie Holden) who originally was following Rose with suspicion that she was a kidnapper. During the search Rose encounters a serious of rather scary deformed creatures along with some of the townspeople who have barely survived the town and its darkness. Will Rose manage to survive Silent Hill and find out what is behind her daughter's night terrors?
I know this film received a lot of bad reviews but I enjoyed this movie and thought it served its purpose, to puzzle you and make you want to turn the lights back on. The film is very creepy and I found myself trying to work out the story right up until the end conclusion. Usually I find that video game turned movies are somewhat of a let down (I don't want to name any in particular) but I really thought this film was true to the game. I like the fact also that you don't need to play the game in order to understand the film at all as it does well as a stand alone movie. The scenes look great and the monsters are very similar to the ones in the game, the visual effects are also well done with the monstrous creatures looking very realistic. The story isn't confusing if you were to watch the movie and were paying attention, but if you were to miss some or weren't that interested you will be left thinking "huh?!". I thought the acting was well done and completely believable and the cast was well chosen.
The film has a rating of 15 but I personally would recommend an 18+ audience due to some of the scenes of gore and violence. This film is worth a watch if you are a horror fan and I imagine would have been good to watch at the cinema or just at home late one night in the dark. Also I would recommend this to any fans of the game or any game of its type.
Overall this I think this is a well done horror movie, probably not worth a buy as you will struggle to want to watch it knowing the plot second time around, unless you just want to visualise the movie again with the superb look. A great film to watch close to Halloween, but make sure you watch it in a dark quiet room to get the full eerie effect the movie brings.
Silent Hill (otherwise known as 127 minutes of your life you will never get back) is a "scary movie" staring Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean.
Ugh where do I start? Well the positive is that on the back of the DVD the summary makes it sound intriguing and interesting with the potential to be a real jump out of your seats thriller.
The other positive is that the high polish production and special effects really are excellent and despite my opinion of the movie you cant deny it that accolade.
Okay end of positives. The plot is a little girl called Sharon has a tendency to sleep walk and whilst doing so she screams about "Silent Hill" and draws dark pictures that horrify her adoptive parents (Mitchell and Bean). Sharon remembers none of this whilst she is awake but her mother decides she needs to get to the bottom of it and researches Silent Hill on t'internet. She discovers that its a place in West Virginia that is a ghost town - ie: totally closed down due to an awful fire and subsequent toxic gases that that consumed the town.
She decides to take Sharon to Silent Hill against her husband's wishes, but on the drive she has a car crash and passes out. Upon waking she finds her daughter gone and thus ensues the big hunt for Sharon.
So far, its really not too bad, but began to grate on my nerves when she wanders through the deserted town shouting "Sharon, Sharon" for what seems like an age. It was like watching the Osbournes!!
I suppose I should have paid more attention to the back of the DVD when it said 'based on a video game' because thats kind of what its like watching.
There are so many holes and missing links in the plot and whilst the special effects are great, you are left feeling like you have missed the storyline. You haven't - it's just so flimsy.
Creatures come and go without any explanation as to what they really are. And to be honest I didn't care. Sharon keeps giving her mum the slip and you cant really blame her so irritating is she. Eventually the film decides its bored with being a futuristic video game and switches to being about olden day witches.
Eventually after 127 long minutes this comes to an end - the film really drags in places it needn't and the time would have been better spent developing the plot.
The main problem is that it smacks of someone trying to be far too clever for their own good but in doing so, forget that a story has to be present, consistent and make sense. When you read the synopsis on Wikipedia it actually makes far more sense and sounds much more interesting than the film which is a shame as it makes you realise it could have been great...
Oh and Sean Bean should be banned from attempting an American accent ever again.
Utter rubbish. But in case you want to know...
Director: Christophe Gans
Producer: Samuel Hadida
Writers: Roger Avary
Apparently there's a sequel in the making - oh good.
Rose: 'Honey, sometimes when you go to sleep you go on a little walk. And sometimes you talk about a place- called Silent Hill'
Sharon: 'I don't remember'.
Rose: 'That's okay honey, that's why we're gonna go there. So you can remember'.
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If I had known Silent Hill was based on a video game I wouldn't have rented it, simple as. There has yet to be decent movie to translate from the recent gaming revolution to the big screen in my humble opinion and if you think about it, it's not a great idea in the first place. Resident Evil was awful from the thirty minutes I managed. They say Doom was even worse.
My first experience with this genre was quite awhile ago, the 1980s rather surprisingly, 'Tron' with Jeff Bridges the first to try the cheap trick of trying to get double sales from the film and video game. Tron the arcade game was really cool (be it rather unplayable so you had to keep putting 10p`s in to keep going) and the film just about got away with. Now, of course, it's the other way around, action movies cynically packed full of video games sequences to boost those double-bubble sales. You only need to think of the ludicrous invisible car in the last Pierce Brosnan - Bond film that nearly killed the franchise off to show how silly it got.
The above aside I have to say I quite liked this, the whole thing having a completely different angle and appeal if you have no idea about Silent Hill the game and the various levels on it. I suspect people who have played the game were throwing things at the screen pretty early on and would vehemently disagree!
Like Tron, the movie narrative operates on the same basic principal in all these films that human beings somehow end up in the video game, generally pretty much downhill from there and quite literally here, something they won't be able to escape from, just like the actor's careers for taking these jobs.
Radha Mitchell ... Rose Da Silva
Sean Bean ... Christopher Da Silva
Laurie Holden ... Cybil Bennett
Deborah Kara Unger ... Dahlia Gillespie
Kim Coates ... Officer Thomas Gucci
Tanya Allen ... Anna
Alice Krige ... Christabella
Jodelle Ferland ... Sharon
Chris (Sean Bean) and Rose Da Silva's marriage is on the rocks, like their adopted daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) nearly is when she sleep walks to the edge of a cliff on their make or break family holiday by the ocean, the couple failing to work out their differences, seemingly caused by their disturbed child's behavior like this. Rose (Rhada Mitchell) thinks she can fix the child's menacing dreams buy moving to Silent Hill, the place their daughter repeats like a mantra in her dreams. Maybe this will hold the cure for her increasingly violent nightmares, Chris deciding to stay behind to work out where he stands in the relationship.
When Rose and Sharon near the strange and eerie Silent Hill the sky is full of falling ashes, a burning coal fire deep below the hill the reason why. After a run in with a local female cop (Laurie Holden) as they enter the town, little Rose goes missing, meaning Rose has to head deep into the spooky and deserted town to find here. Every glimpse of what she thinks is the child draws her deeper and deeper into the mystery, now staring down into the abyss of the burning coal fire, Dante's Inferno for sure. If it isn't hell down there it sure as hell looks like it. With the sexy cop backing her up and coming around to her plight as they close in on Rose through the labyrinth of tunnels and dark corners, Chris on the way to the town to find out what's going on and why her cell phone is dead, whatever it is that's drawing Rose to this place doesn't look like they want to give her up.
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Dahlia Gillespie: Why didn't she take me? Like the others?
Rose: Because you're her mother. Mother is God in the eyes of a child.
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With a script by Pulp Fictions, Roger Avery, and styled by the acclaimed director Chris Gants, I suspect I'm in a minority here in actually enjoying this creepy horror fantasy. Yes Rose does go from one spooky location to another shouting 'Sharon' once too often, maybe an OMG thrown in for good measure as she encounters the increasing menacing of Gants apocalyptic landscapes, but it just has a certain spooky originality to it. It does sag towards the end when Gans introduces a religious fanatic (Alice Krigge) and her flock to proceedings but the CGI bad guys from the video game and those intricate sets are quite atmospheric and original and so hold your interest, the falling ashes adding a refreshing layer of eerie silence to a real mess of a soundtrack. At times the backing track is very weird and creepy, clanking metal, screaming sirens and clunking chains, reflecting the hell on earth Rose and her daughter are descending into, but then suddenly classical music and annoying techno kicks in as if you have to put another 50p in the slot to carrying on playing the arcade game it clearly was. And at a bizarrely long three hours plus run time here there's a lot of clanking!
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Imdb.com scores it 6.5 out of 10.0 votes (52.183 votes)
RuN-TiMe 127 minutes
Blockbusters 3 for £6 weekly deal
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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