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Silent Hill (DVD)
Member Name: GentleGenius
Silent Hill (DVD)
Advantages: Starts off well, good special effects, the fact that it eventually ends!
Disadvantages: Bad acting, ludicrous, boring, far too long
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 ~~
Summary: I'd go out of my way to miss this!