Silent Hill (2006)

Click Poster to Purchase

Get Showtimes...
Fandango - Movie Tickets Online

Review #103 of 365
Film: Silent Hill (2006) [R] 120 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $4.00
Where Viewed: Regal Cinemas Parkway Plaza 12, Tukwila, WA
When 1st Seen: 23 April 2006
Time: 6:20 p.m.

Visit Premiere Props for the best Movie Props and Movie Memorabilia

So, do you want the good news about Silent Hill first or the bad news? Ok, most people want the bad news first because they figure they’d rather end on a happy note. Unfortunately, in this case, I don’t think it matters. The good news isn’t good enough to create that 'happy note' ending . So, the good news first then. The good news is that early reports from fans of the video game off of which the film is supposedly based feel that the film does a decent job of bringing the video game to life. Didn’t know that the film was based on a video game called Silent Hill? Aren’t into Konami’s Silent Hill I – IV franchise? Well, me neither, but then I’m the kind of person that thinks Katamari Damacy is the greatest video game of all time. So, what would I know about a first person horror mystery video game about a man who must find his daughter when she disappears from their car outside a deserted town? Not too much. So, I think it’s good news if actual fans of the game think the movie, at least, is true to their original. The film has excellent sound effects and the acting, for the most part, isn’t too gothic horror movieesque. It is hard to imagine anyone but Radha (Finding Neverland and Man on Fire) Mitchell in the lead role of Rose Da Silva. Ms Mitchell is Rose inside and out. [Unless, of course, you are a Silent Hill purist and you sort of wonder how your Silent Hill I hero Harry Mason got turned into a woman named Rose Da Silva, but anyway.] Sean Bean who normally plays a ‘bad’ guy, takes the role of Rose’s husband, Christopher, and British Columbian native, Jodelle Ferland, plays their adopted daughter, the scary girl on the poster, Sharon. The other overwhelming presence in the film is, of course, the former Star Trek Borg Queen herself, the delicious, sweet and soft when playing a maniacal entity, Alice Krige. Everyone or thing else in the film, while each does a good job, is strictly in the background to Mitchell, Ferland, and Krige. The sets and special effects from the snow-like ash that falls non-stop to the cage-like torture chambers that comprise the bowels of the town of Silent Hill, West Virginia, to the faceless zombie-like beings and the Mummy Returns-like scarab creatures that scavenge the darkness everything has been created fiendishly to stir both obvious and subtle terror in the mind of the audience. There are parts of this film so terrifying that I cannot recommend this film for the faint of heart. And that, is all the good news there is.

"...add this one to the list of why video games should not be turned into movies..."
The bad news is that the premise is too ill-defined, the story eventually implodes in on itself then gets stuck in a Mobius strip or worse, a self-referential strange loop; and the purpose or point of the film, beyond scaring the wits out of a person, is all but lost in the climactic scene. Plus, then, the ending brings no real resolution—which I cannot stand but seems to be the soup du jour of horror movies these days. Sorry, however, the story just doesn’t make any sense. It begins with a terrifying scene where Sharon, a somnambulist, is rescued from near death by her adopted mother in the middle of the night on the edge of cliff by their home. The scene is so horrifying that the only assumption my mind would allow me to draw was that this must have been Rose’s nightmare. Unfortunately, there were many times when I wanted this to all be Rose’s or Sharon’s nightmare, and for them to wake up and for it all to be over. That, never happens. Well, poor Rose, she is so scared for her daughter, medication isn’t working, and Sharon keeps babbling about some mythical place called Silent Hill when she sleeps. So, Rose does her research ala Google® and comes up with a ghost town in West Virginia called Silent Hill. Knowing that Sharon was born in West Virginia, she decides to take her, over the better judgment of her husband, there to find the source of her her problems. And, in my mind, that is an entirely faulty premise. I cannot fathom for the life of me, why anyone would ever think that would be a good idea. How on earth would this help her daughter? I thought Rose must have gone mad in order to execute this plan, and I thought her husband was nearly so when the only thing he can think to do to stop her is to have her credit cards turned off. Oh, darn, she had pay cash for her getaway gas. Well, the story, while I promise is still scary, it’s a bit silly and implausible (not in the sense that horror films aren’t allowed to be implausible, but in the sense that the parts that need to be plausible still need to be plausible). How about this for implausible? What happens next is that while at a gas station located near the now government sealed off ‘turn off’ for Silent Hill, Rose and Sharon meet up with a motorcycle cop named Cybill Bennett (Laurie Holden). She’s a little too nosey into their affairs, for a normal beat cop, and after Rose leaves the station, ever-vigilant Officer Bennett grabs her license plate number, phones it in, apparently it comes up stolen, and she races after her. A high speed chase and near collision with a little girl in the middle of the road later, puts Officer Bennett and Rose out of commission for just long enough for Sharon to disappear into... bam... bamp... bah... (gulp)... the town of Silent Hill. Whatever. Well, from there the plausibility goes from bad to worse as Rose continues to prove to be one of the gutsiest movie moms ever but not one of the most intelligent. Time and again she is nearly killed doing hair-brained stunts and fending off horrible, homicial creatures with her trusty cigarette lighter, all the while chasing after a ghostly apparition that is very obviously not her daughter given it's creepy ability to dislocate parts of her body, zip around corners up and over structures and through doorways with spectre-like abilities. I do give the writer and director, Roger Avary and Christophe Gans respectively, some credit for a let’s try to explain what’s happened scene near the end, but by then it was kind of too late. I thought to myself, “What? Are you serious? This doesn’t make any sense. If this was all a plot to get Rose to Silent Hill to execute a plan, why did she almost get killed like 20 times along the way?” Well, I’ll leave it to you, if you have the inclination still to see this film, to figure that part out. It went straight over my head. Maybe I’ll have to eat crow on this. Early box office returns are very good, but I will have to stand by my opinion and say that despite the initial good news, this film is mostly bad news. If you like scary movies and gory movies, this one is pretty scary and gory. But, as for really good, scary ghost stories, give me Nicole Kidman in The Others any day over Silent Hill by a mile, and it doesn't even begin to approach the all-time scariest movie, Poltergeist. I mean no disrespect to fans of the video game series, but I would add this one to the list of why video games should not be turned into movies.

Related Products from

Related Game
Related Game
Related Game
Related Game
Related CD
Related Book

No comments: