Gamer Cinema: Silent Hill

I admittedly do not have a great history with the Silent Hill series of games, I've only played a couple of titles in the series, none of which I found particularly engrossing(and yes that includes the highly revered II). The last one I played was the fairly mediocre The Room. I don't generally get scared by horror movies or video games, but I can appreciate ones that are entertaining or clever. And the basis of the Silent Hill series certainly had the potential to be that.

In case you are unfamiliar, the movie is loosely based on the first game, where a man searches for his adopted daughter in the mysterious town of Silent Hill, where unexplained freaky stuff is happening. In the movie, a woman's adopted daughter keeps having nightmares about a place called Silent Hill, so against her husband's wishes, she takes her daughter there to try figure things out.

And it probably could've worked fine had they decided to stick with one main plot, but the film can't seem to decide what Silent Hill even is. Sure it's a small town where a terrible accident happened where there are still toxic fumes to this day, but apparently it's also exists in multiple dimensions (what?). A town with a dark history of burning "witches" and really just about anybody else they felt was "impure and somehow that leads to constantly falling ash and freaky things like scary looking nurses and a guy with a pyramid for a head, etc. So it introduces all these crazy inexplicable elements and then of course tries to half-hazardly explain it all with a throwaway twist you would never see coming only because it makes no sense. Did I mention that only the mom, the daughter and one other character see it this way? The father follows them to Silent Hill, teams up with an officer who used to live there to look for them, and when they are in the town, it simply appears as a deserted ghost town. Now again, it's explained that the "fumes" cause hallucinations, and the husband and officers wear masks to prevent themselves from seeing things, but obviously that doesn't even explain half of the stuff that goes down or the fact that they never run into anybody else in the town, but the mother runs into the wacky cult of fanatics quite often.

Probably the one positive I can give is to the visuals. The falling ash is a cool and eery effect, and they actually have managed to recreate quite well some of the series most memorable monstrosities like the nurses and especially series mainstay Pyramid Head. Admittedly for big fans of the series that alone might be enough, but for anyone else it's a pretty mediocre and ultimately nonsensical film, even by cheesy horror standards.

That's it for today but expect another post up sometime this weekend.

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