(CREDIT: to the creator. I do not own this pic or the movie.)
Rank: 3 out of 5
Yeah, yeah, this movie is a few years old, but don't give me grief. I review albums that are a few years old anyway!
Quite frankly, I'm not the most avid fan of the genre, but I love having a horror film to creep me out and scare me every now and then. The Last Exorcism, The Grudge, One Missed Call (the superior Japanese 2004 film,) The Uninvited, and Carrie are some of my favorites. Unfortunately, the horror film genre can be plagued by really terrible, corny fests of excretion (The Unborn, The Messengers, and the American lame-ass version of One Missed Call.) It seems that scary movies can be loved or hated, depending on the person.
Now as for Silent Hill...
Thankfully I did A LOT of research on the universe of Silent Hill, so know that I am aware of it's concept. From reading Translated Memories and SilentPyramid's analyses, watching Dena's videos in Game Den, and watching several Let's Plays on thatguywiththeglasses.com and Youtube, it took me almost two months to know a decent amount of information. Fortunately, a friend just let me borrow her copy of the film as well as the Playstation 2 version of Silent Hill 2. I am no longer sitting on my butt and watching videos: I finally have the chance to experience the universe.
But now about the film... OBVIOUSLY.
In my research I have heard many complaints about it, especially adding the "sexy nurse" monsters, the cockroaches (I think? o_O), and Pyramid Head without stating any relevance for their existences. The Silent Hill games always had various monsters as portrayals of an aspect in the life of the main character or the creators once living in the accursed town. For example in SH2,Pyramid Head symbolizes punishment, hinting at the fact that James can't forgive himself for the crimes he committed, and bears a resemblance to the executioner found in a painting somewhere in the town. Because fans know this, several feel confused as to why would a monster of punishment would be in the movie when Rose has no known desire to punish herself.
The bottom line is simple: Silent Hill is a cursed town, shaped by the subconsciousness of the souls who set foot there. Monsters representing their dark feelings come alive to haunt the weary traveler who was led there. The town has a dark history of people who believe in a dark cult, wanting to bring the birth of their god by filling the Mother with hatred. It is a hell one cannot leave until the main character comes to terms with the feelings within them. Silent Hill is a survival horror game with plenty of symbolism, complex characters, deformed but creative monsters, and tortured solitude.
The film creatively took the spirit of the games and captured the imagery beautifully, however, the concepts were shaky. The plot wasn't terrible, but its aspects strayed too far from the source material. Technically, it's almost exactly like the plot of the first game with edits:
- Harry Mason is looking for his missing daughter Cheryl
- Silent Hill has either very few to no residents left
- Alessa was burned in an attempt to bring the birth of the cult's God
- Alessa is 14
- Dahlia is the head of the cult
- Rose Di Silva is looking for her sick daughter Sharon
- several people, who follow the cult, live there in a purgatory-like state
- a coal fire burned down the town and the residents
- Alessa, who was burned for being a witch, is at least 37
- Christabella (where the hell did she come from?!) is the head of the cult
I could go on forever on this, but I don't want to confuse you all too much.
Overall, I don't think this film was terrible as many fans say it is. Silent Hill made numerous changes to the characters and the plot, but the execution was pretty good. The monsters weren't too corny since they are all humanoid to begin with, so there's not too much crazy or stupid CGI. And, because there were almost no male characters for some reason, the actresses all did excellent jobs. Could it have been better? Of course: the symbolism was severely lacking. But Silent Hill is one hell of a fun movie.
At least, that's what I think, especially when I don't call myself a fan...