Saturday, May 29, 2010

Movie Review: Silent HIll

Blogger's note; Sorry for the slow updates, everyone. I have been helping out a fellow writer on a project (more on this later). Following my tradition of playing all the Silent Hill games out of order, here is my review of Silent Hill the movie.

A little girl named Sharon starts dreaming about a place called Silent Hill, which prompts her to sleepwalk on the edge of a cliff. Rather then get her psychiatric help, her mother Rose decides to head over to the ghost town to get some answers. After a car crash, Rose wakes up with Sharon gone and strange monsters patrolling the ash-covered streets. She is also aided by a female cop and a crazy woman while trying to find her daughter.

This movie combines the location, music, and monsters from pretty much all the Silent Hill games, which while keeping the fans pleased might seem a little confusing to a first-time viewer. However, there is an obvious difference between this movie and all the games.

Um…so where are the dudes in this film?

Silent Hill was originally an all-female cast. The producers ultimately didn’t like this, so a sub-plot involving Rose’s husband named Christopher was written into the script. This sub-plot is also pointless and ultimately leads nowhere. I’m not sure why this movie is a feminist film when all the games are a mixture of both, and from what I heard of the new movie sequel this doesn’t sound likely to change.

Another part which deviates from the game is the motivations of the cult itself. In the game, they are trying to resurrect some ancient God to take over the world. In the movie, they are Christian Heretics set out to burn witches and purify Silent Hill.

Oh, great! An anti-wiccan film. I just love them (seriously, see my rant on the Blair Witch film with regards to my thoughts on that). And it’s really a double-edged sword when you think about it. In most movies I’ve seen this happen the director is portraying Witches as evil, but they are also portraying Christians as crazy lunatics who will kill anyone who so much as picks up a Harry Potter book. It does them an equal amount of disservice.

How is this movie overall? Well, unfortunately it tends to follow the formula of the game a little too well. For example Rose goes to multiple places thinking that her daughter is there by clues left by her, yet it just leads to another clue and another location. Why? And if a ghost of Silent Hill needed Rose’s help all this time and is purposefully leading her from destination to destination, why did she go to all the trouble of trying to kill her for the first half an hour?

FINAL GRADE: 2 ½ out of 5. It follows the games for Silent Hill closely for the most part, but as an actual movie, this is average.

I'm sure entering a ghost town, fleeing crazy half-naked nurse zombies and monsters with pyramid heads and massive swords is going to be much better for little Sharon than a psychiatrist.

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