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Silent Hill (2006)

  Tags: based on game, blood, Christophe Gans, Deborah Kara Unger, evil kids, gore, Kim Coates, Laurie Holden, Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, silent hill, Tanya Allen

Your rating: None Average: 7.5 (22 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

silenthill.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Christophe Gans
Runtime: 
127 minutes
Cast: 
Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen


Ah yes, Silent Hill. I remember going out to buy the game the first day it was released for the Playstation. I immediately came home and played the hell outta that thing; eventually forcing myself to take a break after my thumbs were too numb and my brain be racked after all the puzzles. I loved the game, and it wasn't until years later that I played the second and third on the PC. I tried out the fourth game, which I didn't like and chose not to finish, but it didn't really follow the Silent Hill storyline anyway.

After the release of Resident Evil, my friends and I thought, why not Silent Hill? Finally, in 2006, our dreams were met, but were our expectations? In many ways, yes. I have to say that Silent Hill so far is the only game-to-film adaptation that truly followed the feel, look, and even sound of the game it's based on. I have to give props to the guys behind this, and the fact that they worked closely with those who developed the games.

As we are to expect, the movie doesn't follow any storyline from the games, although it is very similar to that of the first; in which our lead "Rose" whom replaces "Harry" of the first game, is in search of her missing daughter. Sadly, this new storyline is neither as intriguing nor as character-involving as the games were. As the movie progresses we see familiar characters, like Dhalia Gillespie (whose character is different compared to the game) and the nurse Lisa, whom has a small role in the film.

We're also witness to various creatures we've encountered in the game, more notably Pyramid Head and the Nurses. We also see other memorable creatures, like the little ghosts and a freaky new one called "the Janitor". The film combines elements from all four games -- the monsters from the second, and various little environment and characters details from the others. I knew right off-the-bat that when Rose was walking around the town in the beginning that it seemed to be made to look almost identical to that of the first game in many scenes.

Like I stated above, the movie keeps the games' music, which adds to the excellent atmosphere the film presents. I think the look and atmosphere are one of the strongest elements in the movie -- it's clear that they really tried to make it look as though you're in the game, and I personally think they succeeded. They spared no expenses in the blood and gore department, especially towards the end. Although it isn't as gory as I heard, it is fairly bloody, which is good enough to feed my sick desires to see as much blood and guts on the big screen as possible.

I thought how the lead Rose went around the town discovering small clues which led her to the next destination were pulled off pretty well. Though, when it was time to go to the dreaded hospital it didn't seem as hard as I expected it to be, especially since it was a key part in the game, and not-to-mention one of the hardest for me. Damn those nurses! Speaking of which, the look of our menacing foes were pretty much the same as they were in the game. It's amazing how they managed to pull it off such likenesses.

Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed was the transition between the real world and "the dark." It's very reminiscent of the game, especially when we hear that dreadful siren, warning our characters of what's to come. On a negative note, the use of the static radio wasn't used as much as it should have since it was another key element in the games. Also, some of the scenes involving Sean Bean's character seemed a bit unnecessary at times and even dragged the story a bit. It makes sense; however, as it turns out his character was added during a rewrite after complaints of no male protagonists were present in the script.

A lot of the film required computer imagery, which was another drawback, since at times it seemed a little too fake. Lastly, I felt that the explanation and ending itself seemed a bit rushed. Other than a couple fairly slow-paced sequences, the first half was brilliantly played out, with a mix of moody atmosphere and freaky characters. Then, as we reach our climax we seemingly get a rushed explanation and half-assed ending, which didn't really fit the feel of the first part of the movie. Regardless, I still enjoyed the flick from the start-to-finish. If the second half was as good as the first, then I probably would have liked it more. I say, bring on part two!

Fans of the games may be disappointed by the incredibly thin story-line, but in ways it makes up for it with the excellent use of the game's music, along with the right atmosphere and a fair amount of blood and gore. Look out for some of the more notable creatures in the movie, as they look very much like they do in the games. In the modern age of remakes and game-to-film adaptations, Silent Hill successfully pulls off a creepy movie that stays true to the games it's based on. If only it didn't seem so rushed towards the end could the movie have been better.

Posted on October 22, 2009 - 10:04pm | FrighT MasteR

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