Silent Hill (15)
Dir. Christophe Gans
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Aarrrrgghhh!! It’s horrible… No, please not another horror film based on a video game! But yes, here comes Silent Hill stumbling in the stagnant, stench filled footsteps of Doom and House of The Dead, easy money for a cynical Hollywood milked from fans of the games.
But wait, what’s this? Something isn’t right; it’s just made more the $20million in its first weekend. It has a cool French director (Christophe ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Gans) and a credible gorgeous actress in the lead role (Radha ‘Man on Fire’ Mitchell). Add a wonderful cinematic sense of nightmare dark, deeply foreboding atmosphere, introduce some spot on representations of the games’ creatures that defy logic and twist reason – and then stand well back because Silent Hill is a blood soaked mutant’s head and shoulders better than it has any right to be.
Does that make it a great film? No, not really. But what it does mean is that this is one creepy, skin-crawling horror film that gently manipulates you psychologically rather than opting for any jump – where did that zombie spring from type scares.
I must warn you though that if you haven’t played the Silent Hill games then there’s a good chance that you’ll not have the foggiest idea what the hell is going in after the first half an hour. That’s basically because Silent Hill is a ‘foggy hell’ where nothing is right and everything is tainted with a look and feel all its own.
The plot is that plucky mother Rose (Mitchell) is searching the cursed town of Silent Hill for her missing daughter Sharon (nicely played by young Jodelle Ferland). Sean Bean is on hand but offered little to do as Sharon’s father and Laurie Holden plays a gun totting motorcycle cop – in that most unenviable of roles as ‘heroic but ultimately expendable friend of the hero’.
The town itself looks amazing, a persistent raining white fog of ash gives it a superbly ‘other worldly feel’, I was really surprised at how good almost every frame looked. The special effects of the demonic creatures are suitably grizzly even if the levels of gore do veer wildly over the top at points – strong stomachs required…
So not a film for the faint hearted, but a slow burning nightmare that at least tries hard to do justice to the source material and might just change your mind about video game adaptations.
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (flawed but worthy - if you like you movies sick)
"Silent Hill's health service = you might want to consider going 'private'"
Earlier post about Silent Hill which includes alternative artwork and link to 10 minute preview
Darkmatters: H O ME