Director: Michael J Bassett
Screenplay: Michael J Bassett
Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell
Running Time: 94 minutes
Release Date: 18 March 2013
The history regarding film adaptions of video games is not particularly littered with success stories. However, as the Resident Evil series will convey, critical maulings don’t always match up with the box office. The good news with the original Silent Hill film is that it tried to stick close to its roots and convey a creepy atmosphere. Silent Hill: Revelation seems to have taken that template and pressed the repeat button, adding the 3D element for effect.
Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father (Bean) have been moving regularly over the past few years, seemingly on the run from something that she doesn’t understand. Settling into a new home, Heather finds that she is plagued by nightmares about the titular town. Her father warns her never to go there, just before he is kidnapped and taken there. Heather takes it upon herself to go to Silent Hill and rescue him. That’s the story in a nutshell really, and sometimes the simplest premises are the best, especially in horror. However, Revelations seems to want to try too hard on too many levels and that is its downfall.
The film is over-wrought with CGI, which gives it a sheen that never sits well with the genre that is supposed to instil terror. The games were always murky and dark and although the film does present a certain element of creepiness, it fails to scare the viewer on any level. Fans of the video games will smile wryly as they spot the subtle nods to the pixelated fore-bearers of this franchise and most of the make-up effects are good quality. The 3D adds nothing to the film and is an effect best left to action and superhero films. Again, we wait for the first time that 3D makes us actually jump.
Although Silent Hill: Revelation tries admirably to keep close to its horror roots, unlike some of its brethren, all it manages to do is simulate an expensive ghost train. There are some lurches here and there and a few loud noises used to try and intimidate the audience, but unless you are twelve or under, it’s unlikely that you’ll spook easily.
You won’t want to ask for your money back, but you’ll know that this gimmicky film is a wasted opportunity.
The first Silent Hill film was one of the best videogame adaptations in years. The sequel falls somewhat short and feels like a clumsy pieced together ‘best of’ reel of Silent Hill videogame moments and characters. The soundtrack is hands-down the greatest thing about this film and in all honesty you’d be better off buying the soundtrack to enjoy in its own right and giving the film a miss.
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