Silent Hill Movie Review
Welcome back to the seventh annual Halloween special. Today we’re gonna be talking about a video game adaptation and adaptation of one of my favorite games ever, silent hill. The film came out in 2006 it was directed by Christophe Gans starred rod how Mitchell Laurie Holden and Sean bean and told the story of a family who ad-opted a young girl when this young girl is obsessed with a place called silent hill.
In the opening scene, she nearly kills herself in her sleep while she motors the name silent hill. It’s a town nearby and so she decides to take her daughter there to figure out if there’s a way she can find some answers. And after she wipes out on the road she wakes up her daughter’s gone and she’s trapped in silent hill. And it’s not what you call a welcoming town.
I felt like talking about silent hill this Halloween for a few reasons. One of the biggest ones being that I missed judge this movie. The first time I saw it. I didn’t really like it, but I don’t really remember having a huge reason for not liking the movie. I got it on DVD from Netflix. It was one of the first Netflix movies that I ever requested when I got my Netflix account back in the day.
Then if you read my review of silent hill revelation this movie sequel at the beginning of that review. I mentioned that I didn’t really think the original was all that great and I went back and I re-watched the movie and my opinion has changed. This is by no means a great film nor is it a flawless movie but as a video game adaptation of silent hill. You can tell it was hounded by somebody who really cared about the property.
In fact, it took the director Christophe Gans many years to get the rights to this movie. Eventually was able to obtain them by filming an interview with himself talking about how passionate he was for the game. As well as paying for some scenes to be shot that showcase what he would like to do with the movie. He eventually submitted that to Konami and got the rights after that.
So the guy actually really cares. And if you have played the game, which I have. You can tell there’s a lot of tributes to it in this movie. One of the biggest being the music choices. All of the music in this movie is from the game. There’s just been some subtle mixing done. From the standpoint of visual effects and production design, this is one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever made.
The town of silent hill looks exactly like it does in the game and it’s just as terrifying as it is in the game. The notion that at any point in time the town can change go from this ash-filled desolate wasteland to a horrifying hell filled with creatures that will rip you apart. And you can tell the director really cared. He wasn’t just trying to make this movie for money. He cared about this property and silent hill fans in general. And that’s the best part of the film.
I would say the fact that it really does feel like it fits and within that universe and so in some ways, you benefit extremely from having played this game, which is a bit of a problem for some happens. like if you read Roger Ebert’s review. I’m gonna bring him up again I talk about him my Hellraiser review. I love the guy such a great inspiration to me, but he really hated this movie.
He talked a lot about how we didn’t really get it. He had his concerns about video games being arts, which I’ve always strongly disagreed with. But similar to hellraiser you can read his review and you understand his points. And so if you haven’t played the game. I can completely understand why this movie would be for you. Especially, since I have and I still didn’t really love it all that much the first time. For some reasons the film stayed with me though.
I thought more and more about the movie because there was more under the surface that initially gleaned when I watched it. And the more I thought about the movie the more I came to appreciate it. And that’s because the movie doesn’t hold your hand for a long time. You really don’t know what’s going on. Crazy things happen right before your eyes. If you’ve played the game you can understand. If you haven’t or it’s been a long time since you have the movie doesn’t explain everything to you. At first, we’ll talk about that in a second but for a long portion of this movie, it’s a mystery which I love. I love when a director or writer has the courage. It just says “Hey stick with me for a while here because I’m gonna show you some fucked up shit” and it’s not can make sense for a long time eventually you’ll get it though.
And with a movie like that, you kind of have to have an exposition dump at some point to this movie has a few. It’s done in a very unique way. Our lead character played by Radha Mitchell has a vision. And you see these terrifying horrible things happening to these characters along with narration and it’s all explained to you very quickly there.
And so I struggled to understand why people didn’t really get the movie. Because it’s like really clearly explained which for me was a little unfortunate. It’s one of my least favorite aspects of the movie. I liked the mystery elements and I understood most of where they were going with things I didn’t need to be that clearly explained to me, but I also understand from a studio perspective the people who made this film they know that a large majority of the audience kind of likes their hand to be held sometimes. Unfortunately, that’s true. In the case of this movie, it’s one of its biggest faults.
Another issue I have with the movie is the husband storyline. The film is 125 minutes long. It’s actually pretty lengthy for video game movie. And much of that run time is eaten up by the husband trying to figure out where his family is. And these scenes are boring. They don’t feel like they belong in the movie. They feel very tacked on. Surprisingly they kind of are. The original draft for the movie basically had only female characters. And apparently the studio said Hey there’s no man in this movie why?. The husband’s character was just going to be the beginning of the film and the end of the film. And he ended up getting a more beefed-up presence in the movie.
And you can tell they didn’t really want to do that much with that storyline and it feels like it’s a procedural. Like we have to show the has been doing these things because that’s just it makes sense. The husband would be looking for them. It’s just not interesting just because it makes sense doesn’t it has to be in the movie.
Gratefully sense the characters played by Sean Bean. You automatically feel more Invest in this character because Sean bean is a really good actor. And he’s able to make you feel quite a bit of sympathy for him. But on the page it’s not really that interesting. I always wanted to get back to the silent hill. Gracefully there’s quite a bit in silent hill.
Radha Mitchell is really good and I do not see her enough in movies. I would like to see more of her she’s terrific in this movie. So was Laurie Holden as the cop that follows her there and gets trapped with her. why this movie shines is in its disturbing imagery it’s very creepy visuals and stunning production design.
The backstory involving this town is sometimes handled in a less than thrilling fashion. But once you understand what’s going on it actually is quite disturbing and it has a compelling way of exploring what can happen to a town, when they listen to a voice that they think is a voice of reason but is really a voice of evil.
I’m gonna give the silent hill a B. Despite some of its flaws this is one of the better video game adaptations and over the years I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more. I’m curious what you guys think of silent hill because some people really hate this movie. and I don’t quite understand that. I think it’s done pretty well especially if you’re a fan of the game. The first time I played this game. I was so scared. That you have to understand like in 98 or 99 whatever it was this game came out, This was like top tier horrifying. You played now might not be as scary. But I vividly remember sitting in my room in my old apartment just watching that screen hanging so terrified by everything I was looking at and this movie did a pretty good job of being faithful to it.
Guys look forward to more reviews coming to you very soon. Thank you so much as always for reading. See you next time with another movie review.