Skip to content

Silent Hill (2006)

January 27, 2010

4/10 Crap Vacations

Not as good as the game. Color me shocked.

Silent Hill is about a woman and her daughter who get in a car accident. The woman gets knocked out, she wakes up soon after to find her daughter gone, she heads on into the nearest town which also happens to be the creepiest damn town she’s ever been to in hopes to find her daughter (what an idiot). Night falls, weird shit starts happening in spades, and she quickly realizes that she needs to find her kid and get the eff out of Silent Hill a.s.a.p.

It’s based off the video game series of the same name, a series which also happens to kick a gratuitous amount of ass when it comes to the survival horror genre (at least the first two did). So, as a fan, I had higher expectations going into this than I usually would for a movie that’s more or less doomed to suck because it’s become an unwritten law of sorts that good video games inevitably make for crap movie adaptations. It’s a damn shame, that unwritten law, but such is life.

I’m gonna start off with the few things it does right because there are a lot of video game movies that don’t do anything right whatsoever.

Pretty much all of the credit here goes to director Christophe Gans in this regard because it’s clear that this guy has in fact played the games before. The games have never been about scaring you so hard that you shit yourself, it’s about placing the audience a living, breathing nightmare and replacing the jump-out-your-seat moments with some of the weirdest, eeriest stuff you’ve ever seen, the kind of stuff that raises the tension to its breaking point and has you walking double-time past dark alleys.

Gans doesn’t exactly make a very good horror movie in this regard to the point where it’s actually scary, but that trademark Silent Hill vibe is still very much there. Won’t have you losing sleep or anything, but it’s awful cool to look at and it gets major points for doing the source material justice in at least this category.

The acting is whatever, but the thing that’s holding this movie back from even a 5 out of 10 is the garbage script by Roger Avary. If it weren’t for my scouring of message boards for an hour after I saw this which finally helped me to understand what the hell was going on, the story here pretty much makes zero sense the first time around. Now, if the story were good to begin with, this confusion might work in its favor in a Mulholland Dr. kind of way, but it’s not one of those situations. Ends up making you more angry than confused.

The script is also way more over-the-top violent than it should have been. The final Act is barely even watchable as it culminates in a skinning, a human barbecue and a barbed wire rape. Yup, that last part actually happens and it ends with the victim exploding. It is just totally ridiculous, totally unnecessary and completely strays from everything that made it an even somewhat effective horror movie to begin with. That kinda trash isn’t scary, it’s torture porn.

Roger Avary, man. There’s no way this guy co-wrote Pulp Fiction. I call “bullshit”.

But the thing that separates Silent Hill from the cesspool of other video game movies out there is that it actually had promise to begin with and at least manages to kinda tap into it. Silent Hill is a good game that is really freakin’ scary and one that had a seriously harrowing and original storyline to work off of. Movies like Doom and Super Mario Bros. didn’t have a chance to begin with because, honestly, what the fuck are you gonna do with those? You shoot things and jump on stuff, roll credits. They’re fluff games with non-existent stories and adaptations like that are always a recipe for failure. Fortunately, this isn’t the case here, unfortunately, it doesn’t really flesh out the way I’d hoped it would.

From an aesthetic standpoint, Silent Hill nails it, everything else, not so much. If you’re familiar with the games, Silent Hill is worth a watch. Everyone else, go play the games. It’s still one of the better game-to-movie adaptations I’ve come across, so I guess that’s a good thing.

Man, will someone make a Metal Gear Solid movie already? Jesus H. Murphy…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 2:41 am

    Want to enhance the shock factor?
    Add that Roger Avary is an ACADEMY AWARD WINNER.

  2. January 27, 2010 6:31 am

    like your pic Marshall, have you read our battle of those two movies?
    The Avary thing is odd, depending on who you believe in his spat with Tarantino. i will never see Silent Hill so i cant judge that one, but the guy did make The Rules Of Attraction, which is a pretty great film

  3. January 27, 2010 2:42 pm

    I thought it started out okay…the mystery and the macabre ambience of the town got me into the story. I also rather like ex-Neighbours cutie Radha Mitchell, but you’re right about the script. It quickly falls apart and you couldn’t care less what happens to the mother or the daughter.

  4. January 27, 2010 6:26 pm

    In my mind the Silent Hill games were always ten times scarier than those Resident Evil ones.

    • January 28, 2010 1:01 pm

      Hell to the yea, but there hasn’t been a really good Silent Hill game since 2.

Drop that knowledge!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: