Ok so I went to see Silent Hill the other night and I have mixed reviews. Having been an avid fan of the Silent Hill video game series since it began, and having played SH 1 through 4 multiple times, I was very wary walking into a theater to see what filmmakers have done with Silent Hill.
I think it is extremely difficult to translate video game to film and have been extremely dissapointed in the past; Mortal Kombat and both Resident Evils popping into my mind immediately. The most recent game to movie transition of Doom was not that horrible to me and once I got over the fact that I could not control it, I actually enjoyed it. But Doom, on film, could never be what Doom was as an FPS in my dark living room.
So I decided to give Silent Hill, the movie a fair shot and not be overly critical. The trailer I had seen showed some promise although I did notice that Hollywood in its infinite wisdom changed things a bit. I noticed that the film was a mixture of SH 1 and 2 , most obvsiouly the appearance of Pyramid Head. Ok so here goes:
LIKES: I liked the Silent Hilly-ish things about the movie. I thought the effects and the settings were almost spot on with the game itself. One scene in the hospital was almost a perfect replica of what you get in the game. I also liked the transition between "normal" and "nightmare" mode. To this day when I hear a fire siren, I want to run screaming for the nearest exit. I heard that siren in the theater and I knew that she was going to be into some serious shit. I also liked the creature effects, most importantly Pyramid Head. That guy gave me nightmares when I played the game and he gave me nightmares after seeing the movie. Blame it on me being pregnant and overly sensitive but he STILL scares the crap out of me. I absolutely LOVED his appearance in the movie and I also liked how, just like in Silent Hill 2 the game, you never really know who the hell he is and why he is what he is. Gore factor on a scale of 1-10 got a 4 until the very end of the movie when all hell (literally) breaks loose and then I give it a 9. A bit reminiscent of early Hellraiser, but who am I to complain. Visually, the movie was great. However.....
DISLIKES: Okay, where the hell did these people go to acting school if they did at all? The chick cop had less facial expressions than Haley Joel Osment in AI (which ain't saying much) and the police detective sounded like he was reading off of a cereal box. I wasn't expecting Shakesperean soliloquies, but come on! Also, the story outside of Silent Hill..................bbbooooorrrriiiinnnnggggg. All the superfluous crap with the husband and the detective and the "real" Silent Hill could have been scrapped. I was so bored during their jabber. I just wanted them to get back to Rose looking for her daughter in "wacko" Silent Hill. Also, I don't remember there being a whole mess of people in Silent Hill, the game. You come across Dahlia and a few others but this was like a party in the movie. Oh, and changing Harry into Rose pissed me off too. Why they had to change the lead into a woman I don't know. You only get a woman in Silent Hill 3 and that was not even my favorite of the games. I think that if the movie was as confusing storywise as the game it would have been better, but as always Hollywood has to tie it all together into something that makes sense.
SPOILER: I think the ending will tie into a sequel that has more to do with Silent Hill 2, the game in which the main character receives a phone call from his dead wife telling him to come get her in Silent Hill. I got the feeling that they ended the movie the way they did to lead into that sequel, since this first movie began like the first game did.