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John’s Horror Corner: Silent Hill Revelation 3D (2012)

October 27, 2012

MY CALL:  Its greatest fault is that it offers nothing that original the original did; it’s never suspenseful or scary for even a moment.  I managed to enjoy it purely out of my enjoyment of the creature concepts/effects and the architecture of Silent Hill’s nightmare-scape.  [C/C-]  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCHSilent Hill (2006), The House on Haunted Hill (1999).  DIMENSIONS:  This movie was made for 3D but I saw it in 2D.  Sometimes 2D versions of made-for-3D movies have noticeable faults.  I didn’t find any.  Although I could easily identify some effects that were meant, specifically and cheaply, for 3D which maybe felt gratuitous without it.

Evil girl with classic hell fire.

Evil girl with Dante’s “cold” inferno.

On the Original:  I’ve frequently heard that Silent Hill (2006) has been considered one of the better videogame adaptation movies and did so paying a respectful homage to the look, style and scoring of the popular game.  Despite its faithful to the game it wasn’t a “good movie” per se, and not even necessarily a good horror movie—it was simply entertaining.  In this movie we first met Sharon, the adopted young daughter of Christopher (Sean Bean; Death Race 2; The Black Death) and Rose (Radha Mitchell; The Crazies, Surrogates), who was haunted by visions of Silent Hill.  Rose thinks it would be helpful to extinguish these troubling dreams if she takes Sharon there.  Then they become trapped in Silent Hill, learn about Sharon’s mystical connection to the place, and defeat some cultists who wanted her for occult reasons.  Rose was somehow able to send Sharon home to Chris while remaining, herself, trapped in the extra-dimensional ill-fated village.

To the Sequel:  On the plus-side Silent Hill: Revelation presents solid-pacing in delivering action, transitions to surreality, and loads of appropriately disturbing imagery.  This sequel picks up conceptually right where the original ended…just many years later.

Still hunted by cultists resulting from the ongoing connection between Sharon (Adelaide Clemons; Vampire) and the demon child tormentor of Silent Hill, Chris and Sharon have been evasively on the move since the end of the last movie.  As we find Sharon being introduced to a new school she finds friendship with Vince (Kit Harrington; Game of Thrones’ John snow), another new kid.  In no time weird things start happening as rogue vestiges of Silent Hill cross planar boundaries to lure Sharon and the force of Silent Hill slowly merges with her reality.  When such attempts fail to bait Sharon, “they” kidnap her father and steal him away to Silent Hill.  Naturally, and against her father’s wishes, she insists on rescuing him and Vince, smitten with Sharon and somehow not at all shocked by all of this, is along for the ride.

Unlike the painfully slow start to Silent Hill, Revelation hardly ever slows down enough for five minutes of story or explanation between its delivery of impressive effects.  It’s very entertaining and visually captivating.  However, it is almost never exciting.  I feel that the effects were made with “shocking” us in mind, but you can’t shock me without some form of excitation.  Instead of an “oh, shit” factor followed by “WTF was that?”, this flick came off with more of an intellectualized art gallery sensation of “hmmmmm, yes…very disturbing, indeed…they did a fine job making this look off-putting.”

Green light!  Stab away, ladies.

Silent Hill Revelation pic

Red light!  Pause on the cleavage bouncing.

I loved seeing the faceless, cleavage-rich zombie nurses and their strange stop-motion malevolence.  The executioner (Pyramid Head) is cool and iconic to the franchise, laboriously dragging his weapon to remind us of how silly those gracile Soul Caliber guys are swinging their uber-big swords as if they were weightless.  One of them is involved in a pretty cool final fight—cool more as a theatrical spectacle but not so much for choreography or excitement.

This dude is awesome.  Check out his Men’s Health cover pose…

and here’s his Sports Illustrated home run derby promo…

and, lastly, the head shot that his agent sent for casting the next Soul Caliber game.  Just you wait, this guy’s gonna’ make it big!

Oh, and the mannequin-arachnid animated construct was about as eerie as can be in sound, movement, and even how it spins “web”, “heals” and “sees.”  It was a great concept deserving of more screen time.

Creepy.

Yet creepier!

The down-side:  In the videogame adaptation process we hope that things which only work in games would be avoided in the movie.  One such element, a mysterious amulet Sharon has and the other half of which she “must” find in Silent Hill, made its way into the movie.  This was unfortunate as they could have had all of the same scenes without this completely unexplained artifact, which is called the Seal of Metatron.  WTF is it called The Seal of Metatron for!?!  Who or what is Metatron?  Other issues include giving a name to our cultists, the Order of Valtiel, which begs for an explanation that we never fully receive.   There are lots of cults in horror movies, but usually the cult is named by outsiders naming them after their ambitions or for their characteristics (e.g., The Children of the Corn).  But name some faction “The Illuminati” (The Da Vinci Code) and you know they didn’t just vote on a cool name; there’s a real reason for the name.  Don’t even get me started on The Halo of the Sun.  All these things, these names and their crappy (if any) explanations, should have been outright deleted from Revelation and replaced with nothing!  Other faults are found in the acting as supporting roles by a Legolas-turned-albino-witch Carrie-Anne Moss (Unthinkable, Disturbia) and a crazier than normal Malcolm MacDowell (Entourage, Vamps) are quite over-acted.

Wasn’t that Prince Nuada’a twin from Hellboy 2?

1 Silent Hill Revelation 092112 Watermarked Chilling New Imagery From Silent Hill: Revelation 3D! Adelaide Clemens Attends Tonights EyeGore Awards!

Both the original and the present sequel end with dissatisfaction.  I thought the victory over the demon child was, simply put, STUPID!  Stupid akin to how the Carebears defeat Dark Heart stupid; like “Carebear stare” stupid  There are actually about three different moments, well-separated by running time, which all feel like endings to the movie and all three are equally annoying.

Some chick from one of those Tokyo Gore Shock movies…or maybe a Hellraiser sequel.

All in all the nightmare of Silent Hill is painted with a steady brush to deliver a terrifying dreamscape of suffering, antigravity disintegration, torture and macabre.  The acting and simplistic plot are counterbalanced by impressive effects and nifty monster concepts making for an ambivalent review, but an entertaining movie.  The keen eye will also notice a rabbit motif, as if our Alice is falling down the rabbit hole to a dark Wonderland.  Effects whores, fans of the franchise and horrorhounds should all see this with lowered expactations—but see this nonetheless.  Newbies…keep your distance.

2 Silent Hill Revelation 092112 Watermarked Chilling New Imagery From Silent Hill: Revelation 3D! Adelaide Clemens Attends Tonights EyeGore Awards!

Chick, have you seen Donnie Darko?  Get away from that thing!

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