A few of us got together and went to see Silent Hill tonight. Very interesting experience. The movie is quite true to the games, which means its very unlike your typical horror movies. We liked it, but the average fan of the Freddy / Jason / Scream type movies is probably not going to like this. It’s long (2 hours) and it isn’t the sort of movie that takes a group of dysfunctional idiots, drives them into danger, and then picks them off one at a time. Like the last few Silent Hill games, it’s more of a very violent mystery.
The ending was nearly perfect, but then the last 30 seconds sort of broke several established rules and really irritated me. Usually they do this sort of thing as a set-up for a sequel, but in this case it seemed more like weirdness for its own sake. When the mother and daughter came home, they should have really COME HOME. Instead, they and the father could not see each other and were stuck in seperate realities. This suggests that they didn’t really escape the madness of Silent Hill, which is a rotten and downer ending. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense. The “aternate world” stuff was a function of Silent Hill, and leaving the town should have ended it.
I don’t like traditional horror movies or slasher flicks. I don’t mind violence, but many of those movies are slasher porn: the plot is a paper-thin excuse to string together a bunch of gruesome murders. This movie did indeed have some nasty and disturbing images, but they served the plot, instead of the other way around.
There are many, many visual nods to the games, many of which were quite obscure. I’m sure I didn’t catch them all.
A BIT LATER: The thing about the big fire happening 30 years earlier just totally screws up the movie. The leader of the cult and the policeman with the buned hands hadn’t aged a day?!? If they had said the disaster happened TEN years ago the whole thing would have made much more sense, and the little girl would have been about the right age. As it is, you can’t put the movie on a timeline in such a way that it makes sense.
STILL LATER: Looking at the plot, I don’t think this movie would make sense for people not familiar with the game. Or at least, they wouldn’t know it was supposed to make sense. I bet the non SH fan is going to leave the theater thinking they just saw two hours of random bloody nonsense.
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