Silent Hill: Revelation, the sequel to the 2006 adaptation of the survival horror franchise of the same name is in theatres now, just in time for Halloween. The first one was one of the better video game adaptation of recent years, and this one looks to follow suit, judging by the previews and commercials. But how does it do? Does it convey the spookiness and the scares in the games, or should it have been left in an alternate dimension?
I was never a huge fan of the Silent Hill games. I played a couple of them, but they always just seemed boring to me. One thing that always stuck out is the ambiance and the general atmosphere, and I always thought it would make for a great film. When the 2006 film adaptation was finally released, I thought it was pretty neat. I didn’t love it to death, but I didn’t hate it like a lot of people did. I thought the film makers did a great job of capturing a lot of what made the games great, but just fell short of making an over all great film. I honestly didn’t even know a sequel was getting released until the trailer was released just a few short months ago. It looked promising, and I was open to the idea of a sequel, although the idea seemed a little dated. The original did come out six years ago, and most people have kind of forgotten it exists.
So lets get to it. The storyline is typical Silent Hill fare, and is based heavily off of Silent Hill 3, apparently. It picks up after the first flick, with Sharon being magically transported back to her father via an amulet. Years pass, and her father lies to Sharon about what happen, and constantly keep on the move to stay ahead of a cult that wants to kidnap Sharon, now going by the name Heather Mason. Eventually Heather has nightmares about Silent Hill, and the cult catches her and drags her to the cursed city. After that, all kinds of creepy shit goes down, and Heather has to find out more about the city, herself, and the forces in control of the city. It’s nothing mind blowing, but it’s enough to keep the film moving. It throws in a few twists and turns for good measure, but the majority of it is pretty linear. The one thing that drags the plot down is some of the characters introduced. We get these characters, and in very little time something happens to them, and they aren’t around long enough and there’s so little connection to them that you don’t care what happens. Characters come and go, with little impact on the story, and the viewer emotionally.
Now lets look at the characters. Returning is Sean Bean as Christopher, and Radha Mitchell as Rose. Adelaide Clemens now takes the role of Sharon/Heather, and looks eerily similar to her video game counterpart. Other notable appearances include Malcolm Mcdowell and Carrie Ann Moss, among others. Short of the core characters, there isn’t any really stand out performances. They all just seem to be there, and don’t really put any emotion into their parts. Some come and go, and you can’t really be bothered to care. While some could be pretty interesting if played with a little more gusto, such as Carrie Ann’s Claudia. But, its just a wasted opportunity.
The one thing that really sticks out is the production value. They did excellent in recreating the atmosphere and the feel of the games, and even ventured into some areas of the games that are honestly kind of disturbing. Everything looks creepy as it should, and there’s almost a tangible sense of dread in some scenes. The scares aren’t as plentiful as other movies in the genre right now, but it uses more traditional horror techniques, not relying so much on jump scares and cheap thrills. Some are quite effective, but most get totally lost on an audience that likes everything fast and easy. It’s not that they’re bad, as it gets to job done but it just takes a while to get there. There’s build up, there’s suspense. But those kind of scares aren’t used nearly enough. There’s a couple of really good freak out scenes, but short of that, the rest of the flick is pretty weak in that department.
All in all, its not a horrible flick. Then again, it’s not that good, either. Its just over all very mediocre. There’s worse you can do at the theatre right now, but there’s also way better. If your a fan of the games and don’t mind them butchering the story, go for it. If you’re a horror fan looking for your fix, look elsewhere.
2.5 out of 5.
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