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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 31: Silent Hill


Oct 31: Silent Hill

"A woman goes in search for her daughter, within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill. Based on the video game."
Directed by: Christopher Gans, Rated: R, 125 minutes

Every Halloween I watch Silent Hill. It's turned into a little tradition for myself and have never really been able to pinpoint the exact moment I decided to keep it up. It's not even the scariest movie I've ever seen but it still fits the holiday and leaves me a little on edge. There's just something about Silent Hill that keeps me coming back for more and you can only imagine how sad I was when I heard such horrible things about its recent sequel. But I can say with confidence that Silent Hill is the greatest video game adaptation ever made.

It might help that this awful man had nothing to do with it. 

The film follows Rose (Radha Mitchell), a woman who loses her daughter and has plenty of signs leading her to a small town called Silent Hill. Rose travels to the abandoned town after many warnings that it holds plenty of dark secrets. Once she arrives, Rose discovers first-hand the warnings are true, and the town changes into hell on earth, with the walls peeling away and demon-like creatures spawn out of the darkness. As Rose uncovers more secrets she comes to find the town is cursed and that only way to escape is to "go deeper" and find a way to reverse the curse and save her daughter. Rose is joined by police officer, Cybil (Laurie Holden) and encounters plenty of townspeople that leave in constant fear.

Too bad my disgust for her in The Walking Dead ruins her quite a bit in anything else she's in. 

Silent Hill makes you hate tornado sirens. Whenever a siren goes off in the film, you know shit's going to happen and that terror is right around the corner. Each time the wall's begin to peel away, you get tense, again knowing that awful is coming. It's a film that continues to build suspense and only gets worse as it progresses. Not only does the siren provide tension, but the visuals that accompany each change are just as creepy. Seeing a desolate town dissolve into an even greater darkness, literally on the edge of hell, is just as creepy. Of course, you can't mention Silent Hill without mentioning Pyramid Head, the franchise's signature character. A brute of man stumbling through hell, carrying a massive ax and ripping the skin off of innocents is quite the visual of fear. He plays a minor, yet memorable part, and is more than okay sharing the creature-feature with a handful of other demons, zombie-nurses, and other undead nightmares.

He will f**k you the f**k up.

While Silent Hill has a handful of weak moments towards the end, it still is quite the ride. It's dark, it's creepy, and it leaves you paranoid. You'll hate sirens of any kind after watching the film and if you are a fan of the video games, you'll love the film. It provides plenty of scares and moments of "oh f**k that did not just happen!". It's well acted with a solid script (written by Roger Avary, Pulp Fiction) and has both visual and mental fears playing on on screen. Sure, it plays off of the cliche little kids are spooky aspect, but it still brings much more to the game than other generic horror films. I would highly recommend it and I look forward to continuing my Halloween tradition for years to come. Here's hoping the eventual third flick in the series will be a worthy follow-up to this mini-masterpiece.

The Good:
overall creep factor that lingers with you and the fact that it's a terrific adaptation of an already terrifying video game
The Bad:
some cliches that leave you a little frustrated, but nothing that ruins the film completely
The Ugly:
... tornado sirens


Discussion Question:
Besides Silent Hill (and Resident Evil) are there any other good video game adaptations?


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At October 31, 2012 at 10:25 PM , Blogger Bonjour Tristesse said...

I agree, this is the best VG based film ever made. I also think both Roger Avary and Christophe Gans need to make more films.

At November 1, 2012 at 12:19 AM , Blogger TheVern said...

How Odd. I just get done rewatching this movie and I see you posted a really good review on it. I liked that the weird looking monsters chasing Rose were not the most evil beings in this movie. It was the religious nut jobs that were really evil. I have seen this movie at least 3 times, and it still surprises me each time I see it. I hope the sequel does the same. Too bad Roger Avery is in jail otherwise the sequel would have been sweet.

At November 1, 2012 at 5:44 AM , Blogger Brittani Burnham said...

I enjoyed this movie too, but the opening sequence is fucking brutal. With the little girl screaming "Siiiilent HILL!!" It just felt silly and over the top compared to the rest of it.

At November 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Nick said...

I wish there were more video game adaptations this good. And yes, minus his jail stint I'm not sure why Avary hasn't returned full force.

At November 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Good point about the religious nuts, very true, especially toward the end. Hell hath no fury like a cult scorned.

At November 1, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Haha I guess you're right. Still really cool though lol

At November 5, 2012 at 3:46 AM , Blogger alienxphile said...

Fantastic film! This movie actually made me fall in love with tornado sirens. :D Without a doubt the best video game turned movie out there. The mood of the film was spot on with the mood of the games. It's such a shame that the sequel (Silent Hill: Revelation - 2.0/10.0) was so incredibly stupid. Here's hoping someone comes along and makes great film adaptation of 'Killer Instinct' and 'The Suffering'. Oh, and I agree with Brittani (above) about that little girl yelling 'Silent Hill'. I just wanted to punch her in the f-ing face! - 9.2/10.0

At November 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Nick said...

A 2/10 for the sequel, eh? Well damn. I hope that hasn't killed any chances for a third film and I hope someone can step up and make it just as good as the first.


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