Silent Hill

2007-04-14 12:12

Rose and Christopher Da Silva (Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean) are desperately trying to help their adopted daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland), who sleepwalks. In one incident, Rose rescues her near a cliff, and Sharon cries out for “Silent Hill”. Rose takes Sharon to the desolate town, looking for answers to her daughter’s problems, but instead finds herself trapped in a nightmarish landscape, where she must fight for her own survival as well as her daughter’s.


The history of movie adaptations of video games is nothing to be proud of. Actually, it’s downright shameful. The fact that films like Tomb Raider, Doom, BloodRayne and, to add insult to injury, Tomb Raider 2 even exist is an embarrassment to every human being who can afford a movie ticket.

And while it remains a mystery that luminaries like Angelina Jolie and Uwe Boll haven’t yet been chased into the sea by a pitchfork-wielding mob, an even more puzzling mystery looms: why do they keep producing these turkeys? Haven’t Hollywood producers learnt anything from their mistakes? Will they stop only after their movie adaptation of Pong is so bad it causes riots in shopping malls?

With this in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that watching Silent Hill is likely to be about as pleasurable as sticking needles in your eyes. Thankfully, this is not the case. It’s better than any other video game adaptation that came before it. Way better.

Perhaps this is because the games themselves are so densely packed with creepy symbolism (cue scary children, blood-stained hospital beds and oodles of fog) and the other-worldly atmosphere of a post-industrial Purgatory that all director Christophe Gans had to do was simply copy and paste. The Silent Hill games (there are four of them, with a fifth in production) are far more sophisticated than most, with character-driven plotlines, chilling ambiance and extremely disturbing monsters. With such source material, how could anyone go wrong?

Gans respects the games, and it shows. Rather than attempting to rewrite the games’ rich mythology and replace it with Hollywoodesque bells and whistles, he chose instead to accurately reproduce the nightmarish little town, complete with the hideous creatures that fans of the game know and love so well.

The acting, too, is mostly spot-on. Sean Bean, the only well known actor in the cast performs his minor roll ably, although he seems to be coasting most of the time. Both Radha Mitchell and Laurie Holden are excellent in their demanding roles as desperate mother and courageous police officer respectively, and Jodelle Ferland does a great job of playing the creepy, somnambulant little girl.

The result is a horror film that, for once, has the courage to take itself seriously. There’s none of that tongue-in-cheek self-referential nonsense that turned Wes Craven into a parody of his former self, and no stupid teenagers running around and getting themselves killed to a Nu-Metal soundtrack. This is a creepy, disturbing horror, with unsettling imagery which will stay with you for a bit longer than you might want.

- Chris McEvoy
Finally, a horror film that has the courage to take itself seriously. Who cares if it's based on a computer game? This is scary stuff!

Pieter Uys 2007/02/11 11:01 AM
Silent Hill Scary stuff. Well worth a viewing.
ZagomA 2007/02/11 7:17 PM
Thumbs Up... Really a decent movie to watch.... when it starts it seems to be a bit boring but actually keeps you in suspense all through out...but really decent..worth watching I would say... :)..
Jules 2007/02/11 10:38 PM
Good dont think this reviewer knows what he's talking about, either way, they will keep producing these movies, cuase there is a an audience for them.
Charlene 2007/02/13 7:31 AM
Silent Hill Very Good worth watching twice. It really gets under your skin. Didn't like the ending but great stuff.
Tersia 2007/02/19 12:46 PM
Silent Hill I agree with Jules, it's not worth watching, everything in the movie seems fake.
dustin 2007/02/26 12:48 AM
great horror what a great movie! the game was scary, the movie was FABULOUS!
CK 2007/03/12 5:49 AM
Silent Hill A bunch of boring nonsense.Not worth watching unless ur a games freak and even then its fake.A waste of money for me.
grant 2008/11/21 8:12 PM
It started nicely but then fizzled. I switched it off. Just stumbled across this site. I watched this movie during winter ( I live in England). I thought the reviewer's points were a bit off the mark. The movie was sadly bad. It felt like 'The village' in the end. Remind me never to trust a South African reviewer!
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