Monday, 16 September 2013

Silent Hill Revelation Review

Leading up to the release of Silent Hill Revelation Michael J Basset who both wrote and directed the film showed in several interviews that he understood the source material and thus I was rather exited to see what the results where. This was especially the case given that the first Silent Hill excluding the poor ending is an accomplished horror film that makes some effective changes to both the story and world that the game series takes place in that successfully enhances the experience and was one of the very few movies based on a video game that is recommendable. Unfortunately Silent Hill Revelation is unable to reach the same heights as the first film and catastrophically has even lower lows then the poor ending to the first film.

Silent Hill Revelation as one would expect is a continuation of the first Silent Hill film and follows Heather Mason and her father living on the run from the police for reasons that involves one of the many unnecessary and convoluted portions of the 'story'. Silent Hill Revelation both in terms of the characters present and the story is simply a mess with very little care taken. The extent to which this is the case can be shown when the filmmakers fell fit to develop a romantic relationship between two characters who have been established to be cousins. Most egregiously this isn't part of the horror present rather it seems to be quite a large oversight by the film makers. Admittedly their is a brief campy cameo by Malcolm McDowell which provides for the only modestly entertaining albeit unnecessary scene in the film. Otherwise none of the actors or actresses are anything but horrible in their roles despite the obvious talent that the cast have shown in numerous other productions. Lines fell forced and memorized and numerous accent changes are present. I usually am able to forgive such accent slips and more often then not don't even notice them, sadly the all around poor stilted acting seems to have emphasized the issue in this film moreso then had the acting been otherwise competent.

Silent Hill Revelation is based on the game Silent Hill 3, a game which had an oppressing atmosphere and understood how to tell an admittedly minimalist story in both a creepy and scary manner. Sadly Silent Hill Revelation only succeeds in creating any sense of atmosphere in one of the few positives I can muster up regarding this film, which is the use of 3d which is reasonable well done save some poor use of gimmicky shoots. None the less several moments where we see characters as they walk through the ash ridden Silent Hill are visually striking if nothing else. Sadly all other areas regarding Silent Hill Revelation's atmosphere is beyond poorly done. Creature design is strong when it follows the source materials design but when it strays it is generally laughably bad. The worst offender is a mannequin monster who presumably is meant to be hunting down the protagonists resulting in a tense and riveting scene, however the actual result is a depressingly hilarious scene with an out of place an obvious cgi looking mannequin and a scene that lacks any sense of tension. Likewise scenes that involve the well designed monsters from the game such as the nurses or pyramid head are poorly staged to a degree that removes any degree of tension or excitement that could have been present.

Ultimately Silent Hill Revelation is a disappointing vacuous waste of an opportunity which is perplexing given Michael J Basset in interviews showed that he seemed to understood what worked in the source material (I assume an overly limited budget, studio tampering and lack of talent are all possible causes) . Sadly none of that knowledge has been successfully translated into the film Silent Hill Revelation which is often unintentionally hilarious in a sadly depressing manner. Hence I strongly would urge those who have yet to see the original Silent Hill film to consider giving that film a chance and those wanting more to perhaps try out the original game trilogy released on the playstation one and two. Simply put I would recommend staying far away from Silent Hill Revelation.

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