Everyone Has a Different Nightmare in Silent Hill. I Am Theirs.
I really wanted to see today’s movie, but not out of anything positive. I saw the first movie and thought it was okay, but definitely saw how people would think it was awful. I think I just have a special place in my heart for mindless crap. Plus, it’s based on a video game, and that makes up the rest of my heart. Then they made a sequel. And generally, when you add video game movie, sequel, sequel to a movie that wasn’t that great, and 3D, you’re looking at a terrible movie. I wouldn’t see this movie in theaters lest I think that I should just give in and see it in 3D, so I waited. Now it’s out on DVD, so I rented it that I might bring you my review of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (in 2D), written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, and starring Adelaide Clemens, Erin Pitt, Kit Harington, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan, Deborah Kara Unger, Radha Mitchell, and Roberto Campanella.
Have you played Silent Hill 3? Then you’ve played this movie, pretty much. Heather Mason / Sharon Da Silva (Adelaide Clemens) is a nearly 18-year-old girl who moves from town to town with her adoptive father Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean), on the run from the law because Chris killed a man in self-defense once. Heather has nightmares (whether she’s awake or not) about going to a town called Silent Hill that is filled with lots of icky creatures that are trying to kill her. She reluctantly (and quickly) befriends a boy named Vincent Cooper (Kit Harington), who drives her home after one of these episodes becomes a little too real and ends with a private investigator named Douglas Cartland (Martin Donovan) getting killed. When she returns home, she finds that her father has been kidnaped, and the abductors have left a note telling her to come to Silent Hill. Vincent agrees to drive her and the two head off to Silent Hill to find out the truth about her past.
This movie is not good times, but I would like to focus on giving credit where credit is due. So that part of this will be short. But this movie did capture a decent amount of Silent Hill … by mainly just taking the same story and putting it on film. On the other hand, I’ve never really been a fan of Silent Hill, so I still didn’t like it. But the parts of the movie I didn’t like weren’t really Silent Hill’s fault as much as it was bad writing. Like all the super sweaty exposition in the movie. It’s nice to not waste a lot of time with the backstory, but making sure we’re up to speed by having the characters talk in exposition that they would never say in real life is awkward. Things like, “This present is for you, my soon-to-be-18-year-old daughter!” I mean, that’s how I introduce most of my soon-to-be-30-year-old friends, but I acknowledge that I’m a weirdo. Another thing I didn’t get along with in the movie was the relationship between Heather and Vincent, and more specifically how quickly it developed. This girl is supposed to be really good at being solitary, and even has a whole speech developed for it, but they become super close friends in a matter of hours. When she has a secret, Vincent says, “It’s okay, you can tell me.” Yeah? Our six hour friendship has developed that level of trust already? Close enough to drive me across multiple state lines to save my father, who you have never met? Oh, well I guess that’s a thing too. I’m a pretty nice guy, and I’m willing to help out people to a degree, and I also acknowledge that this Heather chick is really cute, but this bitch had better put out if she wants a ride to anywhere more than a 20 minute drive away. There are other cute chicks around, and most of them don’t require 8 hours of driving and getting involved with a dangerous cult. Most of the dialogue is problematic as well. Like when Heather acts befuddled when Vincent tells her that his grandfather was locked up for seeing monsters walking around during the day. Yeah, Heather, his mom is the crazy one. That’s what normal people do. And when the cops bust in to Heather’s house and refer to the “Come to Silent Hill” message on the wall as “probable cause” in the death of the private investigator earlier. Do you know what that means? Are you suggesting that the detective guy busted into the house and wrote on Heather’s wall, and that’s why Heather followed him to a mall and killed him? That’s what “cause” means. This would be considered a “clue” at best. Also a bummer in this movie is the ending. The climax to the movie and the way Heather defeats Alessa is by hugging her for a few seconds, and then it’s over. There’s a little more to the movie after that, but hugging is not the battle I was looking for. Can you imagine that as a boss battle in the video game?
I hate 3D. I don’t understand this new trend towards being super impressed by it when I remember seeing Captain EO in 3D when I was a child. This stuff has been around for a while, and it didn’t help tell a story back then either. I didn’t need to see this movie in 3D to be annoyed by it. I thought people stopped doing the cheesy, obvious 3D things like hitting a paddle ball at the camera to show off what 3D could do right after that became a joke. This movie does that jokey 3D stuff to try to be scary. They fail. It remains goofy. The rest of the look of the movie was fine. It looks vaguely Silent Hill and nothing seemed very poorly realized. The first movie captured an atmosphere much better than this movie did, but this one did fine enough.
The greater majority of the performances were underwhelming. Adelaide Clemens did a fairly good job of it, though. She was cute, looked an awful lot like Michelle Williams, and did a fine enough job in the movie. Her character was dumb as a post, but she can’t be blamed for that. I do get to wondering what Malcolm McDowell thinks when agreeing to make a movie. I would say he’s an inarguably great actor, but he does choose some less than fantastic movies to be in every now and then.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D was not good times. It was nice that it seemed to respect the game that gave it life, but bad that it wasn’t scary, wasn’t particularly interesting, and was full to the brim with sweaty, unconvincing dialogue. Some of that can be blamed on the performances, but I think most was in the writing. And, as a hater of 3D, I found myself annoyed by how many corny plays they made towards using the 3D. I was pretty much annoyed by the entire movie. I can’t recommend it. It has potential as fodder for mockery, but not much else. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D gets “I don’t think I like my reality” out of “The darkness is coming. It’s safer to be inside.”
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