Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Silent Hill

Well, tonight I finally got to see the Silent Hill movie. As a fan of the video games, it was a very mixed experience. On the one hand, the movie was way too long, the story was weak when compared to the source material (particularly the excellent premise of the second game), scenes ran on too long with very little happening, and much of the dialogue was embarassing. On the upside, fans of the games will enjoy many scenes that simulate moving through the nightmarish locations wtihin the games, and the accurate recreations of monsters like Pyramid Head and the Dark Nurses (although the nurses seemed to be handled badly, in that they were comical and many audience members laughed at their actions - surely not the intended effect). However, the horror/gore scenes were a highlight, and horror fans (not to mention Clive Barker fans) who haven't played the games will find a lot to enjoy here, with a couple of scenes standing out in particular: the Pyramid Head woman-skinning scene, and the big barbed wire gore finale.
While by no means what a Silent Hill fan would ever call a triumphant film version of the series, the movie did manage to faithfully recreate many elements of the games, and could also be heartily recommended to horror movie fans.

As a side note, I really like Sean Bean but, sad to say, he didn't have much to work with in his limited role here. A shame. The movie would have been so much better if they used the Silent Hill 2 premise where James Sunderland receives a letter from his wife - dead three years - inviting him to join her in Silent Hill, the small holiday town where they spent some of their happiest times, with Sean Bean playing James Sunderland.
Also very welcome in the movie was the use of songs and music from the games. Akira Yamaoka rocks.
As another side note, it was cool to see the actress who played the Borg Queen from that Star Trek movie.
The audience report is a shameful one on this occasion - a group of teen jerks and jerkettes sat right in front of me, all loudly jamming chip and lolly packets in each others' faces. It was deafening. Only halfway through the movie did they shut the fuck up (although that was most likely the point where their stash of sugary and salty crap had been exhausted).

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