Sunday, February 18, 2018

REVIEW: Silent Hill (live action movie)

Silent Hill is a horror movie based on the Silent Hill video game series.

This review includes a few spoilers - no story spoilers (or at least no big ones), but one spoiler describing what happens to one particular character.


Disclaimer: I have never played any of the Silent Hill games. My nerves can't handle horror games. If I have any exposure to them at all, it's via watching my dad play them or watching Let's Play videos. However, I haven't even had that level of exposure to the Silent Hill games.

In this movie, Rose is a mom who's at her wit's end. Her adopted daughter, Sharon, keeps sleep walking and having nightmares. She sometimes says "Silent Hill" in her sleep but can't remember it when she wakes up. Medication hasn't been working, and Rose is afraid Sharon is going to hurt herself one of these days. Against her husband's objections, Rose does some research, learns that Silent Hill is a real place (an old abandoned mining town), and decides to take Sharon there. While on her way she gets into a car chase with a suspicious cop, because that's totally a good idea when your potentially traumatized daughter is in the car with you.

Rose gets into an accident while swerving to avoid hitting someone. When she wakes up, she's in Silent Hill, an eerie place where ash falls like snow. Sharon has disappeared and Rose tries to find her. She quickly learns that the town has hidden horrors that must be avoided if she is to survive.

Even knowing that I'm a terrible horror wimp, I still decided to watch this one evening. Probably not the best idea, but I was in the mood for it for some reason.

As far as the visuals went, this movie was, for the most part, gorgeous. I really liked the look of Silent Hill as ash piled up on top of it, and the monsters that Rose came across were seriously disturbing. Most of them fit in with either the town's history or the history of the girl Rose eventually found. The one exception was Pyramid Head. Look, I get that he's considered an iconic Silent Hill character, but he didn't fit any of the town's history. He looked like the movie's Big Bad but instead was essentially pure fanservice (in the more general meaning of the word).

Story-wise, this was...meh. Scenes of Rose looking for Sharon alternated between scenes of Rose's husband looking for them both. While he saw Silent Hill as a normal and completely abandoned ghost town, Rose saw the exact same place (sometimes the same rooms, at the same time) as gray and sometimes horror-filled. I liked that, but it did drag on a bit.

The runtime was a bit bloated and probably should have been trimmed. A great deal of the movie seemed to involve Rose running around in spooky locations and then occasionally coming across horrors and screaming a lot. Some of that probably could have been cut, but, honestly, I liked that stuff more than the bits with the cult. The cult stuff was occasionally a bit cheesy.

I didn't truly dislike the movie until the bloodbath of an ending. That was several minutes of gory carnage, and the bit where Christabella was violated with barbed wire before being completely impaled was...excessive.

All in all, I liked the portion of the movie up to the introduction of the cult well enough, and I liked some moments after the cult was introduced, but the movie as a whole didn't really work for me. Rose was a frustrating character, and the story felt like two or three horror movie ideas that were somewhat badly stitched together.

No comments:

Post a Comment