So I’m going to just say it from the start, I’m a MAJOR Silent Hill game fan, since the first one was released back in 1999, I first played it at my granddads. Quite possibly, inappropriate for my 12-13 years of age, but then I fell in love. I can remember genuine, inescapable fear playing these games, and it’s where my love of horror was born, particularly psychological/”messed up” horror. So I’m pretty sure I’ve divided my audience already. Some of you will never have played the games and probably wont take an interest in this review (it’s ok, can’t win everyone!) and the other half will know the games, might even be fans of it, and know exactly what I will have to say about the film.
The first Silent Hill film, released in 2006, played around with some of the characters and plot of the first Silent Hill game, upon which it was based. Silent Hill: Revelations (based on the third game, which is a direct sequel to the first… don’t worry, it’s not hugely important!) took the plot, picked out the bones of it and twisted it into something completely alien. There are multiple problems with Revelations, and I will try to keep it both relevant to game fans and film fans. But it’d be interesting to see what other gamers think, post your comment below.
Firstly, the story of Revelations deviates so far from the source material. I can only imagine this is down to the film producer team thinking they are making a complex storyline more ‘Hollywood’ and more palatable to audiences. This is the first huge problem. Chances are, if you’ve not played Silent Hill, you aren’t likely to want to watch the films, it’s a very unique brand of horror which was born in video games. Most cinema audiences would find it ridiculous or silly, but gamers will know exactly what I’m talking about. Trying to make Silent Hill ‘Hollywood’ is totally redundant, these films wont attract any new fans.
The plot is so far from the original, in terms of character relationships, actual storyline, other cross over characters from other games, it’s nonsensical and confusing. They’ve disregarded Douglas’ story for Vincent’s character transplant, in the game, he’s a nasty piece of work and a bit weird and lecherous. And the fact that Harry doesn’t die in the film (he does in the game) removes Heather’s original need to go to Silent Hill. The film becomes about Harry, rather than Heather which is how the game is. And don’t even get me started on the inclusion of Pyramid Head (who isn’t even in the third game, but is in fact an part of the second game, which I think is the best game in the entire series).
There are serious flaws in the casting. I still maintain that Sean Bean is the wrong choice for this role. He is a thick-accented northerner from the UK trying to play an ‘everyman’ American. His accent is terrible. Really terrible. There were definitely many better actors for this role. Kit Harington who plays Vincent is particularly unconvincing, let down even further by a terrible clichéd script with no substance, no passion or heart. Which is a shame, because the bare bones of the original plot is there, and granted, it is confusing and a bit odd. But it worked. The film has somehow managed to suck all that was great out of a questionable, but ultimately embraced storyline.
To add to all of this, Silent Hill: Revelations lacks scares, apart from the occasional jump scare. The scares are tame and a bit rubbish. Whereas the first film provided some of the macabre from the first game. This time, the crap plot, crap script and crap acting overshadows the horror element. The film however does stay true to the original in terms of visuals. The colouration and textures have been matched nearly to perfection, but unfortunately that’s the only positive.
I’m hugely disappointed with the film, I question if the director had ever played the game before? Should directors who don’t take an interest in the game from which they work be allowed to create game-to-film films? As I mentioned earlier, the films wont win any new fans for the Silent Hill genre/brand, especially not with Revelations, in fact I worry that Revelations may have put some people off, making Silent Hill mythology look ridiculous and outdated, which is a shame really, because the games are exceptional. I dread to think what people who went to see it who’ve never played the games think, it’s not doing any favours to gamer image! I also noticed that there is a reference at the end, well two references to a possible sequel. The first one being Harry going to find Rose (the second game) and the truck driver (Silent Hill Origins). I really hope that they don’t make these and do any more harm to a story which I cherish from my early gaming days.
(P.S. why were the nurses so overly sexualised?! They are supposed to be scary murderous monsters, not moaning sexy lady demons… *facepalm*)
- Silent Hill Revelation Review (pixcelation.com)
- Game – Movie Review: Silent Hill: Revelation (gamesbrainsandheadbanging.com)
- Silent Hill: Revelation (2012) (dawningcreates.com)
- Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012) Review (primitivescrewheads.net)
- Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – 5/10. (robwatchesmovies.wordpress.com)
- Interview: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D Writer-Director Michael J. Bassett (shockya.com)
- Silent Hill Revelation (2012) (scareforscreams.wordpress.com)
- Symbolism and Sadism – A Journey into the World of Silent Hill (iamnotthebatman.wordpress.com)
- Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (reelryan.com)