Silent Hill

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“Mother is God in the eyes of a child.”

Just one of the many themes of the movie Silent Hill, directed by Christophe Gans starring Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, and Sean Bean. I would like to point out that I have never played any of the Silent Hill video games. This is also my second time viewing the movie. With that being said I really enjoyed this film! I didn’t really remember too much so it was mostly a new experience. Right from the start the tension is high with parents looking for their sleepwalking daughter outside in the middle of the night. The little girl talks about a place called Silent Hill in her sleep and has no idea what she said when she wakes up. The mother decides to take her to the ghost town to jog her memory (without her husband’s consent).

Within the first ten minutes you get the feel of the movie’s pacing: Balls to the wall action/horror with calm serene speed bumps. I felt this structure worked wonders with the overall feeling as well as keeping viewers involved and invested in what was happening on screen. The first gas station rest stop scene reminded me of the paranoia cop stuff from the beginning of Psycho. Every time the siren went off and the screen slowly started to fade to black I was like awwwww shit. All of the main characters were likable and the evil monsters were scary and different than the usual shlock. The way the creepy piano music intertwined with the odd way the camera seemed to linger uncomfortably on the main character at times created a great atmosphere to parallel the feel of a survival horror video game.

The special effects were awesome and still hold up today, six years later. Usually, a movie like this is all about sfx, cheap sound scares, and a lackluster story, but Silent Hill combined all of the aforementioned elements into a smart, scary, thought-provoking package with subtle symbolism galore. Little things like deciding to put live actors into make up and prosthetics  (Pyramid Head, Colin the janitor) instead of completely creating all of the monsters out of CGI went a long way with making them truly horrifying.

I refuse to spoilerate Silent Hill not to do you guys a disservice, but to leave as much unsaid as possible so when you see the movie you will go,”OH SNAP HE’S RIGHT BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS IN FOR!”. I’m looking forward to the sequel that comes out this month and I just found out that a lot of the cast will return, even though it sounds like it will be a small part. Hopefully, it won’t suck like a typical notoriously bad sequel. Now I really want to play the games! I hereby award Silent Hill, for being quite possibly the best video game adaptation I have ever seen, 5 witch burning crosses out of 5!

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“Look at me, I’m burning.”

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