Silent Hill dir. by

28 April 2006

Script: , ,
Cast: , , , , ,
Rated :

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    The phrase, based on a computer game don’t really inspire much confidence do they? And I’ve never played Silent Hill, but, you know, a creepy film. Sean Bean. Its free. I figured I’ll give it a go, despite the many bad write ups.

And I’m glad I did, because while it was far from perfect it was still an entertaining, albeit slightly long, two hours at the cinema.

Silent Hill tells the story of Sharon Da Silva, a young girl whose constant sleep walking is putting her in danger. So when she mentions the placename Silent Hill on a few occasions her mother, Rose, decides the only thing to do is take her there. Confront the past and see if that will help. Her father, Christopher, doesn’t seem convinced, so Rose heads off without telling him.

Silent Hill was the scene of a massive fire, and one that is still burning underground. It is a ghost town, closed off from the population at large because of its toxic fumes. So when Rose is persued by a motorcycle cop she decides to floor it, and crashes through the barrier heading for Silent Hill. Only to see a figure run across the road in front of her, causing her to crash. And when she awakes her daughter is nowhere to be seen. And pretty soon Silent Hill turns out to be a lot worse than simply an ash-filled town.

Overall there is quite a lot in this film that works really well. The whole style of the town is extremely well done, with the floating ash reducing visibility yet keeping everything strangely bright. And those few seconds of total darkness, which may work better without illuminated fire exit signs, but these are the burdens cinema goers must bear :) The sound effects are also fantastic. Sometimes deathly silent, sometimes letting mundane sounds echo loudly, and sometimes just loud.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThe actors all do a good job. Radha Mitchell is very believable as the mother searching for her daughter. The young girl playing Sharon does a good job, both as Sharon and as the creepy “dark side.” Sean Bean is fine, though his storyline seems very much an afterthought, and I’ve read that it was added after the rest of the film was finished. And his accent kept getting in the way. He didn’t actually have enough lines for me to get used to it, and it was slightly jarring. But overall all the actors did a good job.

But the storyline itself was a bit flat. Yes atmospheric and creepy in parts, and gorey in others, but the film dragged a little in places, and as a whole it didn’t really work. That may be because of the source material, and there may have been nods to the fans in there. I never played the games so can’t comment on that.

Better than the reviews’d have me believe this is a good solid film, although I was a bit disappointed with the ending, partly due to its similarities to the recent film The Dark.

IMDb | Stainless Steel Droppings | Bitter is a taste | Gno Schitt

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15 Responses

  1. Carl V. says:

    Good review, I agree with you on all points as you no doubt already know. Will be interesting to check it out again on DVD, especially if there are any extras or anything that shed more light on the story.

  2. Fence says:

    I've read a few reviews that suggest that the story was edited after the main film had finished. Introducing the whole Sean Bean character for one thing. Don't know how true that is.

  3. Jeff says:

    I went into this film with such low expectations that I was more than happy with the film. Carl and I had commented before hand that we hoped it would be atleast be better than Aeon Flux one of the worst movies we saw together last year. With that in my mind this film was almost Oscar worthy compared to Flux. :)

    The thing I really enjoyed about this film that has stayed with me over the last two days was how the director used sound and lack of sound to maximum effect. I thought he did a great job of building suspense with this for the first hour and half of the film. The film really fell apart for me in the last thirty minutes with the long exposition, the overly gorey showdown, and the flat ending.

    My wife and I are also Sean Bean fans and I was disappointed with how little they gave him to do in the film. Ultimately his story doesn't help out his daughter or wife at all. I haven't played the game either so maybe this makes sense to the gamers but as I viewer I was disapponited. I wanted him to make a difference.

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Fence says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Oh yes, much better than Aeon Flux, though I'm not sure if anything could be quite that bad. I look forward to seeing that Ultraviolet's attempts though :)

    Sean Bean's character did seem quite the afterthought didn't he. And nothing he found out had any bearing, as it was all explained in the flashback sequence anyways.

  5. Carl V. says:

    Don't know if it was the same over in Ireland as it was here, but there were things I saw in the trailers that didn't end up in the movie. I know this happens sometimes but this was a little more blatant than I've seen in awhile. Its always weird when you are looking for something that happened in the trailer and it never occurs.

  6. Fence says:

    I didn't notice anything in the trailer that didn't make the film, but the traielr didn't get much play over here. I've only seen it once or twice.

  7. Mal says:

    I'm not working (ha ha) and I was dithering as to whether I'd go to see it but you've decided me. So I'm heading off in an hour or so, to my beautiful Santry Omniplex, the greatest place on Earth.

    But what do you mean, it's free? How do you get free tickets to films? How is that fair? Any meaningful principle of redistribution demands that you transfer your free tickets to ME.

  8. Fence says:

    Its free in that I pay for the UGC/Cineworld card and go as often as I want. So although it isn't actually free, it doesn't make a difference whether I go or not. I'm still paying the same amount.

    Hope you enjoy it, just remember, the story is a bit of a mess.

  9. Mal says:

    It was great. I'd give it four out of five. Written by the other Pulp Fiction bloke, so what else?

    I think this film was unlike any other I've seen. I think it drew more on Hieronymous Bosch than a computer game. Unless the computer game drew on Hieronymous Bosch.

    It didn't make any sense, but it had some of the creepiest and most unsettling images I've ever seen in a film. And yet, a strange beauty. Good on you for not agreeing with the moron critics, Fence.

  10. Mal says:

    And Sean Bean was completely superfluous to the plot. And the accent was hara-kiri-inducing.

    But you still have to love him, don't you? Sean Bean should be in EVERY movie.

  11. Fence says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Mal.

    Yes the Sean Bean plotline was unneeded, but as you say, every film is imporved by having Sean Bean in it :)

  12. mysfit says:

    well fence, you hit the nail on the head – it wasn't perfect, but it was enjoyable. – i posed my thoughts on carl's SSD

  13. mysfit says:

    oh and how do i add a picture to the right?

  14. Fence says:

    Hey mysfit, I've emailed you, but just in case you didn't get that; you need to upload a picture to and then your pic will show up here.

    It is attached to your email address, and any website that is gravatar enabled will also show your pic when you put in your email.

  15. Niky says:

    Hi everybody!

    Silent Hill has never been about action or running around shooting things; doing that would effectively destroy what made Silent Hill so darn creepy and great. In many ways, RE4 proved that you can't have it both ways; the game simply didn't have the atmosphere of the previous games and the gameplay got incredibly repetitive. In my humble opinion, I think the major reason for RE4's drastic changes was because Capcom was in a financial slump at the time due to a string of high-profile flops and needed something that would appeal to Joe Average more than their fanbase. Not to mention Mikami's less-than-intelligent prospect of releasing the remake of Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero only on the GameCube also contributed to the misguided notion that people were getting tired of the series when, the low sales of those two games can be attributed to being on a third-place machine.

    I know that Silent Hill 0rigins is using an over-the-shoulder perspective, but I'm banking on it purely as a design choice considering the game is being released on a handheld. I still doubt that Konami would be silly enough to blantantly rip-off RE4 when each and every Silent Hill game has sold quite well on its own. I doubt money would be an issue since they also create the Metal Gear games, which is practically a liscense to print money.