dir. by Christophe Gans
Script: Christophe Gans, Nicolas Boukhrief, Roger Avery
Cast: Deborah Kara Unger, Jodelle Ferland, Kim Coates, Laurie Holden, Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean
Rated : 7 Stars
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.
The 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.