Thursday, July 11, 2013

Film Review: Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill (Review)
United States/2006
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

After Rose (Radha Mitchell) and Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) find their daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland), dangerously sleepwalking and repeating the town name "Silent Hill", Rose decides to take Sharon to the desolate town in hopes of finding answers. As Rose and Sharon speed toward Silent Hill, trying to escape police officer Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden), they end up crashing. As Rose wakes up, she realized her daughter has disappeared. Now, Rose and Cybil delve into the foggy town on Silent Hill, where they encounter nightmarish creatures...

Silent Hill is a psychological horror film based on the popular video game franchise of the same title. Silent Hill features three different worlds: the Real world, the Fog world, and the Otherworld. Christopher is searching for his wife and daughter in the real world Silent Hill, while Rose is simultaneously searching for their daughter in the fog world Silent Hill, and the fog world of Silent Hill may turn into a hellish environment when it becomes the Otherworld.

The story follows the exploration of several key locations in several worldly forms, including a school, a hotel, and a church. The exploration is slow yet creepy, and has the same vibe as the video game. In fact, the film focuses on capturing the same incredible atmosphere the game creates, and it does this well. Moving at a fairly slow pace, the film focuses on exploration as much as it focuses on the disturbing creatures and tense situations; using disturbing visuals and incredible gore effects, the film is consistently scary. The ending is great, and it leaves room for perception. The film, like the games, is filled with symbolism open to interpretation; keep an eye on the creatures and focus on the story and this will be very rewarding. The story does feel like it is a little too long and could've been cut down.

The acting is great from Radha Mitchell, she really captures her character well. Sean Bean also does a great job, despite limited screen time. Jodelle Ferland is okay, she often misses with her delivery, but can be forgiven as she impresses during certain scenes. Laurie Holden delivers her dialogue in a very robotic manner, and she unfortunately doesn't get any better until the ending of the film. The music is fantastic, it works perfectly with the subject and is actually unique, creative, and eerie; fans of the video game series will be familiar with the soundtrack. The special effects and makeup are great, the creature designs are high-quality.

Overall, Silent Hill is a great horror film, and a fantastic video game adaptation. The visuals, the music, the atmosphere... it all blends together beautifully to create a terrifyingly immersive
world; the film is only held back by an inflated runtime and a few mediocre performances. I strongly recommend a purchase for fans of the genre or video game franchise, a rental otherwise.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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