Silent Hill Review
October 9, 2011
Video game adaptation Silent Hill is the first creepy film to start off the scary movie season.
I have an odd relationship with horror films. I want to watch them, I want to like them; I’m just too much of a wuss to enjoy them. Being a bit of a gamer, Silent Hill had always appealed to me; the psychological representation in particular intrigued me. Let’s face it though, I’d never be able to play the games (Gohma from Ocarina of Time was enough to prevent me from completing subsequent Zelda and Link adventures) so reading about them had to be enough in the past. In 2006 Sony Pictures released their movie adaptation Silent Hill: an amalgamation of all the iconic Kotami releases and it has taken me five years to work up the courage to watch the film.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Rose da Silva (Radha Mitchell who used to be in Neighbours!)’s daughter, Sharon, develops sleep terrors which result in her crying out “Silent Hill” in her sleep. Rose decides to embark upon a trip to Silent Hill to discover the truth about Sharon’s disturbed sleep. On the way to the village, Rose has a car accident. When she wakes up in Silent Hill, fog has descended and Sharon is gone. With the aid of her trusty lighter, Rose explores the seemingly abandoned town to find her daughter. It becomes evident that something odd happens when darkness falls: horrific monsters roam the buildings seeking out humans.
Surprisingly, Silent Hill wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Instead, it’s gory (the barbed wire scene still makes me wince), and the inhabitants of Silent Hill are fairly disturbing, although Pyramid Head isn’t as scary as I imagined (a buff machete-wielding man with his head obscured by a large triangle). One which played on my mind in particular is Colin; an ex-janitor Rose finds contorted in a toilet cubical. As darkness falls, a warning siren announces the reanimation of the creatures and Colin crawls (fairly quickly) towards her.
I watched Silent Hill to break me gently in to the horror season of Hallowe’en and I don’t think I faired too badly. This may be because I wasn’t drawn in by the plot at all; there was nothing I could relate to and I didn’t empathise with the characters. It views as a bit of a mash-up of creepy characters and gore that fails to draw the audience in. It’s not bad, but they probably could have done a lot better.