Monday, February 25, 2013

Silent Hill: Revelation

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Silent Hill: Revelation – 2 out of 5

The Silent Hill games are pretty awesome (and flipping scary). The first film, much to the surprise of everyone who’s ever seen a video game adapted to film, was actually pretty decent and very entertaining. Not surprisingly, a sequel was produced and, much less surprisingly, it was like most video game adaptations.

Did you see the first one? Because I don’t feel like recapping it…You didn’t see it? Fine…so, at the end of the film we see that Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her daughter (who she chased into the abandoned town of Silent Hill because of her daughter’s connection to a cult or some shit and how they killed a strange little girl) are still trapped in an alternate dimension (or some shit) that Silent Hill exists in. She was able to get her daughter to escape to her husband Harry (Sean Bean)—and that happens in this film so you’re now caught up (many elements of the first film were omitted for time).

"Is this one of those Flash Mobs?"

Years have passed and Harry and Rose’s daughter has grown up to be a socially awkward teenager. Well, this teenager; Heather (Adelaide Clemens), starts having strange visions of beasts that can only be described as milder Cenobites. She quickly learns that a cult (or some shit) in Silent Hill is trying to reclaim her—a cult (or some shit) lead by the evil Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss). Of course, when your name is Claudia Wolf you pretty much are guaranteed to be evil. With the help of a follow teenager who looks like a reject from the Twilight franchise, Heather must travel to Silent Hill and try to end the darkness that infects the town.

Virginia Wolf wasn't available so the film settled for Claudia.

Revelation is a strange bird of a film (did I really just describe this film as a bird?). There are aspects of the film that work and work well but there are elements that just plain don’t. Then, the aspects that work have sub-aspects or variations of the aspect itself that flip from working to not working. Have I properly confused you yet?

Brace yourselves...a reference from Games of Thrones popularized by memes is coming.

For example, the movie has a great tone going for it and the visuals really do a great job of making the video game elements come to life. It really looks like you just jumped into the game itself (with some major improvements to the graphics, of course). However, there were times when the tone of the film went from being great and keeping with the standards set by the game franchise and the first film but then there were times when the tone just goes off the rails and looks more like Rob Zombie stepped in and took over as the odd monsters that filled the game and first film are suddenly replaced with leather-bound sadomasochists and Goth clowns. That idea, of course, is silly because if Rob Zombie actually took over his wife and her painfully obvious inability to act would end up playing all the roles. The film would constantly straddle the line of looking great and teetering on looking like a Direct-to-DVD release.

"I'm looking for Bella Swan..."

The 3D element of the film also felt painfully tacked on as it was clear (from the 2D version I watched) that the extra dimension wasn’t added to create depth like all the good 3D movies use it for but rather an excuse to have shit (or some shit) jump out the screen at you. I honestly believe that, at one point, one of the monsters had a paddle ball it bounces out at you.

The story too was also pretty weak and lacked the compelling and addicting elements that the games and the first film had in place. In fact, a majority of the story is just watching Heather wander around Silent Hill and encountering monsters…then repeat until final climax. Sure the film tries to bring some elements of surprise as it kinda/sort of digs deeper into the mythology established in the previous film but they always feel like they were thrown in out of obligation and were treated like they were just getting in the way of some hot monster action. There’s no real deep mystery like the first one and the cult (or some shit) lead by Claudia Wolf has no real threat level when compared to the rest of the ghouls in the film. This leads me to my next point...

My next point being that Malcolm McDowell will pretty much be in any movie
for the price of a double cheeseburger at McDonald's.

Was the cult (or some shit) really even necessary? In fact, there were times I even forgot they were an element of the film’s story as I would zone out watching Heather try to run away from another monster the film had thrown at her. Although the monsters are pretty cool and call back to the games. 

"Hi, Creepy Guys in Windows!  I'm here to save your town!"

"I stole this sword from Cloud Strife."
Overall, Silent Hill: Revelation wasn’t completely terrible but it didn’t really hit the mark either. The potential was there under the surface it just didn’t emerge. The film looks terrific (at points) and the monsters are cool (especially with Pyramid Head having a bigger, more of a character role than menacing presence in the film) however with a story that just feels half-assed and the film focusing more on gore and monsters rather than true creepiness like the first film, this sequel just ultimately feels like it doesn’t belong and rather than being a part of a franchise looks like a stand alone Direct-to-DVD adaptation that, thankfully, wasn’t directed by Uwe Boll.

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