Sunday, April 30, 2006

Silent Hill - A Comment

I remember trying to play the video game when it first came out and getting bored. Yes there were monsters, but, if I recall correctly, not enough ammo to go around. Essentially, you walked into a lair, started shooting, ran out of ammo, went back out, found more ammo, went back to killing. I never got far enough to figure out what was really going on except that your character was surrounded by freaks.

Then I saw the movie. It was rough going, but I got all the way through to the end. The problem is one of motivation. If the main character, Rose, had only shown a little tough love, and yelled out to her daughter something like "You come back here! I'm not chasing you all through Hell and back!"...Well, it would have been a shorter film by half. Maybe more importantly, the child is having nightmares about a place called Silent Hill, so the mother decides to take her there? I'm not sure that makes perfect sense. In fact, if my child were having serious nightmares, I'd consider Cancun.

Then the ending left me more than a little mystified. Here's the deal: the mother's trying, trying, trying to find her daughter, gets some advice from someone who says they are the incarnation of evil or somesuch and TAKES it. What's up with that? And, I might add, takes the advice without hesitation. Grateful to get it, in fact. Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but it turns out taking the advice is seriously the wrong move.

Anyway, if you were looking for logic, this was the wrong video, movie. However, if you're looking for truly creepy special effects, then bingo. No true scares I don't think (I'm pretty easily spooked), but creepiness galore and gore aplenty.


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Sounds like a pass.

April 30, 2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger Russel said...

I think you missed the point of the game, Steven, which was very much about atmosphere and the slow unravelling of the central mystery (although it did take aaaages to get going). Playing it late at night with the sound amped up on speakers was the way to go. And having no ammo made it somehow more terrifying. And the plot, while a little confusing, was far better than the movie. But then maybe because there was something more personal at stake being as you were in control.

Buuuut... the film... dear God, the awful, awful film... Well no, it wasn't all bad: it looked great and Gans clearly spent a lot of time making it look nice (well in relative terms) but frankly the script was a festering pile. And the acting was even worse than the generally poor quality voice overs in the game. It was poorly plotted and a travesty of what could have been translated into a really interesting psychological story. The only person with any gravitas was Sean Bean whose role amounted to nothing and was clearly there to add more male interest to the plot. That and the terrible, terrible exposition and not even a nod to why the characters acted the way they do (even just a "They were already touched by evil" explanation might have done it).

But Colin the Janitor was very freaky looking (and I love the idea of a soul sucking monster called Colin).

I was really hoping for so much more though.

May 03, 2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

I think I'd give the movie a C-. Not quite the worst I've ever seen, but no where near the best.

I think part of the problem is basic to all (or most) horror films -- Evil incarnate is just not that scary. I mean, spiritual and psychological torment is scary ... you really can't beat it without downing a bottle of Jack Daniels. The relentless hint that you are defective in your soul... Can't easily put that on film. But Satan coming after you with a baseball bat? Meh. This is the problem with some of the Stephen King movies I've seen. IT comes to mind. Evil appears in the form of a giant spider. Not so scary.Maybe that's just me. A mind you, I seriously dislike bugs. Not enough to run screaming, but...

May 12, 2006 8:49 AM  

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