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Massawyrm Infests SILENT HILL!!

Merrick is glad he didn't go. He's confused enough, already...

Over the last few weeks, we've seen many e-mails and Talkbacks asking why no SILENT HILL reviews have appeard on this site.

The short answer is: Screen Gems went out of its way to not screen this movie. The closest thing to an Austin "screening", for example, was held at 9pm last night...the film opens today. It was a promotional screening - press was not invited. If that doesn't speak volumes about the studio's confidence in the film...

None the less, Massawyrm dutifully infiltrated one presentation...and was perplexed by what he saw.

Here's Massawyrm...

Hola all. Massawyrm here. Wow. Just wow. Silent Hill is probably the single most fucked up thing you will see this year. And man, does it have me torn in two. Deranged, psychotic and occasionally schizophrenic, Silent Hill is both a resounding success and a colossal failure. Having walked out of this slack jawed I can fully understand why the studio hates it. Because, frankly, many people will. And yet I can just as easily see why Avary and Gans are proud of it. They have a lot to be proud of. This is, after all, the very first truly faithful adaptation of a video game ever made. The question is: is that necessarily a good thing?

Honestly, I don’t fucking know. I’ve always taken a small issue with video game movies. For me it all comes down to the same reason I don’t think they ever should have made a Dungeons & Dragons movie (and never should again.) Dungeons & Dragons is a game, and a great one. But it’s a game that is highly derivative of its source material – it is for all intents and purposes “Lord of the Rings” the game. Add in a smattering of Narnia, some Conan the Barbarian and a healthy mix of popular 60’s and 70’s fantasy and you have Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, along the way D&D has created its own mythos, creatures and ideas – but when you boil it all down, its just LotR. And it always will be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you create something derivative of fiction, translating it into another medium, then try to translate it back…well you end up with a product derivative of something derivative.

Halo is just Starship Troopers meets Aliens with Zombies. Doom is Aliens with Demons. Resident Evil is Dawn of the Dead in a house. Now, I loved all of these games, but the movies…well with Doom and RE, both attempts became a mess of mangled ideas in an attempt to create something bigger than the game. I liken it to taking a script, running it through Babelfish from English to Japanese, then running it back through to English again. If you’ve never tried that, do so. The results are pretty fucking insane.

So with Silent Hill Gans and Avary set out to perfectly adapt a video game to film and show that it could be done right. The result? Like running movies through Babelfish. Imagine if you will a Hammer film adaptation of an H.P Lovecraft story directed by a late 80’s/Early 90’s John Carpenter who is in the midst of suffering from fever dreams while watching Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson music videos. That’s Silent Hill. But as piecemeal as it seems – it sticks religiously to the game. It’s positively deranged. Creepy, fucked up, bloody as hell and often very reminiscent of different horror films at different points, someone remarked tonight “Man, if you took the bloodiest 3 and a half minutes of this, you could make the single greatest GWAR music video ever.” And he’s right. There are images in here that had me writhing in my seat, covering my agape mouth and shouting “Oh, fuck no!”

But sticking so closely to the game also takes a big toll on the story. As a horror film, you pretty much need some sort of body count. Now while that isn’t always true – it’s true enough – and with a film with only one primary character (and a small collection of secondary characters) there’s never the feeling of impending doom on the main character. You know that she has to survive. In the game, your character can die. So you get tense. Things come out of nowhere and you jump. You react. And you turn the lights on…because Silent Hill was some creepy fucking shit. But in movie form, it’s just not that scary. Sure, its telling a horror story, but it does so in a very Lovecraftian sort of way, something akin to “The Dream Quest of the Unknown Kaddath” (which Oh Dear God how I would love for Avary and Gans to tackle next.) There’s lots of crazy insane stuff, but man, its mostly just a woman walking around seeing…crazy insane stuff. You never really feel that she’s about to bite it at any moment, so despite the creepy adaptation of the game’s score, the soulfucking imagery and the horrific ideas presented – it never gets really scary or creepy.

And lets face it – video games are not about character development. Sure, occasionally some games have it, but most don’t. Silent Hill being one of the ones that doesn’t. The main character is thin and her motivations basic. She’s a mother looking for her adopted daughter (whose troubles seem to be affecting her marriage.) And there are times in the film in which she seems absolutely bugfuck insane. “Why the hell did she do that?” is a question you may find yourself asking more than once. And her cop sidekick? Cardboard. The coolest characters in the film are all fully developed in the backstory, and rarely get developed outside of that.

Really, the biggest complaint is that it sticks TOO MUCH to the game. There’s even some puzzle solving and a monologue that includes congratulating the heroine on solving them. While most of these may pass right by people who never played the game, the movie is full of direct references to it (many in very clever and subtle ways) so die hard fans are going to find a lot to like. But other people just aren’t going to get into the “Follow around the mom” storyline.

So weak characters, fairly derivative material and it’s not scary. Why the hell am I so torn? Because the rest of the time the movie is so god damned cool. The visuals are astounding. Everything in the town is just twisted, but in the best way possible. The town itself is wonderfully conceived, from the persistent rain of ash to the interiors of every building. The creature designs are a thing of beauty – from shrieking ash children, to amorphous bile spitters to a Sword Dragging, Tin Roof helmeted barbarian to the OHMYFUCKINGGOD barbed-wire monster. Every creature is a thing to haunt the nightmares. The gross outs are amazingly intense, with every kill splattering more gore than the one before it. And there’s this bit at the end with the little girl dancing in the rain that was so morbid, so sadistic…that it twisted me in knots. The very best parts of the game were truly brought alive and bolstered by some nice original touches that never, ever, betray the game or its story.

It all made me realize that if I were 13 years old, this would no doubt be the scariest fucking movie I’ve ever seen. It recalled memories of the week of nightmares I had after Damien: The Omen 2 and the fact that I couldn’t sleep at all the night I stayed up to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. And it struck me how so many older geeks sneer at us when we mention films like Prince of Darkness or Friday the 13th as being in our pantheon of horror favorites. I strongly feel that Silent Hill is one of those films for the next generation of geeks – one that Gans and Avary are going to do commentary for 20 years down the road remarking “Yeah, the studio just didn’t get it. But apparently there are people that do.”

And frankly, the 13 year old in me loved it, because, well, the 13 year old in me got to stay up late and watch some fucked up shit. But the adult in me, well he has problems with it. I know I can still be scared, I know I can still be creeped out. But Silent Hill did neither. And its not that it’s a dumb movie – it’s actually quite smart about what short hand it uses – but many of the story ideas have been used better before and with the characters so thin…well, many adults and older geeks are going to be turned off by it (there were several screaming bloody murder tonight.)

Ultimately, Silent Hill is going to be accused of being style over substance, and not unjustly so. It’s really going to come down to how affecting the visuals are to you and how much you care about them versus the story and character development. I will say this, it stands heads and shoulders above recent films like Ghost Ship, Gothika and 13 Ghosts. But mainstream audiences might not agree. It might just be too smart in all the right places and too dumbed down in all the wrong ones. Recommended for 13 year olds whose parents let them watch gore films, people still in regular touch with the 13 year old inside them and anyone that LOVES a gory movie regardless of story. Otherwise, you might just hate this film.

Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. I know I will.


Don’t want to stay silent? Wanna berate me for terrible puns? E-mail me here.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 21, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST

    alright already

    by haywire666

    i'll watch it just for you

  • April 21, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Too bad on the character development...

    by Johnno

    But fuck I'm still excited to see this!!!

  • April 21, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    the real question is

    by haywire666

    can you go to 1000 vulcan nerve piches or vulcan salutes or does it just stop at 999

  • April 21, 2006, 9:32 a.m. CST


    by screamster

    I am torn to go see this flick. Should I see this movie???

  • April 21, 2006, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Good review Massa...

    by brycemonkey

    sounds like you and Vern are bang on. I understand that it can be too like the game, to the detriment of the movie. They are two different methods of telling a fucked up story; and it's unsurprising that the original game is better at it than the movie adaption.

  • April 21, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST

    I got to 1022 vulcan salutes

    by durhay

    the counter just shifts over to the right, so the ones column overlaps the V and the S, so I guess it has all the room in the banner to expand.

  • April 21, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    I'm thinking this movie needs some snakes...

    by crackerfarmboy

    perhaps on a plane?

  • April 21, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Character development?

    by Novaman5000

    I'm sorry, when did we get ANY character development on Harry in SH1? We really didn't. Granted, this is a movie, so it should have been stepped up a little, but fans of the game can't really complain in this regard (and for the record, I fucking love the SH series).

  • April 21, 2006, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Mario Bros.

    by veritasses

    Worst movie adaption of a VG ever. It sounds like at the very least SH will be fun for the guys who played the game.

  • April 21, 2006, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm nailed it about video game movies

    by I Dunno

    They're all derivative, usually of some earlier movie. That's why Raiden in the Mortal Kombat movie was the Highlander guy instead of the Big Trouble in Little China lightning guy. If video game writers were any good, they'd be movie writers. And even movie writing sucks, so where does that leave video games? The best movies based on video games can hope for are decent visuals and this film at leat has conventional FX, which is more I can say for most films.

  • April 21, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    For those of you who think games can't be deep or...

    by Novaman5000

    well written, I submit to you the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Sure, sometimes it gets to be a little TOO much, but the ending to the 3rd game surpassed the endings of most of the movies I've seen in terms of emotion, style, and satisfaction.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Um, according to Avary the studio LOVED the film.

    by brokentusk

    And Roger Avary would have NO problem letting the public know if the studio was fucking them over. I read an interview with him on yesterday where he said that near the end of post production, when they presented the film to the studio (expecting them to ask for some changes to be made), they actually told Christophe to not touch it - that they loved it as it was. Haven't seen the film myself, so can't say if it's good or bad, but it pisses me off when people just assume the studio has no confidence in a film just because they have no pre-release screenings. That's bullshit.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    that was a very good review

    by shalashaska


  • April 21, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Actually Brokentusk

    by Massawyrm 1

    "when people just assume the studio has no confidence in a film just because they have no pre-release screenings" it is because...the studio has no confidence in the film. Studios proud of their films don't just schedule a pre-screening - they schedule 8. The want the word out - they want as many positive reviews floating around and magazines printing positive buzz as humanly possible. They do not schedule screenings for Thursdays, and certainly not at 9pm on thursdays, if they want people talking about the film. They do it because it's too late for the print media to have reviews in the friday morning editions. Why wouldn't a studio proud of a film schedule a screening? Reviews, positive or negative, are free advertising. Whether on the web or in the corner of the Friday morning paper, its ad space they don't have to pay for. Reviews only have a negative effect on a film when they are widespread and universally bad. And there's only one way to prevent that. But you assume that Merrick is speaking out of turn, making wild assumptions. Sure, you read an interview...but do you think maybe Merrick might know something you and I don't?

  • April 21, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    by the way i got a over 1600 vulcan nerve pinches

    by shalashaska

    i was going to keep the window open for like a week and just keep doing them every day until i got to 9999 to see if it went to 10,000. but i realized that i was a loser and closed it after i reached 1,600 in one sitting. for anyone doing it, i calculated the best way to do them. scroll all the way to the top and the right. then move your mouse in a circular motion over the banner so that your mouse goes off and back on the banner at the top and then at the bottom. i am going to go kill myself now.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Man, those Star Trek rerun ads are genius!

    by Massawyrm 1

    You guys just can't stop playing with them. Or talking about them. Some ad exec deserves himself a fat ole raise.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Massawrym, you are starting to grow on me...

    by Z0D

    Good review. You didn't give us any spoilers, so kudos to you. The way you explained yourself for this review made me think that you and I have more in common than I'd usually like to admit. I can't wait to see this sick-n-twisted gorefest. I have been waiting for a videogame movie that sticks true to its roots. So much that this movie will do that. ___KNEEL___

  • April 21, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    This review makes me want to see it

    by 33.3rpm

    Traditionally, I love movies that polarize audiences. The more fucked up, the better. I remember people telling me Vanilla Sky was unwatchable and I saw it and was like "Are you out of your mind?" I hope Silent Hill gives me some of that schizo bang for my acid-soaked buck. And, in a film like this, I don't care if the characters are developed. Can they run? Do they bleed? Done.

  • April 21, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Our silent hill review

    by gopherkhan

  • April 21, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    I'm really confused about not screening for critics

    by Demosthenes2

    This year seems unprecedented in number of films not screened. First of all, poor reviews would probably not hurt the opening weekend box office of the movies chosen anwyway, as a well-done ad campaign will make people want to see a genre or comedy film regardless of reviews. Furthermore the people who actually read reviews are generally smart enough to know that if a movie does not get a review on the opening day, the studio probably thinks it's a bad movie, so the studios are really just shooting themselves in the foot.

  • April 21, 2006, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Dawn of the Dead in a house?

    by XAOS

    You mean Night of the Living Dead?

  • April 21, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

    by Durendal

    Hey Massa, I'm a huge Lovecraft fan as well, but I really don't think that it would work as a film. There's just too much in there. I thought that story was incredible, but it ties in too many other stories of his and covers too much ground. The film would be too fantastical and would have to rush all over the place. It could be a visual feast, but I just don't think it would hold up as a film. Now, if someone wanted to adapt "Dreams in the Witch-House" or "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" or even "The Shadow Out of Time", then I'd fuckin' LOVE to see it (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward especially), but Kadath is just too far out there.

  • April 21, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Xaos falls into my carefully laid trap...and Dreamquest

    by Massawyrm 1

    Xaos, nope. Night of the living dead is much more of a character drama set up more like a play than any of Romero's other pieces. Dawn of the Dead is more physically confrontational - with the run in with the biker gang and a much more overwhelming zombie presence. Add to that the fact that two of the main characters are highly trained SWAT team officers as opposed to just normal folk...and RE seems to clearly draw more from Dawn than Night. As to Durendal - I agree that Dreamquest would be nigh impossible. That's why I want to see Avary and Gans do it. If anyone can get it to work, they can. Avary's a genius writer and Gans has a flair for the visually fantastic. Plus, it has quite a bit in common with Silent Hill...but with, what is in my mind, a much better story. As The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - there are actually several versions of that film in existence, a few of them actually good.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:02 p.m. CST

    I am confused by all the SH reviews on this site...

    by El Scorcho

    But, this alone ("Silent Hill is both a resounding success and a colossal failure.") makes me wanna see it. I'll probably check it out tonight or tomorrow.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    All the SH reviews

    by Massawyrm 1

    Well, simply put, this is a film many of us have been very much looking forward to. Roger Avary is a longtime friend of the site and every last one of us fell in love with Gans Brotherhood of the Wolf. Add to that the idea that geniuses were tackling material often left to toss off directors, and it was something we just had to watch. Had the studio screened the film normally, all of these reviews would have shown up spread out over the course of the last week. However, with the Thursday night screening, most of us rushed to have our reviews by time of release - thus they all showed up on the same day.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Oh noes!!!!!

    by XAOS

    I still say that Capcom was thinking Night more than Dawn when they made it. I mean the hapless Rebecca Chambers is totally a crypto-Barbara, IMO. The plot and the more intimate feel to me scream Night.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:20 p.m. CST

    The Pyraminion and his skin-ripping last scene...

    by KongMonkey

    stands out the most with me on the heels of seeing it. I hated the ending, since I've never played the game it left a lot of us confused. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the film or played the game. But I have a hunch thats along the same road as the Others and the Sixth Sense endings.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    10,000 vulcan nerve pinches/ salutes

    by haywire666

    its impossible i tell you. impossible.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:31 p.m. CST

    close adaptation

    by therightclique

    how can you possibly say that its an exact adapation if the characters have changed? i haven't seen it but it is very obvious these are not the characters from silent hill one. these guys have the audacity to believe they know more about silent hill than the makers of the first game. and having any point in the movie (aside from the beginning) take place outside of silent hill, is a fucking travesty.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST

    "I hated the ending, it left a lot of us confused."

    by Shermdawg

    Don't worry KongMonkey, the game's ending, is just as confusing. I'm still trying to gather my thoughts on this one. Bad acting, poor pacing, and crap ending aside, this was visual crack. Although, it wasn't all that scary, but of course no film other than E.T. has ever scared me. lol

  • April 21, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    There are people who have

    by veritasses

    written complete plot analysis/ending/spoilers guides for the VG over at gamefaqs I haven't read any of them though so can't vouch for the quality.

  • April 21, 2006, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Novaman5000, you truly are a son of the boss..

    by Hideo Kojima

    Loyalty to the end.

  • April 21, 2006, 4:42 p.m. CST

    My thoughts...

    by Shermdawg

    This is a movie that I had hoped would be the first great videogame inspired film. Unfortunately it was not great, nor was it all that good. Yes it had it's moments, mostly the creature designs and effects, but as awesome as they were, they could not save this film from it's horrible acting (Dakota Fanning has nothing to worry about), poor pacing, and convoluted ending. But you know what? That's exactly how Silent Hill was. Imagine that, the downfall of a videogame movie due to it being so close to its namesake. Sure some elements were changed. Most notably, the sex change of the main character, the demise of the cop chick, and the inclusion of SH2 baddie Pyramid Head. But it really felt like the game, or should I say, watching someone playing the game. The film dragged in certain scenes like in the school where Rose stumbles to clues which leads her to a hotel, where she finds clues that leads her to...see where I'm going? The film is way too literal when it tries to capture the spirit of the game. They should have ditched the unnecessary exploration and gave a little depth to the characters, or made the plot a little easier to grasp. I've played through the PS1 original around five times and it's plot still escapes me. I was hoping for a little more light to be shed on the Sharon's (Cheryl in the game) ties to Alessa, which they do (although, it's still a mess), but it is explained in the dreaded Harry Potter style reveal everything all at once and as quickly as possible at the end of the film gimmick. Also, it's not nearly as scary as actually playing the game. (It's kinda weird, no film outside of E.T. has ever frightened me, but Resident Evil 2 and the first Silent Hill did.) Even with all the bad, this film is probably the best theatrical videogame adaptation so far. Of course that's not saying much. I will say, that it's effects (which I mentioned were awesome), will end up causing me to add this to my dvd library when it comes out. Which is rare, because I'm usually so critical of the films I buy, but I'll want to see the barbed-wire dude over and over. I know this might seems strange, but I compare this to The Dark Crystal, I didn't care for the movie, or the story all that much, as I did for it's effects and visual style. The same goes for this film. Silent Hill will be remembered for its creatures. They knocked this aspect out of the park. So will people like it if they haven't played the game? I doubt it, and even if they did, they'd still probably have problems with it. I do hope it is successful at the box office though, to warrant a sequel. I've always felt Silent Hill 2 was the best of the series, and hopefully it will get a chance.

  • April 21, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    old geeks/new geeks/ and movies we found scary

    by Everett Robert

    I remember 6 years or so ago, I tried to get some friends, who love horror, to watch Evil Dead 2 with me, which I find scary and silly and fun, they found it stupid. So I know what you're saying Mass about the way "older" geeks sneer at those in the late 20s-early 30s and the movies we hold in our pantheon of horror movies and why a younger generation may look to this movie as one of their "pantheon" films

  • April 21, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Just saw it

    by Babyshamble

    it's a bag of wank. Dialogue's awful, it isn't scary, it doesn't make sense and is really boring. Most of the time it's just Rhada Mitchell running around yelling Sharon. Am really disapointed.

  • April 22, 2006, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Do not watch Silent Hill

    by TestGiver

    I guess if you've played the game(s) and want to see quote actors unquote perform some scenes from said software, go ahead and waste your money. Otherwise, read the review. "in touch with your inner 13-year old"? Seriously, if you're thirteen and smart, you will recognize this movie as shit... intuitively, you have already seen movies three times as good as this.. This film is a complete sad ripoff of the recent Jap. young girl-spirit revenge flicks and Hellraiser, but without any b-movie spirit of fuck-it-all. The gore is 90% non-effective cgi besides a skinning that happens for no apparent reason other than to appease gore fans. (The heroine and company get over that episode within seconds). And the soundtrack is fucking shit for a movie.. according to the review above it was the fucking shit for a video game that came out ten years ago, but listening to it in the theatre is painful... Video games are fun, but video game movies are embarressing.

  • April 22, 2006, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm recently...

    by Jewish_Batman

    I have realized that indeed you are a great writer, I truly enjoyed this review. I am going to see this film, and as a gamer who hasn't (unfortunately), played the SH games, this review gave me that true understanding of what this crazy fucking flick is about. I cant wait to see how awful the lady cop is at acting... and although I still won't trust you that the Shaggy Dog is a good film, you have done well, sir. That's right, enjoy such rare, optimistic AICN talkback... good job buddy.

  • April 22, 2006, 2:45 a.m. CST

    The soundtrack is great...

    by Shermdawg

    it isn't what you'd expect from a film. C'mon TestGiver, was it really any worse than some of the stuff John Carpenter has done?

  • April 22, 2006, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Seriously, why does EVERY SINGLE horror movie made now

    by Doc_Strange

    feature catatonic, creepy children? I mean really, sixth sense, the ring, the others, etc. didn't slate the need for evil kids? Damn.

  • April 22, 2006, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Re: the reply to my post.

    by brokentusk

    Mass, there are still a number of reasons why a studio wouldn't have pre-release screenings besides simply having a lack of confidence in the film. I seem to recall Avary saying something about the prints still being wet by the time they hit the theatres, perhaps that's the reason? Maybe they didn't want anything to be given away before people had a chance to see it for themselves and spread the word? I mean - it's not like this is a piece of shit, it's decent. So it doesn't make sense (to me at least) that the studio would have absolutely no confidence in it. If Merrick knows something you and I don't, I'd love to find out what that is. Until then - it's all just assumptions (on his part and mine).

  • April 22, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST


    by Joseph Merrick

    We're told there was a print of SILENT HILL in town at least a day before the screening Massa attended. Their not screening the film had nothing to do with print availability. As far as not screening the movie for reasons of plot secrecy: George Lucas - the poster child for info leak paranoia - screened every STAR WARS prequel weeks in advance of release. SILENT HILL is, somehow, going to garner special consideration? Other factors also come into play that suggest the studio's lack of support for the film. Certain circumstances re: Sony/Screen Gems and their interaction with media may or may not be elaborated upon by AICN in the coming weeks. This decision would be made by another editor and other parties, not me or Massa.

  • April 22, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Slient Hill

    by cerebulon

    I have played Silent Hills 2 & 3. I tried number one, but the handling of the character was so bad I gave up. I have number 4, but can't figure out how to use swords of obediance, so I gave up. To me, silent hill was a sad, disturbing look at a person's self-created hell. Silent Hill is a kind of puratory. You pay for your sins in life rather than in death. The "demons" and even the people you meet are not real. None of it is. The entire game is a dreamscape, and dreams rarely make sense. I am going to see this film in 2 hours. I am expecting the beginning of a normal movie with a plot, that completely disappears once the character enters silent hill. Once in Silent Hill, I no longer expect anything to make sense. No Plot, just emotion and reaction. There is no logic to hell. Only stimulus and response. That is what I got from the games. I liked them very much. I hope the movie will live up to them.

  • April 22, 2006, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Doesn't sound close to the games

    by Zoviet Squid

    Though I haven't seen it yet. But one of my biggest reasons for being excited was that Silent Hill the VG was an excellent mix of visceral and cerebral. SH2 was like a morality play, rife with symbolism that's inherently imbedded in the protagonist's masculinity and inner guilt, repression. The fact they shunt all that, change the characters, and throw in a cult as a plot device, doesn't sound anything like the games to me. In fact, if they had followed those aspects more closely it wouldn't just appeal to thirteen year olds, it'd be intellectually stimulating as much as viscerally.

  • April 22, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST


    by El Scorcho

    I meant that I was confused by every review (content-wise), not the amount of them, lol. But thanks for responding and good review.

  • April 22, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    he must have seen a different movie than i did

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    the movie i saw had nothing that made me cringe or go 'ohmyfuckinggod' the barbed wire monster sucked and i dont understand what pyrimid head was supposed to represent. all the monsters where just...there.

  • April 22, 2006, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Slient Hill Review.... lots of spoilers.

    by cerebulon

    Silent Hill is perfect. There is nothing I would change. It is a perfect adaption of the source material. But to understand it, you need to understand what Silent Hill is and how it functions. Silent Hill is not a haunted town. Much older than the town, there is a powerful spiritual presence that exists, not in the spaces we know, but between them. It is a thing of Vengance and Judgement. It is reactionary to humans and causes the people who enter its domain to face their inner demons. No two people can experice this judgement the same way, because their "sins" are different. In the movie, The Presence responded to the pain and misery of Alyssa, and wanted to grant her vengance. Alyssa's mother was part of an extreme religous cult. The High Priestess of this cult, called for the death of Alyssa, because she was born out of wedlock. A bastard shall not enter unto the kingdom of God. To this end, they tried to burn her to death. But an accident occured with the fire and the entire cult was burned to death as a result. Alyssa did not die, she was saved by a police officer. The resulting fire in the bowels of the hotel came into contact with a vein of coal beneath the town. The coal fire spread and the town was eventually evacuated. Before the evacuation, Alyssa was taken to the town's hospital. She was kept in a makeshift fire ward and tended to by the nurses, as they waited for her to die. None of them would even look at her, or talk to her. She was left alone with her pain and her rage. When Alyssa finally died from her burns, the Presence began to take vengance. At that moment, it created a perfect Memory of Alyssa. But she was so filled with hate, she could not leave her own hell. So The Presense split the Memory into an innocent baby, devoid of the memories; and a little girl to seek vengance. The baby was taken to an orfanage and was adopted by Rose and her husband. That aspect of Alyssa was allowed to live and grow up experiencing loving parents. The girl Alyssa remained in Silent Hill to torment the souls of the cult members who had burned her. The child Alyssa and Pyramid Head are one and the same. They represent impending judgement. Once the baby Alyssa, had come of age the time of divine Judgement was at hand. The Memory of Alyssa had to become whole once again so that Vengance could be acheieved. The souls of the Cult Members had been denying judgement. Their unwavering faith in their knowledge that they had done the right thing, was so strong that it kept the Presence at bay. Spiritual beings fighting a Spiritual Presence. But they had to be confronted with their sins. They had to pay for their crimes. Since Alyssa had long been dead, they only way to confront them was through a person of flesh and blood. The vessel of flesh would carry the spirit across the cult's threshold and allow vengance and judgement to come to pass. So the Presence, used Rose to enact Vengance upon the Cult Members. Some have said that the ending does not make sense. They are wrong. The reason Rose did not return to her husband in the waking world was because of her love of Alyssa/Sharon. As they mentioned several times in the movie, "Mother is God to children." Her vengance satiated, Alyssa went to be with her God... her Mother. She doesn't know any different, she is happy, loved and at peace with a mother who loves her and will protect her. Rose could leave and return to her husband. But she cannot let go of Sharon. Neither of them can move on. They are trapped in a self-created purgatory, powered by the Presence behind Silent Hill. Vengance has been done, but nothing is resolved. No one is at peace. Vengance is not Justice. It does not care about right or wrong. That is the moral of Silent Hill.

  • April 22, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Slient Hill Review.... PS...

    by cerebulon

    Did anyone notice that the cult members were making the "Sign of Voor" against the "Demon" and "Witches?" That is a sign of the Old Ones and it keeps the Elder Gods at bay.... a nod to Lovecraft?

  • April 22, 2006, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm, Merrick and SILENT HILL

    by brokentusk

    Merrick, I guess you are right about the whole plot secrecy thing (I was just pulling examples out of my ass, to be honest). Still, if you guys are right, I wonder why the studio didn't support the film. I live in South Africa, so I haven't seen it yet, but from what I've seen (and now heard) it sounds rad(ish) - radish (heh). I find it strange that someone like Roger Avary wouldn't be more vocal about a lack of studio support for the film though. He seems like he'd "tell it like it is", you know? Anyway, I hope someone does decide to elaborate further in the coming weeks, would be really interesting. Thanks for replying anyway guys. Just went to a mate's 21st and I'm going the fuck to bed.

  • April 22, 2006, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Got bored. Walked out.

    by Mr. Waturi

    Be warned. This movie does not look near as good as the still images that were posted here weeks ago. Or maybe it was the theater I saw it at, but the images were much darker on screen. I imagine the publicity stills were heavily doctored, because did not look nearly as striking or disturbing. Not to mention it's boring and a bit retarded.

  • April 23, 2006, 4:18 a.m. CST


    by cerebulon

    Thanks! Nice to see someone who just doesn't dismiss this movie as something that makes no sense. Personally, I think Alyssa/Sharon is at peace now. But Rose is not. She knows her daugter is dead and cannot deal with it. It has become her own private, lonely hell because she will not leave the child and return to her childless life. I also think that the burning babies that she met at first, were a metaphor for her inability to give birth to her own children. Remember, Silent Hill responds to the human subconcious. The things people see are unique to each experience. The officer was facing her own demons too - remember the "sack creature?" It didn't go after Rose, it went after the cop. It probably meant something to her. To me, it seems pretty clear cut. Maybe I've played the games way too much, maybe I've read way to much HP Lovecraft. Either way, for some reason I just get Silent Hill. I think it's my favorite of the genre.

  • April 23, 2006, 6:23 a.m. CST


    by Shermdawg

    The babies, although not burning (they had knives) terrorized Harry Mason in the original Silent Hill. If we go by your psycho-analysis, does that mean they were a metaphor for his inability to have children due to a "Bobbit" style injury?

  • April 23, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST


    by cerebulon

    LOL I have no idea. I never could get into the first one, so I never saw the babies. That's funny...

  • April 24, 2006, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Really? There's a Case of Charles Dexter Ward film??

    by Durendal

    Okay, I've gotta know what these movies are called so I can check them out. That story was seriously fucking creepy and probably one of Lovecraft's best works.

  • April 26, 2006, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Durendal.... CDWard

    by cerebulon

    The flick is pretty awesome and is called the Resurrected. They did a good job - usually you can find the standard version in video rental stores; but occasionally you can find the director's cut - which is best.