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Overall Rating
3.25

Awesome: 20.45%
Worth A Look: 23.86%
Average: 23.3%
Pretty Bad25%
Total Crap: 7.39%

11 reviews, 110 user ratings


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Silent Hill
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by Matt Seaver

"I know it's a rough start, but did it have to be THIS BAD?"
2 stars

I wanted this to be good. Knowing that director Christophe Gans was behind the project, combined with some of the real messed-up images that were coming out on the Web, I had some hope that this would be the project that would break the video game adaptation slum. It’s not.

“Blame” is a hard thing to throw around in this case – it seems like when a film is good, you can pinpoint who was particularly good within it. When a film is bad, you can sometimes sort out who was really bad, who did the best they could with what they were given, and who actually manages to shine through. Here, we have all three.

Silent Hill focuses on Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell), the adopted mother of Sharon (Jodelle Ferland). For as long as she has been with the Da Silva’s, Sharon has had periodic fits of sleepwalking and talking, screaming the words “Silent Hill” in her frenzy. Desperate to solve this problem, Rose takes Sharon to the ghost town of Silent Hill, where fires burning in abandoned underground coal mines have left the town empty. In her haste to get there, Rose attracts the attention of badass-cop-in-leather Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden), who follows her into town. Both vehicles get in accidents, rendering the people involved unconscious. When they awake, they find themselves in a world enveloped by fog and ash, and they quickly discover that any route or connection to the rest of the world has been severed. To top it all off, Sharon has vanished into the destruction that is the ruins of Silent Hill. Naturally, Rose goes after her, with Cybil in pursuit, and hilarity ensues.

Well, not really. The primary thing that Silent Hill does do very well is disturb you. There are some true moments where you’ll look at the screen and say, “Damn… that’s fucked up. I probably would have been happier never seeing that.” These come in the form of monster design and execution, as well as putting vulnerable characters in situations that you as a viewer will not want to see them in – keep an eye out for the line, “Look at me – I’m burning.” Some of the visuals are truly astounding and fantastically implemented. I also like that he doesn’t shoot for horror moments here by having something terrible pop onscreen out of no where. He starts it with some foreboding music to build the tension, shows some reactions, and then plainly and easily shows what the hell they’re looking at. It works really well. You’re not scared and compelled to look away; you’re mildly disturbed and wondering how the in the hell something could get to look like that. Gans has crafted some beautiful carnage.

The problem with this sort of carnage is that there’s really nothing holding it together. In fact, much of the carnage could have been avoided had a character not made a completely boneheaded and out-of-character decision. There were many, many moments in the film that I wanted to just hit someone onscreen, because they had no reason to do something that would inevitably come back to bite them in the ass (Rose speeding away from Cybil after being pulled over, for example). Also, the story is a little too pick-and-choose. In interviews, Gans has said that he wanted to make the film about as true to the games as he could… but he couldn’t pick one thing to stick to. Talking to someone who knows the games very well, I discovered that Gans used some of the plot from the first, the monsters from the second, and some techniques from the last two. The rest of the plot is original, and that is unnecessary, in the eyes of my friend.

But at least Gans didn’t write the dialogue. I swear, they’d be moving along, just after showing something truly sick, using something typical and uninspired yet workable, and then all of a sudden someone would say something absolutely ridiculous and obnoxiously stupid. For this I place blame at Roger Avary’s feet, who has clearly been riding on Pulp Fiction’s coattails for far too long now – I question how much of Avary’s script Tarantino actually shot, anyway.

The performances are scattered… I had no issue with Mitchell or Sean Bean, who played her husband who spent the entire film searching for his wife and child. She probably comes out smelling the best, having a few real serious breakdowns that she pulls off very well. As Sharon and her counterpart Alessa, 11-year old Ferland pulls off the creepy child thing very easily, and pretty well, too. The evil part is probably more convincing than the good part, but everyone likes to play the bad kid. The rest of the cast is more or less unremarkable in a somewhat downward trend… to be fair, no one else was really given anything interesting to do.

And that just about wraps up the movie. After awhile, my interest waned, and a boring horror film is something of a death sentence. I started waiting for the next disturbing thing to happen, since that was just about all the held my attention. The film is about 20 or 30 minutes too long, and the last sequence runs like the final cutscene of a video game.

It sucks, because this could have been good, but did a lot of things wrong. Gans shows that he has a clear penchant for strong visuals, which backs up his previous showing, Brotherhood of the Wolf. It just feels like he didn’t have a good starting point and he spread his story a little too thin. I’ll be very excited to see more from him, be it "Rahan" or *sigh* "Onimusha"… more Roger Avary, I could certainly live without.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14326&reviewer=412
originally posted: 05/04/06 05:47:24
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User Comments

3/13/17 morris campbell beautiful but boring 1 stars
10/07/11 Kevin Breece beautiful movie. probably the best game-to-movie adaptation i have seen. 5 stars
6/15/11 Allen Stays true to the franchise, right down to the "What the HELL just happened?" at the end. 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles Awesome 5 stars
10/02/10 bored mom This film lacks the first two games' truly subtle, carefully thought-out sensibilities. 3 stars
8/20/09 Jo Not played the games but movie was good. Especially now i get the ending! roll on movie 2!! 4 stars
12/02/08 Jojo i thought it was bad ass, but i love the games 4 stars
11/28/08 Jon C. My Full Review (fix spaces) www0.epinions.com /review/mvie_mu-1156476/content_228082421380 4 stars
10/09/08 Andyyyy its ok as a movie, nothing to the game, the plot is %$#!ed up, explains nothin 3 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/13/08 Pyrix An interesting horror piece, certainly better than most game-to-movie adaptations 4 stars
6/16/08 PAUL SHORTT NO THRILLS ON THIS HILL 1 stars
5/11/08 Ryan If you don't understand the ending use common sense, the haze outside her house, 4 stars
4/25/08 Karrie Millheim Scared me big time! Horror lovers are gonna love this one 5 stars
3/17/08 Tosh its quite good as an horror movie, more amusing than scary. loved the open end. 4 stars
4/17/07 shyguy Great casting of Dahlia and Cybil, but a REALLY stupid plot 2 stars
3/20/07 Anthony G Best video game to movie adaptation ever made, still not THAT great overall. 4 stars
3/09/07 cokehead wasn't scarry, just weird. what a piece of shit. 2 stars
3/09/07 johnnyfog I liked Cybil. But otherwise, pointless 2 stars
2/28/07 Beau Greatly made, superb performances but a dull plot and it got silly towards the end 3 stars
2/05/07 Mark Helling not great, but its so extremely well made u wont care. not very scary, but has its moments 4 stars
2/02/07 Abs Preety good movie.Music set the scary tone for the whole film,but last 20min was a letdown 4 stars
1/11/07 Jake This movie pretty much just didn't do anything but such 2 stars
1/10/07 del Roger Avary fucked this up BAD. 3 stars
10/24/06 Indrid Cold Good screen translation, but still the movie doesn't even approach the game's brilliance. 3 stars
10/24/06 AJ Muller mood and visuals make it work; operates on 'nightmare logic' and is quite effective at it 5 stars
10/22/06 nie nie it so reflect the game. better than resident evil. i love it (wit some exception) 4 stars
10/18/06 GC Watch it for the visuals..nothing more..and not scary...plot dumb/characters lame 3 stars
10/17/06 Marvin Schulte It's a punch in the face of every single fan of the games. 1 stars
10/17/06 John Best game to movie ever! But you should play the game before seeing the movie. it helps. 5 stars
10/10/06 Homuncolos U shouldnt judge a movie on if its scary, since who would get scared just from a movie? 5 stars
10/09/06 Jim If you play the games, you'll love it; if not, you'll be just as baffled as my wife was. 5 stars
10/06/06 Clive Was A Good Film But I Havent Played The Game...This May Be Why I was Confused At The Ending 4 stars
10/05/06 pete.chesworth great game but glad I did not pay to see the movie. 2 stars
10/01/06 Randy if you didnt understand the movie your an idiot. get some common sence and watch it again. 4 stars
9/30/06 Bob Smith T 4 stars
9/24/06 Nicole This movie was exellent , but I did'nt understand the ending. 4 stars
9/18/06 daveyt I enjoyed it, liked the ending, visuals were great. Not exactly a classic, but not that bad 4 stars
9/17/06 hector if you didnt PLAY THE GAME you wont UNDERSTAND IT so you wont like 5 stars
9/15/06 Sophie Beats most Hollywood horrors! 5 stars
9/13/06 Ian pickering Mint film but the cop is a dick 5 stars
9/11/06 Cindy Brown didn't make much sense, yet I couldn't stop watching it 3 stars
9/07/06 Albert not true to the game, and about one tenth as scary,save your money,buy the game`s. 1 stars
9/06/06 HGTV fanatic great scary monsters, ending sucked, is they dead or just in a different dimesnion? 4 stars
9/02/06 HILARY I wasn't impressed. i got bored. i was confused at the end. it didnt scare me. lol.. 3 stars
9/02/06 ES Boring, gets interesting, gets retarded and then leaves you wondering what the ending means 2 stars
8/29/06 Casper I liked it - creatures were creepy, town was well-conceived, Rahda made this film work 4 stars
8/28/06 cindy interesting movie 4 stars
8/27/06 dorena ware whew, glad it was over. 3 stars
8/26/06 wanda mahoney it was very good movie, i like the eneding 5 stars
8/25/06 Richard Jojola This movie was awesome 5 stars
8/25/06 purplerose decent if you have played the games! 4 stars
8/25/06 Charles bundy I thought the film was teriffic, non-staop horror! 5 stars
8/25/06 Phillip Akers Very Grat movie best transofor mation of a game into a movie and most of all the gore 5 stars
8/24/06 LP The movie is suck but I even sucker wasting $4.90 at a local video store 1 stars
8/24/06 matt twisted, grotesque and sick as fuck 5 stars
8/23/06 Stephanie I DONT GET THE ENDING .. IM COMFUSED-- I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY WORTHLESS 1 stars
8/17/06 Ian K. The best game-movie adaption known with brill visuals and sounds to draw you in 5 stars
8/02/06 dan a strange but rather good film 4 stars
7/28/06 Daniel This is one of the best movies I have seen in months. Play the game if you wanna enjoy it! 5 stars
6/29/06 Gretchen Seitz Starts off promisingly, but turns into psychobabble. 1 stars
6/24/06 Elix ONLY and ONLY for anyone who have played Silent hill 1,2 or 3 4 stars
6/12/06 Mike First movie I've EVER walked out on! So ridiculous and STUPID. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!! 1 stars
6/04/06 Huismijt Nice little movie! Go see it if you're a fan of the series. Don't take it so seriously!! 3 stars
5/29/06 Anthony G As a video game to movie adaptation it was great! As a normal movie? Not so much... 5 stars
5/20/06 rosebud cybill is the new lesbian icon 5 stars
5/18/06 Alfred Guy Good creatures, but uneven as a whole. 3 stars
5/16/06 Ashley I loved the movie, I just didn't like the end. It left too much open ended. 4 stars
5/15/06 allie most horrible movie i've seen since blair witch project! 1 stars
5/10/06 San Lamar go see it! 5 stars
5/09/06 DANNY I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY GOOD AS FAR AS THE SPL EFFECTS WENT, CREEPY & WEIRD BUT NOT SCARY 4 stars
5/09/06 Tranquil Made for fans of the series, good visuals and recreation of some aspects. 4 stars
5/09/06 ryan good movie tells how the girl and wife got to be lost there and the before to when the husf 5 stars
5/07/06 Charlene Javier A bummer for fans of the game... 2 stars
5/06/06 Chris Buchanan Fan of the games. Fan of the movie. It's not your typical game-based movie: It doesn't suck 5 stars
5/05/06 matthew flynn a little too ove explained in some areas and under in others 4 stars
5/04/06 mandisa robinson the movie was good 4 stars
5/03/06 David I've seen scarier things at a five year old's birthday party, what a waste of two hours.... 1 stars
5/02/06 Mase Like watchign someone else play a barely comprhensible video game. Avoid!! 1 stars
5/02/06 Brandi Robertson The movie is hard to follow, drawn out, weird, and too long. 3 stars
5/02/06 chris f very tense and scary movie exellent!!! 5 stars
5/01/06 Patrick B Hey Im from W. Va and we have very few towns that look like "close to hell" 3 stars
5/01/06 Josh Standlee Scary as Hell! I won't be able to sleep right for at least a week! 5 stars
4/29/06 Sergey Konyshev I was so lost at the end, please explain how the wife and husband are in different worlds? 2 stars
4/29/06 Laz Moreland Scary and awesome! 5 stars
4/28/06 jimmy saville the longest, most boring film ever. Id ask for a refund if I could 1 stars
4/28/06 Jen Wilson Not good- would never reccomend this movie to anyone 1 stars
4/27/06 Farron Watson Some of the most disturbing imagery I've ever seen. Agony as a visual art form. 4 stars
4/26/06 Jon A laudable addition to the Silent Hill name, but not without flaws. They should make SH2! 4 stars
4/26/06 Vikki Tries too hard, but appropriately frightening! 4 stars
4/25/06 Troy G Changed cult from the game from summoner of deamon to opposition of the deamon. 4 stars
4/25/06 Anthony G They did pyramid head very well, created a great vibe, ending was lacking. 4 stars
4/25/06 elliot comparing this stylish film to plan 9 proves some of the critics here are idiots. 5 stars
4/25/06 victoria schall answer a question on Silent Hill 3 stars
4/25/06 Josh Haberman A Silent Hill Fan must see! 4 stars
4/24/06 BrianWilly Scary and gory fun. 5 stars
4/24/06 :) FINALLY!..A game movie that doesn't suck! 5 stars
4/23/06 Greyjack Cool visuals, but needed more Pyramid Head. 3 stars
4/23/06 MorallySound The movie makes sense if you dig through all the layers of ploy. Use your brain. 5 stars
4/23/06 matt Not quite what I was expecting, but pretty cool 4 stars
4/23/06 Adrian It's pretty. Really pretty. But mindless as well. 4 stars
4/22/06 The Talking Elbow Appreciated quite well as art. 5 stars
4/22/06 mike awesome 5 stars
4/22/06 Eevil Wolfie Visuals are nightmarish when they are there but the story seems to drag unnessisarily. 3 stars
4/22/06 bizenya it blew my fucking mind. 5 stars
4/22/06 Ole Man Bourbon It was pretty fun, but also kind of like a film version of a run-on sentence. 3 stars
4/22/06 Toilet Bowl Well-made, intelligent, scary - might not be for everyone 5 stars
4/22/06 ducka The best videogame adaptation ever 5 stars
4/22/06 KingNeutron I enjoyed it, even tho I never played the game. Genuinely scary in parts. 4 stars
4/22/06 Bunuel People confused by surrealism need not apply. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2006 (R)
  DVD: 22-Aug-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  31-Aug-2006



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Christophe Gans

Written by
  Roger Avary

Cast
  Radha Mitchell
  Sean Bean
  Laurie Holden
  Deborah Kara Unger
  Kim Coates
  Tanya Allen



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