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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 Rob Gonsalves

"Gets the atmosphere of the game but ruins the mystery."
3 stars

The creepy survival-horror video-game series 'Silent Hill,' from what I gather, is an immersive and mystifying experience. It's all about atmosphere and dread. The movie version is like a big piece of fan fiction that fills in everything left unexplained in the games, and some fans of the games may appreciate that, while others may not feel that the invented mythology lives up to the story in their imaginations.

I come to Silent Hill as someone who's seen the game played a couple of times, so I approach it as a horror fan watching a horror movie. What I can tell you is that the film imports the atmosphere successfully, but everything it adds felt tired to me -- ah, jeez, not religious wackos again.

Silent Hill is certainly the oddest film in a long while to get a wide release in this country. Gnarled, twisted, faceless things come writhing out of the shadows, presenting not danger so much as a kind of metaphysical repulsion. The game started with the Japanese, as so much recent horror does, and they know how to tweak the senses with nightmare logic. For them it all seems post-Hiroshima -- all ghosts, or deformity, or deformed ghosts. What a French director (Christophe Gans, who made Brotherhood of the Wolf) and a Canadian screenwriter (Roger Avary, who cowrote Pulp Fiction and directed The Rules of Attraction) do with this fundamentally Japanese material makes for a strange yet conventional mix.

Rose (Radha Mitchell) has been worrying about her little daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland), who's been sleepwalking and talking about a town called Silent Hill. The place has been deserted for years, a casualty of coal-mine fires. Despite the wealth of online information about the town, Rose decides to take Sharon there. In the dead of night, and without her husband (Sean Bean, little more than an afterthought). Well, if we outlawed dumb behavior in horror movies, there'd be none left.

A female cop (Laurie Holden) gets involved, and soon she and Rose are exploring the ashy town, looking for Sharon and dealing with various freaky creatures. One such critter, known to fans as Pyramid-Head, is the movie's equivalent of a "boss battle." Indeed, even gamers who aren't familiar with Silent Hill will recognize the structure: Here's a Clue! You may want to investigate room 111. There doesn't seem to be a room 111, but there is a painting here -- press the X button to check it.

Christophe Gans fashioned a pretty good werewolf-fantasy pastiche with Brotherhood of the Wolf, and here he goes all out with the rusty, gore-spattered walls and chained-up corpses. Silent Hill is unquestionably the most visually alive film based on a video game, though, given the source, it would take concentrated ineptitude not to make it look interesting. But all of this creepiness and visual ingenuity leads to ... a bunch of holy-roller throwbacks who shout, without irony, things like "Burn the witch, kill the demon!" (I half-expected Michael Palin to pop up and accuse Rose of having turned him into a newt.) The last third of the movie, devoted to these idiots in 19th-century drag (led by a poofy-haired Alice Krige), is exceptionally dull, despite the appearance of a barbed-wire demon that earns the movie its R rating all by itself. The message goes all the way back to Carrie: Don't abuse weird little girls or they will fuck you up.

The set-up of Silent Hill, like the video games, is intriguing and original -- newcomers won't be sure where it's going. When everything starts being explained, though, the mystery evaporates and the world of the game loses its eerie bafflement -- which is half its power. It doesn't help that the dialogue is no more than functional and the acting little better (Radha Mitchell tries and sometimes fails to squelch her Aussie accent; Sean Bean doesn't even bother to cloak his English accent; somehow, he's supposed to be playing someone named Da Silva -- his family must be from the famous British part of Portugal).

'Silent Hill' takes something freaky and unclassifiable and gradually turns it into ... a horror flick. And a horror flick that, as a horror fan, I've seen before: yeah, 'The Ring' meets 'Hellraiser' meets 'The Village.' The game wasn't anything meets anything. And now, unfortunately, the game has met Hollywood.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14326&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/09/07 14:19:49
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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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