Silent Hill (the movie) is based on the series of video games initially released on the original Playstation. It was a fantastic game, one of the few games that I’ve sat, played, and completed! Ok, so I got the bad ending but, hey, I never said I was good at games!
The movie follows a similar ‘find the lost daughter’ scenario, but we all know how bad video game adaptations are. Well, this one is pretty damn good I think.
In case you are blissfully unaware of the video games, here’s a trailer for it, from way back in 1998. Before you mock it’s visuals, remember: it’s running on an original Playstation (PSX / PS One).
So, the synopsis (from IMDb):
A woman named Rose Da Silva goes in search for her troubled daughter, Sharon Da Silva within the confines of a strange, desolate town called “Silent Hill.” She is very concerned Sharon who has been experiencing severe nightmares and has begun sleepwalking. Their only clue to the girl’s condition is her repetition of Silent Hill. Desperate for answers, Rose takes Sharon to the town of Silent Hill, despite Christopher’s opposition. She reaches the town, but is knocked unconscious in a car crash, and awakens to find Sharon is missing.
Rose awakens from her knock and finds her daughter missing in the misty, ashen, town of Silent Hill. The film follows the video game here in that the whole town is enveloped in a white mist with, what initially looks like show but is actually, ash.
Rose is followed in to Silent Hill by a cop (Cybil from the video game). I love hot chicks in police uniforms. Cybil tries to arrest Rose but they are unable to leave Silent Hill. They team up to try and make sense of what’s going on in the creepy town. The town effects are quite amazing, just everywhere the camera points there’s fog. While on the subject of the camera, they’ve definitely tried to follow the camera angles from the video games too. High up, looking down, rotated views, and all nicely done without going all MTV on us.
But with the good, comes the bad. Every so often a siren sounds and the fog is replaced by darkness and horribly twisted creatures. As far as I remember, the video game never actually showed the process from light to dark, but the movie does show the decay happening as the darkness takes hold making everything look horribly old, twisted and bloody.
The creatures are what made Silent Hill so creepy, and most of them make an appearance in the movie. Everything from the bloody nurses, the armless warped figures, even those little squeaky baby things. Although in the game I think they were shadows, here they’re more charred and burned.
Yes, even big ol’ Pyramid Head (above) makes an appearance. Several appearances actually, him and his big sword (oh my!).
But, let’s be honest, it’s the blood and gore we want. And Silent Hill has a lot of it. Mainly near the end, which I won’t give away, but one character has barbed wire pushed through them (toe to head, shown below) and is then ripped apart in two (vertical) halves, blood everywhere.
Other characters are skinned and ripped apart in various other scenes and the effects are very well done.
My only complaint is the ending.
It is so vague that it could mean anything and a check of several websites, and IMDb, shows various theories and arguments on it. Silent Hill is, to me, the best video game adaptation I’ve seen. It closely follows the general jist of the video game, it doesn’t tell the exact same story as the game did, but it’s close, and good enough for me to like it!
Have a look at the trailer for Silent Hill. Compare it to the trailer for the game (above).