Come for the cults, stay for the weekend bake stalls and lakeside boat rides...

In late 2010, I believe, I was sent a link by someone to the blog of a little known UK film maker named Michael J. Bassett for reasons at the time unknown. Bassett at this stage only had a couple of very low budget films and some wildlife film making behind him. However reading the blog posts he’d then recently made it was clear he was about to undertake a film project of a reasonable budget given his history. And that was a second film on Silent Hill, based on Konami’s video game franchise.

Game Over #17: Silent Hill Revelation (aka. Silent Hill Revelation 3D)

Dir: Michael J. Bassett
Released: 2012

Box Office: $52,302,796 Worldwide

This might be hellish for entirely other reasons for some...

Bassett came across as exceptionally passionate about the games themselves, and likewise very knowledgeable. It’s likely this drive is what booked him specifically for the gig in the first place, and he certainly seemed excited about being involved in the project. It was as if a major game fan was going to create a movie based on something he really enjoyed.

Much like last week I don’t want to delve too much into the background of the first film or the franchise, however with this also being a directly connected sequel it maybe hard once again not to do so with it.

At the very least Bassett was very vocal and reasonably communicative with the fanbase, posting regular updates over the coming year and a bit until the films release in 2012. As a community that I’ve been a part of, there is something overly frenetic or perhaps rabid about Silent Hill’s fanbase which I think stems from lots of interpretative thought on the games themselves. This often in turn falls heavily into disagreement about the content, especially the quality of newer western developed games, and certainly any other media/mediums the games are turned into.

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I’m just as unsure as she is where this movie is going to take us...

Sadly for Bassett this also meant taking the brunt of responses to his work, and unsurprisingly this meant the blog eventually went discontinued and eventually closed in the following year or so after the films release when the comments, critics and fans, was generally mixed. Thankfully he touches on this with a little bit of lightheartedness in the films audio commentary:

“So... I... I’m guessing whoever’s listening to this [audio commentary] probably either really likes the movie... in case, thank you very much... or really hates the movie and wants to, uh, find out what excuses I’ve got...

...it rather depends where you’re coming from with... from your history of Silent Hill as to how you respond to this movie I think... is that... umm... without a word of a lie obviously the response to the film was mixed to say the least, umm and with a little bit of perspective off the back of that you can make your peace with the fact that some people love it, some people don’t.”

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Was it a possibly justified response to his work? Lets find out.


Starting the film we’re immediately thrust back into the cinematic world of Silent Hill, both with a callback to one of it’s most known film legacies (upward peeling paint effects - which then went on to be used in the later games) here used on a production company logo, followed by use of a sting of Akira Yamaoka’s music - lifted sometimes and indeed in this case, directly from the games themselves - over the films titles.

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Next we see flashes of running. It’s a woman, and she looks scared. This is Heather (Adelaide Clemens) and she runs into a creepy abandoned amusement park. Following her is guys in giant cloaks with leather strapping and masks. Then we see the park isn’t abandoned, but rather is filled with them everywhere. Heather hides, and stops, and hides and stops eventually choosing to hiding on the merry-go-round.

She’s clearly seen the fan reaction to the film and isn’t very happy about it.

The guys are closing in around it, and we noticed there are others in the group too including a woman with long hair. A noise scares Heather again, and it’s the giant pyramid head figure both game fans and those who watched the first film will find familiar. It’s trapped in the middle of the ride. He seems to be able to control its rotation and begins starting it up, cranking a handle in the middle. People are also strapped into some sort of bondage on the ride alongside the weird looking horses, but then Heather is confronted by a dark haired, black lipstick, version of herself.

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This trend was already six years too late when the film came out.

“You can’t defeat me,” it warns. “Do not go to Silent Hill.” Then it starts up a fire around the outside of the ride, blocking them in and blocking out the cloaked figures. The flames move onto the ride, flying around Heather, burning her alive.... and cut.

To a man running into a bedroom. It was all a nightmare. They talk, it implies they move regularly, he tells her to not go to the town. Then he’s stabbed, another creature.... “The Missionary” but then Heather wakes up again. The nightmare within a nightmare. Great. She jots something into a notepad, then crashes back on the bed. Cut to kitchen. Her father is there, not dead.

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Clearly they’ve moved in just recently, and Heather says she doesn’t want to move again. But further more, we find out they’ve both been changing their names. Her father is now named Harry (played by Sean Bean) and she herself has gone through several names, before the latest - which Harry says was his grandmothers name. Harry presents Heather with an early 18th birthday gift. It’s a vest, oddly familiar to Heather as the one she was wearing in her original nightmare. She then heads off to school.

We find Harry is now looking at her notepad, which she scribbled “Silent Hill” into. He tears it out and places it into a box with a crest and various scripts all over the outside of it, before putting a photo him, his wife Rose, and daughter up on the mantelpiece. We then see a flash back where it’s explained how his daughter was returned but his wife was stuck in Silent Hill. He is told “they’ll come looking for her” and not to let “them” take her. And then his daughter reappears, with a crest in her hand.

This guy is about one less hat away from being the homeless guy on the street himself

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We return to Heather on her way to school, where she sees a guy living on the street who turns briefly into a weird creature which startles Heather and nearly has her run over by a car. She is then confronted by a guy in a hat and overcoat who seems to know who she is. Instead of talking to him at length she runs off to catch her school bus.

In class Heather is forced to introduce herself which she does with extreme but negative tact when other classmates make jokes at her expense (it’s a very well written and acted scene I have to admit), which also reveals another class member Vincent Cooper (Kit Harington) who is forced to follow up her introduction himself.

Nothing creepy at all about a bunch of school girls... why is this always a thing?

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Heather walks the halls of her school, only for everyone to vanish and some chanting begins from young children... “Burn the witch. Burn the witch.” She looks into some of the classes to clearly see much older classrooms with uniformed girls rather than the local high school students she should be seeing. The lights then go out and when they return, the hallway has become a crazy mess of broken and twisted pieces. At the end of the hallway appears a crazy thrashing creature which Heather backs away from, only to bump into Vincent and return to the normal school. He follows her through the school, asking if she wants to get a coffee after classes but she tells him she meant what she said earlier and doesn’t want to know anyone else at the school.

Outside the school the same guy with the hat and overcoat is waiting for Heather outside, who Vincent also notices. Heather calls Harry on his cell phone and tells him someone is following her, so he tells her to meet him at the Central Square Mall rather than coming home. She tells him to meet her specifically at the Happy Burger place. He tells her know one knows, while someone specifically is trying to get into their house as he’s trying to leave, so he tries to exit the back door only to be surprised by something we can’t see.

Heather clearly has been waiting a long time at the mall, and starts to see things creeping her out - including a birthday for another girl called Heather, which one of the balloons reveals Happy Birthday Alessa on the other side, a creepy clown who looks at her and people eating bloody food items. The guy in the hat and coat turns up again, yelling at her and calling her Sharon - the name she originally had when younger, letting us and her know he’s onto her. After approaching a security guard to find he has a mutilated face, she ducks into the staff only areas just to find creepy live human carving and cooking going on.

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I believe I ordered the happy meal of liver and onions...

The guy in the hat and coat catches up to her further in the staff area and introduces himself as Douglas Cartland (Martin Donovan), a private investigator tasked with finding Sharon/Heather and returning her to the people who paid to find her. However he now knows what those people are. The Order of Valtiel. But before he knew this he’d already imparted the information on where Heather was and they coming to get her. Warning her to escape and ask her father the truth about Silent Hill, Douglas is attacked and has his fingers cutoff by a creature, which we then see is the same Missionary creature that Heather had in her nightmare.

However he and Heather escape in an old elevator before the creature can attack further, so instead it breaks into the elevator and attacks them from above only to vanish when the elevator stops at the bottom. When exiting though Douglas is dragged away leaving Heather behind to run around the giant staff area and hide again. She tears off her jacket, covered in blood but then someone comes into her hiding spot and she runs off again, only to find herself outside in the real world and Douglas’ body being carted off by police in a blockade around the mall. Her jacket has been recovered as well. Douglas’s items included a photo of Heather and the names “Heather Mason Sharon DeSilva.” In the crowd watching whats going on, Heather is surprised further when Vincent turns up and Heather quickly walks off, with him following behind.

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Just like earlier, off camera they’re clearly seeing the dreams of the fans for a decent adaption vanishing rapidly...

The two end up talking while walking and then also on a bus with Heather questioning her mind and the worlds between “dreams and reality,” in which Vincent ends up telling her about his grandfather Leonard who’s locked up in a padded cell for having issues with those very things. They return back to Heather’s house, where she leaves Vincent and heads inside. There she finds a message written in blood with a crest and her father nowhere to be found.

And I’d just finished repainting that wall...

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After hearing Heather yelling for her dad, Vincent ends up at the front door, and Heather lets him in where he sees the message. After trying to convince her to call the cops, which she can’t for obvious reasons, he instead suggests finding the place in the message. Recognizing the symbol on the wall, Heather pulls out the box Harry had earlier and looks inside, finding a note for Sharon, the crest that that her younger self brought back from Silent Hill, and a handgun. The police turn up at the front door, so both of them escape out the backdoor before the police burst in with Vincent driving them off to Silent Hill.

In the car Heather reads through the letter and looks through the notebook which explains everything, including the members of the Order tracking them down before. Also explaining why they were changing names and on the run from them via a member of the Order who Harry killed. Harry’s letter however says he has no reason why they were after them, Heather especially, yet elsewhere in the notebook Heather immediately comes across information about a girl being needed as “a vessel for their god” and about a “demon child” called Alessa that cursed the town. Seems like a fairly obvious reason to everyone here that Harry is either not seeing or still trying to hide.

Someone was paid to write all this stuff out... interestingly the creature is from the original game....

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Sometime later Vincent is still driving, and decides they need to stop for him to get some rest so they pull over at a roadside motel. Inside Vincent tries to convince Heather not to go because her dad was right, and she needs to run. Sleeping later, Heather has a nightmare of the demon child in the town and wakes up to find Vincent hasn’t been sleeping. They argue over heading to the town again for him to reveal he’s actually a child of The Order and born in Silent Hill for the purpose of returning Heather to the town. Alessa and Heather need to be reunited in order for The Order to properly be able to leave the town where they are trapped.

You know it’s a flashback because the image is washed out...

He explains that his mother has Harry, and if Heather is to return, she’ll need the other half of the crest she had which is in the possession of his grandfather Leonard Wolf, the one locked up for his illness, in order to save him. As if like clockwork from Vincent’s betrayal of the Order, the alternate world comes from Alessa’s curse and both Vincent and Heather are now attacked by the missionary monster from earlier, which knocks Heather out. She wakes up back in the regular motel, however Vincent has vanished. Heather gets ready and exits to find the world in fog and ash.

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Goodbye!

Walking she finds the sign for the town and heads on in. Once in the town she sees people trapped inside the town as she walks the main street. Heather continues and eventually makes her way to a church. Outside she finds people who have been burned at a stake, with signs that says Traitor below them. From behind one them appears a woman who tells Heather she will be used by the cult for their plans. This woman is Dahlia Gillespie (Deborah Kara Unger), mother of Alessa. She explains that Heather is the “child” of the demon Alessa, made of the innocent parts placed into an orphaned child which was the one Rose and Christopher/Harry DeSilva adopted. Before anymore can be said, the darkness arrives and Heather runs away and hides inside a random building with a room with mannequin parts.

Inside she finds some of the “parts” are alive, before coming across a woman on a table who turns into one and another strung up in plastic ready to be turned to one as well. Just as she frees the second woman they are attacked by a multi-legged-armed-headed mannequin monster which chases them through the warehouse. It attacks them with a weird inner mouth thing as they escape into an air duct, and manages to grab the other girl and drag her away.

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That face on the right has no idea whats going on.

We now cut to a large statue of a creature, and find Harry is strung up to it. We find that Vincent is there and his mother talks to him about being corrupted by Heather. His mother, Claudia Wolf (an somewhat unrecognizable Carrie-Anne Moss), both berates him and concedes he still succeeded in bringing her to the town, before ordering him be taken to join his grandfather in the asylum.

Trinity clearly merged with one of those twin things from the Matrix Sequels.

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Escaping out the building Heather extremely conveniently finds herself right outside the Brookhaven Asylum, and heads inside. She finds in an office where Leonard Wolf is kept and takes the key for his room. Exploring the place she is attacked by some creature which she shoots in the head with the gun she got from Harry’s stuff. She eventually finds Leonard’s room and heads inside where she is confronted by Leonard himself (Malcolm McDowell).

McDowell had been left in the dark for so long awaiting his next film role...

Leonard talks to Heather about Claudia and the darkness, Vincent being in the asylum, and end up talking about the half crest that Heather has - the Seal of Metatron. As Leonard is blind she hands it to him, but points the gun at him in case he does something silly. Which of course he does, as it turns out he has the other half of the crest inside himself and jams the half Heather gave him into his chest. Now he can see and attacks Heather who shoots him with the gun, knocking him backwards. Instead he transforms into a larger monster who Heather shoots with no success. Instead the creature knocks her out and carries her through the Asylum. Heather quickly wakes up and notices the creature has a hole in it where the crest sits, so she jams her arm inside and yanks the crest out destroying Leonard and giving her the completed crest.

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Exploring further Heather is attacked by patients in cells, before ol Pyramid Head turns up and start slicing off some limbs. Heather escapes by climbing into an empty space and heading downward into another part of the building to hide. Here she sees Vincent being taken away strapped down on a table, and placed into an operating room with a bunch of faceless twitchy nurses with knives and other cutting tools who proceed to kill the two guys who brought him in the room in the first place. It seems they only move when attracted to sound and immediately stop once the guys are dead.

They look more like they’re doing a dance number here....

Heather arrives and demands Vincent tell her where her father is kept. Of course this noise begins to attract the nurses who attack them. But they manage to escape using a knife on the ground and the bed itself between them and the nurses. They escape the building and head back out onto the streets and off to the amusement park. Vincent tries talking her out of rescuing her dad once again, however she continues onward.

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Inside the park all the lights turn on and rides start up, and Vincent notices people have been following them like those who were taking him into the room at the asylum. Brethren of the Order, the most devout servants of the order itself who wear gas masks to stop breathing in the darkness. Vincent uses himself as a distraction from them and runs off, leaving Heather by herself. She realizes this is exactly the same as the nightmare she had. But this time instead one of the brethren find her straight away, so she rips off his mask which seems to kill him by breathing in the darkness.

She takes off again onto the merry-go-round, where the Pyramid Head is once again cranking the ride so it runs and members of the Order surround the ride before catching on fire, and Heather sees Alessa - the small demon child who transforms into the black haired doppelganger of Heather herself. They confront each other and eventually combine back into the one form in the guise of Heather, who passes out as the ride sinks downward into the underground below the amusement park.

Sadly the power box had overloaded and there was no survivors of the Lakeside Amusement park fire of 2012...

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The ride stops and Heather wakes up, and walks out into a giant underground space. From above she is watched by members of the Order and eventually comes across a space where Claudia, and Harry still bound up, await her. Vincent is also there, having been caught again by members of the Order. Claudia is happy that things have been going the orders way, and tells Heather her “father” will feed the new born god with his blood while her body will hold the god itself for birth. Her approach on Heather upsets the Pyramid Head, Alessa’s guardian, still bound back in the ride, who slowly breaks free and heads towards the group.

Decent mixture of live action and visual effects... the budget is decently used often in the film.

Heather hands over the seal when asked, which reveals Claudia to be the missionary monster we’d seen often through the film that attacked and killed Douglas in the elevator and took Vincent away earlier. Her followers take off scared by what their leader has become. However before it can attack Heather, Pyramid Head arrives and the two enter a battle while Heather and Vincent try to free Harry. After a stabby-slashy-fight scene, Pyramid Head slices the missionary’s head (and arm) clean off while the others look on and then walks off. Fade to white, back to the town.

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Lucky the edits on this scene were so quick or else you’d realize quick that this is actually two very blind stunt people swinging at each other

Heather is convinced things will change with Alessa’s fear no longer controlling the town and the Order scattered, but Harry knows the town is still a place of lost souls. Connecting that, he decides he can’t leave but rather needs to stay to find Rose who is still in the town, or a version of it, somewhere. After saying his goodbyes he walks off into the fog and vanishes, while Vincent and Heather then head out of town.

I’m blue... da ba dee...

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Walking outside the town a truck drives by and they flag it down and it pulls up. He says they were lucky, he hasn’t driven past this way in a long time and introduces himself as Travis Grady. Vincent and the newly renamed Sharon introduce themselves, and they drive away from the town just as police cars and a prisoner transport start driving back the other way towards Silent Hill. The camera slides past the sign and from the other side, all we can see is fog obscuring the distance, ash falling down, and then the movie ends.

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In a post credits scene, Pyramid Head is seen shuffling off still successful in his defeat of the missionary.


What I haven’t mentioned yet is Bassett was both the director and writer on the film, which really seemed to be the attempt for the film to be so faithful probably not just to the games in theory but the script he’d written. Looking across the script it large chunks of it match beat for beat and word for word impressively compared to say, other films which would change greatly when the writer isn’t also the director. This strengthened his overall intent with the film to really relate to the game series.

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The film can’t be faulted for an attempt to be even more adapted than the previous Silent Hill film (discussion for another time) however in doing so no one has seemed to think of this beyond the visual power of the game series and rather forget that as a game, Silent Hill’s often vague nature and lengthy walks in foggy areas was a draw of exploring it’s world - but when you translate that to a film, things feel under cooked, not explained, and sometimes oddly paced when it does have to slow for exposition to try keep the audience up. Or scenes of people exploring random locations for ages. The film loses much of it’s horror appeal with mostly very blatant and clean imagery that loses the impact of how the style worked in a video game.

Even the Umbrella Corporation turns up in this latest Silent Hill movie...

Bassett himself even find it a hard thing to explain to a potential audience because of all the mashing together the film has to balance for cinema goers. In a small press extra included on the BluRay he had this to say:

“It’s a very frightening movie. It’s got lots of monsters, it’s got enormous amounts of atmosphere and great performances in the middle of it. So it’s a combination of hopefully all the best bits of all the horror movies you like, into a new thing, in 3D, based on a best selling computer game, developing those ideas and putting them into a movie.”

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Quite an undertaking of the scripting there, and I’m certainly not envious of trying to make that one work. I’m not surprised it’s not smooth, but maybe I am surprised there is at least a more than watchable end result given the plates being juggled there. In 3D.

Even listening to the cast and crew explaining the setup for the film is quite confusing, trying to explain the multiple names for characters, the cult (the order), multiple worlds, etc. It’s not something that like the games you come to a slow realization about the longer it goes on, it has to be reasonably understandable without people always talking about it in the film. And within the limit of a 90-odd minute run time. And so this just often isn’t the case.

Sean Bean continues his trend of dying in films... although technically he doesn’t actually die because this is a nightmare.

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In some respects Silent Hill the game is probably one of the worst candidates to properly adapt for the reasons the films show. Literally pulling from the games or not, Silent Hill worked as a game because it took known Western writing and film tropes and roped them back into a game with those other game elements that were never going to work in film alone and together made Silent Hill what it was as a game.

Unsurprisingly the critical and box office response was not great, and all the while the film clearly sets up the possibility of more sequels. These include things like what happened with Rose... the prison bus heading into the town at the end (referencing one of the more recent titles)... plus the fact Travis seemed to be driving out of the town himself - a character from another Silent Hill game. The chances of another sequel happening probably disappeared when the film just didn’t do as well as planned.

He’s just smug because he’s holding onto Game of Thrones spoilers and won’t let her know what they are... (you know I had to get one of those in here)

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Fans too, the people who seemingly might find the specificity of the content something decent instead just mostly had issues with changes, retconning or altering things from the first movie, and things that didn’t seemingly need to be changed from the games. Considering, as I mentioned at the start, the fan base is very fickle about the games themselves, it’s not surprising the same took place for a film.

As mentioned at the top Bassett’s blog vanished and Bassett himself hasn’t returned to feature film making after this (and the film Solomon Kane which also released in 2012). Instead he’s moved on to working on directing episodes of television shows for companies like Cinemax and Starz, including Ash Vs. Evil Dead. No indications from him we’re ever made if he was due to return to the film franchise had Revelation done well but one would have expected that probably would have happened. The brand as far as media was concerned had rumors that a television series itself might have started at some point based on the franchise, and Bassett certainly would be considered to direct and episode or two had that happened as well one would think.

She requested he explain the UK’s banning of A Clockwork Orange for so many years....

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But Silent Hill as a gaming franchise has been poorly treated by Konami, like most of it’s brands in recent years. Westernized development released games that sold lower amounts and got nothing but mixed reviews. Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima was given the reigns to reinvent the franchise only to have that pulled out from under him due to issues within the company that also lead to his departure. Aside from a pachinko machine, no one really knows what the future of the game itself is let alone the future for any other movies based on the brand. However that may not be a real issue, as I think it’s done it’s dash as a feature film property.

Watching the film while Bassett talks on the bonus features and listening to him on the commentary, he clearly comes across as a giant fan of the franchise. He talks about putting the film and games together, and has clear reverence for the games themselves. But even being a fan sadly it also didn’t automatically mean any success for the film.


Conclusions

Adaption? Yes, quite a lot but...

It’s hard to admit, but this is a lot truer of an adaption than anything else so far on this list and yet it works entirely against it as a film. Once again you can almost say this is a movie about a game, but that’s simply because the director and the producers, they’ve concluded that means literal translation of the games to film in this case.

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The fans really couldn’t get to grips on the use of props from the games that appear in the film....

Crests, logos, character names, props that aren’t even important - just directly taken from the games and crammed in. In the hotel room for some reason a single bright red shoe sits above the bed. No reason for it to be there in the film, in the third game it’s an item for a puzzle at the amusement park. But there it is in the film. In the third game, you get a key from a fried dog. No key, but the fried dog appears in a hallway for no reason in the film on a table. Vincent is altered heavily from the third game, as is Douglas who has his role well reduced. But Heather, Claudia, and Leonard, somewhat, are versions of their game counterparts. And the plot with Alessa and Heather and “the Order” is a version of the story from the game that here has been mixed to also tie into the previous film.

Much like Heather with the teens in this scene, the makers really don’t care if you’re that upset....

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At the start of the article I quoted Bassett from the audio commentary on the film, and I do say to anyone with as keen an interest on games to movies as me (if there is anyone else there that crazy reading this), the whole thing is quite interesting and worth listening to. He recorded it some months after the film came out and hadn’t seen it for a while, so it allows reflecting on the film as much as it is about the content.

As he discusses specific details which clearly come from the game world into the film which I don’t know many other directors certainly would talk much about. And does touch on how much mythology the movie has to try and cram in and be understandable to a new audience. At the time of release the production team seem to think they got it right. I’m personally not convinced, but interestingly enough the more he talks about it too he starts to understand some of the critiques the film got and begins to talk about them more openly.

I mentioned above the games work with their mood and pace based on your ability to explore the world(s) Silent Hill is set in. With this the film is quite empty and oddly paced but yet a lot of stuff needs to be understood or dug out to make it understandable. I can imagine also for someone who never touched a game in the franchise (which isn’t me, they were at one point one of my favorite games) a lot of it wouldn’t make a lick of sense because the elements in the film aren’t very well explained, just thrown around with vague comments or nothing at all. Sometimes this is true of the games themselves but the way they are presented allows for understanding, clues, and much more thought than the way the film does. So in this respect no one has thought about this literal translation working for the film medium.

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You can tell it’s powerful because the VFX artists made it glow in her hand...

Visually the movie certainly isn’t bad at all, it gets a unique style that still cuts close to the games themselves and the design of the sets, costumes, and enemies are certainly decent. And the VFX are decent for the time and budget the film had. Not always brilliant but certainly decent enough. However the choice/budget to go digital (it was shot mostly on an early RED MX camera) means the sharpness of the shoot often is at odds with the style or the effects which also moves it away from the look of the game (which often used a gritty film filter to obscure it’s visuals and create a unique tone much earlier than a lot of modern games would). One almost thinks an actual film shoot with grain would have added the missing looks, or at least a post produced grain even if only added at the alternate worlds as a safe alternative.

The origins of the game come from Japanese understanding of Western horror twisted back into Japanese. It felt both familiar and yet unique, even while riffing on books like those by Bradbury and King (name checked among many others in the game), films like Jacob’s Ladder (cited by staff and references as well), and artwork by Francis Bacon among many others. But the film too also is to be a very straight-laced horror film (as admitted by the director), with a monster on monster battle finale which just seems out of place with it’s game origins, and once again feels at odds with it’s origins.

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There is certainly a decent amount of adaption that has gone on with a lot of the elements, but this - much like MKA last week - feels like it was only for people with any knowledge of the game series, and that very much limited it’s appeal not making it an adaption, merely a weak translation.

Positives? Plenty.

It was hard to write my summary of the film this week as it went along because there isn’t much to comment on other than the film itself. I couldn’t fault a lot of the film for much, even if it caught the bane of numerous Silent Hill fans. As a film it’s watchable, visually interesting, and not overly too long. Acting was generally decent (especially considering the two leads are decently hiding both Australian and British accents) and even when the chance to ham it all up came along, most of the well known actors did what they needed to with the small amounts of screen time they had. As a film it’s middle of the road.

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You will find the lack of eyebrows disturbing...

The film was made with 3D in mind, which really doesn’t seem to add much to it’s style. So far indeed it’s been the most “generally watchable” video game film, but then again that might not be the case for people who’ve never played the games.

Lessons learned? Direct translation doesn’t = adaption.

As I mentioned above, the film comes often on direct translations of the game elements but doesn’t consider often if they are correct for the film narrative process. This means the film could be clunky to some, hard to understand for others.... and probably in the case of the fans too silly to be enjoyed.

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She just wanted to be your friend....

A worthy attempt but one clearly the writer-director even would probably admit was aimed more at the fans than a general audience. And for that reason certainly didn’t adapt the game to a film, even if that was ever a possibility in the first place.


Next time - First person shooting, quite literally, moves to the big screen.

Previously:
#18 - Mortal Kombat Annihilation (1997)
#19 - Super Mario Bros. (1993)
#20 - House of the Dead (2003)

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About ‘Game Over: Failure of the Video Game Feature Film’

A series looking at the top 20 profitable video game feature films to figure out what is lacking and what should be done to make a successful adaption of game to film. There are a set of rules to stick by, so for an introduction on the whole series I’m doing please check out the original post located right here.


About Rob

Movie fanatic, writer and publisher of numerous gaming and movie websites of the past, and former video game guide writer. Started making content in 1997 and ran or assisted with several successful sites, mostly in the realm of Horror and Survival Horror gaming through the early and mid 2000's. Includes sites such as ResidentEvilFan.com, Streets of Silent Hill, EvilGaming.net, SurvivalHorror.org, ShenmueDojo.com, VGN, Gamers Alliance, GamersLounge.com, and BHXnet/BIOHAZARDextreme among others. Usually under the name Rombie. Still occasionally appears around on old video game and Resident Evil forums and semi-frequently appears on the ProjectUmbrella.net Resident Evil podcast.

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All images copyright to respective studio/photography owners. Used under fair use for critical comment on video game feature films only.