Horror, 94 Minutes, 2012
This is a sequel to 2006’s underappreciated “Silent Hill” [IMDB]. Where the original movie was more inspired by the video game this movie attempts to merge that mostly original story with the third game. (The “Silent Hill” video game series tends to vacillate between a loosely contiguous plotline and stand-alone stories set in its universe. The third game was essentially a direct sequel to the first. For what it’s worth the second game, which connects to very little, was the best game in the series and one of the best games ever made.)
Many of the references to the game are a bit hamfisted but all are appreciated. The main characters Sharon (played by Adelaide Clemens [IMDB]), and her father Christopher (Sean Bean [IMDB], in a rare non-armored role) have been on the run from the cultists and are now living under the assumed names Harry and Heather Mason (from the first and third games). Many of the locations are pulled directly from the game and Sharon/Heather retains the game’s iconic costuming. The connections aren’t completely seamless but should please both fans of the game and the movie. Silent Hill is, if nothing else, open to interpretation.
Improving upon the already excellent original the visual imagery is excellent. The creatures, both those pulled from the game and the original creations, are wonderfully disturbing and excellently animated. Some of the CGI (notably the otherwise effective mannequin monster) feels “disconnected” from the scene (most, it seems to me, due to lighting issues) but the practical effects are exceedingly well done and more than make up for it. Like the games (except for the second, which was perfect – really go play it) the story is a rather muddled mess. It does make sense in a kind of “in-quotes” way but will likely leave you confused. It’s best if you don’t give it very much thought: the visuals really are the attraction.
Being a fan of the games I may be biased and willing to let flaws slide but I had a lot of fun with this. It captures the feel of the games well (enough) and looks dementedly gorgeous.