SILENT HILL: REVELATION
*1/2 (out of 5)
October 26, 2012
Adelaide Clemens as HEATHER/ALESSA
Kit Harington as VINCENT
Carrie-Anne Moss as CLAUDIA WOLF
Sean Bean as HARRY
Radha Mitchell as ROSE DA SILVA
Malcolm McDowell as LEONARD
Martin Donovan as DOUGLAS
Deborah Kara Unger as DAHLIA
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
BY KEVIN CARR
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It’s never a good sign when you realize the movie you’re watching would have made more sense if you hadn’t actually revisited the previous installment earlier in the week. Not that watching “Silent Hill: Revelation” in a vacuum would have helped the movie any. It just would have made the glaring errors and broken connective tissue less noticeable.
The movie still would have been bad.
But “Silent Hill: Revelation” was bad in a way that made me feel bad for the first movie. When I saw “Silent Hill” back in 2006, I was impressed by the visuals and style. I also liked the general set-up, in which a woman returns to a mysterious not-quite-abandoned town in West Virginia to uncover a secret about her adoptive daughter.
Part of my original somewhat sour review for “Silent Hill” was it came in the midst of a whirlwind of video game adaptations and J-horror, both of which influenced this film. However, after that trend died down, watching that original film with a fresh eye, I realized it really wasn’t that bad at all. Sure, the story was a bit soft, but it was an intense movie with some great visuals.
Best of all, it wasn’t just another cliche of surly teenagers facing an evil, but mostly moping about with each other. That angle was corrected for “Silent Hill: Revelation.”
In the new film, the girl Sharon has grown to be 18 years old. Even though it’s pretty clear at the end of the previous film that she and her mother are trapped in a spirit world, this fact is ignored. It is instead replaced with some malarkey about her mother using a medallion to get her back to her father. Eventually, Sharon’s father is kidnapped by a cult from Silent Hill, and she must return to the doomed down to rescue him.
Again, let’s forget the fact that the demon killed everyone in the town in the first film because obviously the filmmakers did.
There are some cool remnants from the previous film (and video game, of course). A lot of the disturbing demons and apparitions return for an encore, including the faceless killer nurses and the iconic Pyramid Head. And when the film actually delves into the hell version of Silent Hill, it looks pretty neat. This is supported by some decent 3D work which borderlines on gimmick but still works for the thrill of the genre.
Unfortunately, this movie spends very little time in the deranged spirit world of “Silent Hill.” For the first half, when we actually get a glimpse of the demons and creatures, they’re spillover into the real world and lose their impact being surrounded by the prison of the town. Then when we finally get to Silent Hill itself, we’re treated to more scenes of Sharon whining about the situation with her tagalong boyfriend of the film.
Don’t let the presence of genre actors like Carrie-Ann Moss and Malcolm McDowell fool you. They’re paying a mortgage with these roles. Much like Laurence Fishburn’s performance in “Predators,” their performances in “Silent Hill: Revelation” proves that fame and money doesn’t last.
“Silent Hill: Revelation” doesn’t always make sense in the context of its own mythology, and the set-up feels more like a cheap horror sequel from the early 90s than as impressive as it could have been. It’s an unoriginal missed opportunity that reeks of terrible dialogue and a nonsensical plot.
Sadly, the revelation in this film is that it’s not very good. At all.