Silent Hill: Revelation 3D movie full length review - As an enormous fan of the video-game franchise, and a huge fan of the first film... This was a slap in the face! Shame on the production team! This is NOT "Silent Hill"...
It took me five minutes. I counted 'em. Five minute to realize that I was being slapped-in-the-face by a production team and a writer/director who not only fundamentally misunderstood the "Silent Hill" franchise.
.. they seemed to think it was the exact opposite of what it really is. "Silent Hill" is not mindless gore. It's not cheap, "Matrix"-style martial-arts fights between actors caked in monster-makeup. It's not cheap gross-out scenes and endless, phoned-in jump-scares. It's not non-step special effects with no story. But that's what this film is.
This is not "Silent Hill."
"Silent Hill" is provocative. It's emotional. It's deep-seeded, psychological horror. It's fundamental human drama!
I say it again. This B-movie trash is NOT "Silent Hill."
Michael J. Basset writes (and I use that term loosely) and directs (again, loosely) this sequel to Christophe Gans' far superior 2006 film "Silent Hill." Starring Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, Kitt Harrington and featuring supporting roles by the likes of Malcolm McDowel and Carrie-Anne Moss, this should have been a solid film.
Taking place several years after the original film, we discover Sharon De Silva was miraculously returned from the "Dark World" to her father (Sean Bean) by her mother Rose, through the use of some sort of talisman. The two have assumed the identities of Harry and Heather Mason, and have moved around the past few years, never staying in one place too long.
Pretty-darned-quickly (and I mean, way too quickly and forced into the shaky narrative), Chris/Harry is abducted from his apartment and Heather/Sharon is forced to team up with high-school pretty-boy Vincent (Harrington) to travel to Silent Hill to recover him from a cult, and various nasty creatures.
This film is garbage.
For starters, I will say that there are a few nifty things about this film. Some of the production and creature design is nice, and the soundtrack (courtesy of series veteran Akira Yamaoka) is fantastic. But that's where it ends.
This film fails hard for the aforementioned complete misunderstanding of the "Silent Hill" franchise, and for Bassett's atrociously mis-guided and poorly thrown-together script and direction.
First, the script. This film has one of the most poorly-paced and poorly-thought-out scripts of the decade. There is no narrative structure to be had. Scenes casually begin, continue with some of the most horribly robotic dialog, and conclude on a whim without any sort of rhyme or reason. Characters are casually introduced and then immediately killed off. There is no sort-of growth or development in any of the characters. The script felt like a mish-mash of rough-draft scenes cobbled together from a dozen different creature-feature scripts. Bassett- hire another writer next time. Please.
The direction is pretty heinous. Some scenes are shot so nauseatingly casually with text-book film-school set-ups that they'll put you to sleep, whereas other scenes are shot like kinetic action-movies. It's so jarring to see how the visual style changes from scene to scene at times. And there is no subtlety. If there's a creature, by god, Bassett will shot them in bright light and closeups, to the point where everything begins to look fake, and you say to yourself "That's just bad CG" or "That's just a bad costume!" Terrible direction.
I will give Clemens and Bean credit, as they try to salvage decent performances from this sub-par material, but they cannot save the script or film. Other performances range from amusingly-bad to dreadful and embarrassing.
The cinematography, editing, production design and virtually all other aspects are pretty much sub-par, and cheap-looking. This film has the aesthetic and feel of a low-budget TV-movie.
But as I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the reason this film is just offensively bad is the fact it disregards, no, actually does the opposite of the series intent. This film is loaded with nothing but cheap, meaningless, insignificant gross-out gore and effects. There's literally a scene where we see fat people comically wolfing down hamburgers made of human meat, in a scene so hilariously awful, I had to leave the room for a minute to stop laughing. That sort of thing happens constantly in this film- cheap gore gags that have no deep meaning besides their desire to make us point at the screen and go "Ewww!"
"Silent Hill" is a perverse, deep, complex, mind-bending video-game franchise. It's not the sort of series to use cheap tactics like this. If "Silent Hill" is going to have a gory moment, or a sexually-themed moment, it's because of the characters and story calling for it, and it's going to be done with as much taste as possible.
Ah, taste. That's a term our director and the producers apparently know nothing about.
"Silent Hill: Revelation" is among the year's worst films. Shame on producer Samuel Hadida. Shame on writer/director Michael J. Bassett. Shame on everyone involved. A 2 out of 10, and that's being extremely generous, just as a fan.
EDIT: After re-watching the film, I decided to bump up my score to a 3 out of 10. My issues with it still stand, but a 3 out of 10 seems more appropriate, as the film does have some strengths.