Posted on November 7, 2012 AT 09:39am
I would like to start this review off by saying that while I was excited to see Silent Hill: Revelation, at no point did I expect it to actually be any good. The lore and intrigue of the Silent Hill game franchise was enough for me to see it in theaters. And if I’m being honest, I really liked the first movie and was curious to see what they did to continue where it had left off. I thought at the very least it would have a cool look to it and maybe even be a bit scary if it was done right. Which it wasn’t.
Silent Hill: Revelation does an excellent job at making you think it knows exactly what it’s doing. By that I mean, visually the film has the look you want for an adaptation of the now classic survival horror franchise. The Silent Hill 3 video game is the obvious inspiration at a glance, if the wardrobe of the lead character doesn’t give it away instantly, the visuals of a nightmare carnival will. Lead actress Adelaide Clemens does a good enough job at filling the shoes of the game and movie protagonist Heather. The infamous Silent Hill Nurses as well as Pyramid Head are on hand to help push this little caboose of a movie along, and while they are certainly creepy, they aren’t enough to salvage this film. That’s about as far as you can go for rattling off the movies good points.
The storyline at best is completely cliché and feels as if the whole film was a giant improv experiment, without any of the humor you would expect to get from that. It’s cliché to the point that the character of a private investigator is wearing a trench coat and a Fedora, which I’m pretty sure has been a plot device played out since at least the 1950s. The dialogue sounds like it was either made up on the spot or no one took the time to practice their lines. Not that I was expecting a stellar performance from anyone, but it would have been nice to get the impression that they cared enough to try. Without giving away any spoilers it’s hard to adequately express just how many holes and “WTF” moments of confusion the plot holds for unsuspecting viewers. Let it be known that there is a plot twist and if the movie was made with even just a little bit more T.L.C. you could find yourself being surprised. Instead you end up cocking your head to the side and thinking, “Did they really just do that?”. As if the story doesn’t have a hard enough time pulling things out of thin air and making up bridges to place between the video games and itself, there’s also an awkward romance that’s just painful to watch. Yeah, if you’re thinking it doesn’t belong in that universe, you’re absolutely right.
One important thing to note is that this movie was released and filmed with the intent of being shown in 3D. I was unable to see it opening weekend, and instead went a week later. I checked four theaters and only found one showing the 3D version of the film and it wasn’t playing until late on a Sunday night. I opted to just see the movie in a normal format and thought that would work out fine. I was wrong. There are several gags (I say ‘gags’ because the movie is a joke) that are clearly meant to take advantage of the jump-out-and-grab-you style of 3D films… that we watched in the 90s. There’s even a point where a terribly placed blood splatter stays on the screen and drips just long enough for you to dramatically role your eyes. The creators of JAWS 3D wouldn’t have stooped so low and that’s saying something.
In short: save your money. Wait until 6 months from now when it’s playing on a movie channel for free. Wait until you’re lying on your couch, so sick that you had to call out of work or school, and have nothing else to do with your time . A fever may be just what Silent Hill: Revelation needs to be worth watching.
Score: 2 out of 5
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