Silent Hill: Revelation is not a good movie. At all. I had to get that out there first things first. In fact, it is a god-awful movie. Much like The Crow: City of Angels, though, it has it’s share of gorgeous and macabre visuals to keep you entertained throughout. In fact, even though the film is steeped in CGI garishness, I found the visuals to be striking and found myself somewhat absorbed in the world it attempts to create. While the script is incredibly weak and the film feels small, for all of it’s over the top garishness, it is a beautiful film to behold; that is if you enjoy the darker and more macabre side of cinema.
The film is a direct sequel to the 2006 film, Silent Hill. This film is directed by Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane, Deathwatch) and he proves, yet again, that he knows how to film a small budget film with heavy doses of CGI and special effects. I constantly found myself surprised and amazed by how well he directed the special effects and the actors did a fine job of reacting to something that really wasn’t there.
The film begins in a nightmare state for Heather as she has a confrontation with Alessa (also portrayed by Adelaide Clemens). She then wakes up and has another nightmare. After the second, she gets an early birthday present from her father, Harry (Sean Bean), and then off to school she goes, where she meets Vincent (Kit Harrington). After she goes to the mall to meet her father, a private detective is murdered and she meets up with Vincent who escorts her home, only to find that her father has been kidnapped and the bloody writing on the wall says ‘Come to Silent Hill’. So, off she and Vincent go, to the town her father said to never go to.
The plot is really by the numbers here. Don’t go to Silent Hill. I have to go to Silent Hill. Uh oh, Silent Hill is not a good place to be. Let’s run around in a straight line until we discover what’s really going on. It is actually pretty standard stuff, despite the often disturbing sight of some of the creatures in town. I do have to say, though, that this film actually had a creature that was clever and I would have never thought of, let alone thought I would see. It is a gigantic spider made out of mannequin parts. It was creepy and more than a little disturbing . . .Also, it was super cool. If I never remember the plot or anything else about the film, I will always remember that mannequin spider *shudders*.
While I mentioned earlier that the actors did a fine job acting against a green screen, their actual acting was pretty bad. Even the always reliable Sean Bean phones it in here. When you consider that this film also stars Carrie Ann Moss and Malcolm McDowell and Debra Kara Unger and a brief appearance by Radha Mitchell, all of whom are usually pretty solid actors, you would expect some solid acting. That is not at all what you get. Only Malcolm McDowell makes use of his brief role and is actually convincing. Yeah, don’t go into this thinking you are going to get some Oscar caliber acting. You will be sorely disappointed.
For a low budget sequel to a film that a lot of people didn’t like, I think they managed to pull it off somewhat well. While the plot is by the numbers and the acting is bad, the special effects really save the day. If you like excessive CGI, that is. I usually don’t go for the overabundance of CGI in my films, but in this case, it actually created things I have never seen in a film before (I’m looking at you mannequin spider!). While not all of it was good CGI, the majority was very impressive. The practical effects on the nurses, the faceless men, and Pyramid Head was also very well done.
If you are looking for a film that wants to be a stranger Hellraiser, but really is nowhere near as good, you might actually enjoy this. I felt it was a bit over long, though. While it is not pure trash, it really isn’t very good. Come for the special effects. And the mannequin spider. That’s really all it has going for it.
*1/2 out of ****
- Silent Hill Revelation (2012) (scareforscreams.wordpress.com)
- Monster mash: Silent Hill Revelation’s strange brilliance (malcolmchandler.wordpress.com)
- Quick Film Review: Silent Hill Revelation (derochedecibel.wordpress.com)