DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: Complete Darkness

Listen to the PODCAST I co-host: Hosts in the Shell

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Film Review: Silent Hill

Silent Hill (15)
Dir. Christophe Gans

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Aarrrrgghhh!! It’s horrible… No, please not another horror film based on a video game! But yes, here comes Silent Hill stumbling in the stagnant, stench filled footsteps of Doom and House of The Dead, easy money for a cynical Hollywood milked from fans of the games.

But wait, what’s this? Something isn’t right; it’s just made more the $20million in its first weekend. It has a cool French director (Christophe ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Gans) and a credible gorgeous actress in the lead role (Radha ‘Man on Fire’ Mitchell). Add a wonderful cinematic sense of nightmare dark, deeply foreboding atmosphere, introduce some spot on representations of the games’ creatures that defy logic and twist reason – and then stand well back because Silent Hill is a blood soaked mutant’s head and shoulders better than it has any right to be.
Does that make it a great film? No, not really. But what it does mean is that this is one creepy, skin-crawling horror film that gently manipulates you psychologically rather than opting for any jump – where did that zombie spring from type scares.

I must warn you though that if you haven’t played the Silent Hill games then there’s a good chance that you’ll not have the foggiest idea what the hell is going in after the first half an hour. That’s basically because Silent Hill is a ‘foggy hell’ where nothing is right and everything is tainted with a look and feel all its own.
The plot is that plucky mother Rose (Mitchell) is searching the cursed town of Silent Hill for her missing daughter Sharon (nicely played by young Jodelle Ferland). Sean Bean is on hand but offered little to do as Sharon’s father and Laurie Holden plays a gun totting motorcycle cop – in that most unenviable of roles as ‘heroic but ultimately expendable friend of the hero’.
The town itself looks amazing, a persistent raining white fog of ash gives it a superbly ‘other worldly feel’, I was really surprised at how good almost every frame looked. The special effects of the demonic creatures are suitably grizzly even if the levels of gore do veer wildly over the top at points – strong stomachs required…
So not a film for the faint hearted, but a slow burning nightmare that at least tries hard to do justice to the source material and might just change your mind about video game adaptations.

Darkmatt Rating: ööö (flawed but worthy - if you like you movies sick)

"Silent Hill's health service = you might want to consider going 'private'"

Earlier post about Silent Hill which includes alternative artwork and link to 10 minute preview



Tom Wade said...

I swear I dated one of those girls in that last picture... Definately the girl on the right - she was a great kisser.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Nice review! I'm looking forward to seeing this one on Thurs. night. I've seen so many stinkers lately that I don't have super high expectations for this one. My hope is just to enjoy the visuals, be slightly creeped out, and have fun.

Nice simultaneously creepy and sexy movie ad there!

Anonymous said...

Oh Matt... you nailed it with this review, how come you see films as they really are - unlike so many of the other so called 'critics'?

Tom Wade said...

Matt is that last post you in disguise?!

Matt Adcock said...

Oh Tom, you mean it wasn't you? I'm not actually that sad despite what you might have heard!!
Could you check if it was Gill? Perhaps she had an uncontrollable desire to big up my reviewing style? Whoever it was you've got to admit that they have a point!!

Carl V. Anderson said...

Went and saw it tonight and it was great fun! It had its flaws but the visuals were fantastic and the sound was a character in and of itself that really enhanced the mood of the film. I'm really pleased with what Gans did overall. The very end was a bit weak and vague, but that isn't unusual in the horror film genre.