'Silent Hill: Revelation' (2012) An Angrily Confused Movie Review
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Taking A Look Back…
There is a video game that I am personally a fan of called Dead By Daylight, which recently gave a small resurgence to the Silent Hill franchise by including a new chapter pertaining to the property. Because of this fresh revisit to the Silent Hill title, I was inspired to re-watch the theatrical films that were released in 2006 and 2012. Without any prior knowledge of the Silent Hill video game license, I thought it would be fun to give a critique from my own perspective of the movies as I have never truly played any of the video games before.
- 'Silent Hill' (2006) A Cursed Movie Review
One of many video game-movie adaptations in a long line of disappointments. Although, is 2006's 'Silent Hill' actually a diamond in the ruff? How about we talk about it and see what value we can find here?!
With the first flick, I remembered my initial reaction being relatively underwhelming as I originally found it to be more ‘style over substance’. Upon my latest viewing of the 2006 Silent Hill feature, my first time watching it again in almost a decade, I was pleasantly surprised with gorgeously gruesome visuals and a house of horrors adventure that I had a lot of fun with. So much so that when it came time to pop in the 2012 sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation, I was legitimately excited to hopefully find another surprise entry like the first movie. Especially since I remember when I had watched the sequel back in 2012, I thought it was a hot pile of garbage. Now after finally revisiting the sequel, I can say with full certainty that it is still hot garbage!
As I have already declared previously, I have no prior knowledge of the Silent Hill video games whatsoever. Therefore, I will not be comparing and/or contrasting the similarities or differences between the two properties. This is not a review of how the 2012 feature holds up as an adaptation, this will be critiqued strictly on its own merits as a form of cinematic entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less. So I apologize to anyone who may be searching for a critic who would discuss more on the source material, but unfortunately that won’t be happening in this article. Please do not read my review from the point of view of someone who has played any of the video games, but rather a general moviegoer.
Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens), formally known as Cheryl Mason and Sharon Da Silva and Alessa Gillespie, is haunted by strange visions of a town called Silent Hill. Currently she remains in hiding with her adoptive father Harry Mason (Sean Bean), formally known as Christopher Da Silva, as they move from place to place while taking on different identities to stay unnoticed by those searching for them.
Now their demons have come back to haunt them, as residents of Silent Hill have kidnapped Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa’s adoptive father and it is up to her to rescue him. On her journey to save her father, Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa is drawn into a strange alternate dimension of hellish degrees where nightmarish monsters plague every corner.
For anyone currently reading my review who isn’t aware of my newfound admiration for the 2006 film’s narrative containing a solidly unpredictable journey reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland tale meets Hellraiser, know that was one of the movie’s biggest strengths and defining characteristics. All issues aside, the first movie provided an exciting world to explore with a cool and horrific monster to encounter continuously throughout the runtime with a perfectly brisk pace. And it absolutely pains me to say that there isn’t a single ounce seen from those qualities anywhere within Revelation as it is an hour and a half long cluster-f*ck that somehow spends 95% of the runtime explaining everything yet nothing simultaneously. The first film is a living nightmare in one of the best ways a horror flick can be while the sequel is a nightmare of script writing in general.
Starting out on one of horror’s most obnoxious modern clichés to date, a dream sequence to kick off the trivial frights to be had while including one of the lamest jump scares I’ve ever seen in a movie; the moment I’m referring to is when our lead Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa is hiding from mysterious baddies hunting her down in a strange looking carnival, only for her to stare at what appears to be a dead person inside a giant bunny-rabbit costume. Just staring at the bunny head for a prolonged period of time as it is horribly telegraphed of what is obviously going to happen. She’ll keep staring and staring and staring as all audio drains out of the scene until “out of nowhere” the bunny head will turn to look at her with the loud boogedy-boo jump scare music stinger erupting into our eardrums. How freaking original!
Before anyone says anything, yes, I know the rabbit costume and carnival setting are references to the third game. Along with probably everything else I’ll be touching on in my review. I don’t give a sh*t. The movie still needs to be good, not a giant incoherent 90 minute reference.
However, do not fret for anyone worried that the clichés will cease once the opening dream sequence has ended. No, no, no. Following the generic dream sequence is yet another fake-out mini dream sequence with yet another lame jump scare! I know, I know what everyone is thinking… “Yay! I’m so glad we’re extending this tired trope out even longer than necessary just so we can get as many failed attempts at scaring the audience as possible!” It’s what we’ve all been looking forward to, I’m sure. To be wildly disappointed in a film within the very first minute of screen time is truly what horror is all about, right? If only films like The Exorcist or The Shining would just get on Silent Hill: Revelation’s level of terror, then maybe they’d have something going for them. Pfft… “Masterpieces” my ass! Revelation is where it’s at, people!!
After the obligatory dream jump scare sequences, plus a lengthy bout of exposition dumping between father and daughter about information they already know, we now get our… “Explanation” of how Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa made it back from Silent Hill? So, if anyone remembers, the first movie closes on a slightly ambiguous and rather bleak note for our leads as they appear to be trapped in a ghostly alternate reality with no signs of returning back to their own. Apparently in order for the sequel’s screenplay to rectify this issue, the audience is thrusted sporadically into a flashback of Sean Bean being visited by the spirit of his wife through a mirror telling him how she found a magic thingy that will send their adopted daughter back to him.
Here is where our troubles begin and this scene is a shining example of where this movie goes horrendously wrong throughout the remainder. Awkwardly editing in a forced exposition splooge that actually raises more questions than answers. What is this magic seal? Where did Rose find this? How did she find this? How did she figure out how to use it and transport their daughter back to the realm of the living? How is Rose able to facetime through mirrors? Why couldn’t she transport with her daughter, aside from the fact that actress Radha Mitchell wanted nothing to do with this sequel? Who are these people she’s referring to that want their daughter? Because in the first movie, everyone who supposedly wanted her was killed off. That was practically the whole point of the 2006 movie was to get these people dead by the vengeful spirit of Alessa, right? So how the f*ck is she missing a few on the murder list?! It’s as though I’m missing an entire sequel in between the first and second movie!
Let the Cycle Commence!
At this point is the real start of this script’s formulaic routine; unloading tons of exposition that goes in one ear and out the other, then having our lead character either running away from something or towards something, which will inevitably result in a typical and cringe inducing telegraphing of jump scares. Wash, rinse, repeat. That is the entire movie and it is ridiculously tedious for it! Growing a tired and entirely stale screenplay to unfold over and over again, rather than ever supplying a single fright to be had. And most certainly not providing a coherent plot for that matter as we’re constantly on the go with overlong ramblings and annoying jump scares throughout.
Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa going to school involves a hobo jump scare, her having a rant at the classroom about her life’s story on moving from place to place, a hallway jump scare, and the introduction to a private detective subplot that goes absolutely nowhere real fast. Oh, we also can’t forget the inclusion of the young heartthrob love interest that wedges his way into our lead’s story. More on that later. By the way, none of what I just mentioned feels like any proper build up for tension or character development. It’s simply a bunch of useless information to cram down the viewer’s throat while lazily attempting to scare them with completely random sequences spliced into the nothingness going on.
Then after the one-class school day, Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa decides that it’s time to go to the mall and wait for her dad to pick her up. Only problem being that her dad gets himself kidnapped by a mysterious cult while Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa suffers from nightmarish visions as the private investigator from earlier, played by Martin Donovan, is tracking her down. After an onslaught of the headache worthy jump scare sequence, the P.I. corners Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa in the basement of the mall… Not sure why this girl thought going into a secluded dark room was the best route for evading her pursuer, but alright. Anyways, the P.I. begins to pretty much explain every single detail about how and why he’s there as he was hired on by the mysterious cult of Silent Hill to track her down. After the P.I. realized who they were and what their intentions were, he apparently continued to pursue Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa which resulted in revealing her location to the cult… Idiot.
Alright, back to the giant bouts of dialog that supposedly is supposed to explain everything only creating even more questions. How did the people trapped in the ghost dimension of Silent Hill hire a private detective? Why did they even bother hiring him? As it is revealed later on that Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa’s love interest, Vincent, is actually in cahoots with the Silent Hill cult, so what the hell use do they even have for an investigator searching for this girl when they have already seemingly found this girl?! Also, my biggest confusion on the matter, how the hell did they pay for this guy? What money are they making in the ghost world in order to pay for a private detective??!! Is the rent cheap in the afterlife? So many questions with no answers at all.
No worries though, we don’t have any time to ask these questions about Mr. P.I. since he’s killed off approximately twenty seconds later by a Cenobite assassin. I am so glad that this was a character that was introduced with such rich writing… After that important waste of screen time, we get yet another few minutes of Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa running away from spooky sh*t. Following suit immediately we’re right back on the exposition train between Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa and her new boy toy, Vincent. As though Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa didn’t just witness a murder and crazy ass hallucinations only moments prior as she becomes far more focused on chit chatting with the new stud in her life.
Normally in my reviews I try touching on one subject at a time; such as starting off discussing the story, moving along into the acting, the editing, and so on. In this case, I can’t wait that long because it needs to be said right now, both the characters of Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa and Vincent share absolutely no on screen chemistry with one another even remotely. Probably doesn’t help matters that actors Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harington are so unsuccessfully fighting to cover their Australian and British accents respectively. Because these two characters have little to no personality, are awkwardly stilted in their line delivery, and have zero romantic spark with one another I am constantly in dread of them speaking to each other as I’m stuck in a total dead zone of acting.
From what I understand, both are very talented actors with respectable work behind their careers… It’s too bad that no one would ever be able to tell from the performances going on in this abysmal game of ‘Who Can Do the Worst American Accent?’. Admittedly, I do feel guilty ripping into these two skilled actors as they clearly deserve better. Unfortunately I can only critique what I get from the selected film itself and not base my thoughts on any other examples when critiquing their craft. With that said, I do recommend seeking out other titles under both Clemens’s and Harrington’s filmography as they do show great work in front of the camera when the movie isn’t Silent Hill: Revelation.
Where I Draw the Line
A major reason why I have such an issue with these two leads, aside from the fact that they’re the leads and are failing at leading the picture, is that there are significant plot contrivances formed from their relationship within the screenplay. Initially we are led to believe that the Vincent character is a completely normal kid who is also new to town, like Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa, so he begins attempting to befriend her. That’s fine. Regardless of the concept not being well executed as the actors don’t share any romantic spark, the idea is still fine I guess. Then the movie forces the situation where Vincent so happens to be willing to help this total stranger he just met that very day, Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa, with escaping from the police and driving her to a faraway town where supposedly her father is being held captive.
Most, if not all, dudes in that exact situation who aren’t thinking with their d*ck would immediately say that the best thing to do is to consult with the police about how obviously her father has been kidnapped by a weird ass cult and they can deal with the rest. Nope, nothing of logic will be happening in this picture as we’re supposed to believe this guy is completely fine with an absurd plan to rescue her dad from a parallel dimension while on the run from the cops. Fine. Whatever. It’s stupid and highly illogical, but I’ll accept it because the screenwriter wants these two teens to bang. Fine. Although then shortly later comes the twist that Vincent was a resident of the ghost dimension of Silent Hill all along, but has fallen madly in love with Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa and knows that there is no way she’s as evil as his mom said she is… Now I’m drawing my line in the f*cking sand here. I call bull sh*t.
The Vincent Problem
First of all, Vincent is not in love with Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa; he simply wants to f*ck her. There is not a single line of dialog between these two characters that could ever convince me in a million years that they could even be friends, let alone are romantically interested in one another. No. They want to screw each other’s brains out and regret everything approximately nine months later. Don’t f*cking lie to me, movie!
Secondly, I’m supposed to believe this young male model looking dude who is constantly cracking jokes and references Facebook is actually from a ghost dimension where they are permanently trapped in the 1970s while terrorized daily by horrendous creatures who horrifically mutilate the inhabitants? Are you f*cking kidding me right now with this sh*t?! There are a lot of stupid concepts I can accept in the realms of horror and sci-fi, however this is impossible to digest. I don’t care how big one’s suspension of disbelief might be, if someone comes out of Revelation claiming they fully bought that Vincent had ever stepped foot in the hellish town of Silent Hill prior to this story taking place then they’re lying their ass off! If they believe it to be true then the same moviegoer must claim that Kyle Reese is just overreacting when it comes to Terminators.
Thirdly, how is it so easy to get out of Silent Hill in this movie and why don’t the people trapped in the ghost town just leave?? Seriously, the whole point of this strange purgatory was because a little girl was wronged and so she punished the town’s inhabitants by imprisoning them in this nightmare of another dimension where they could never escape. Yet somehow in this sequel, there are countless ways to get out of there. Multiple ways that the people of this town are fully aware of yet for whatever reason stay because… Reasons? I guess?! Yes, one of the forms of transporting themselves out of there involves bodily harm with an end result of a gnarly looking tattoo. But compared to being ripped apart piece by piece or have their skin torn from their body, I’d say the giant gross symbol on one’s chest is a small price to pay to get the hell out of there! Stupid. Absolutely f*cking stupid.
Fourthly, why did they bother sending Vincent? He’s clearly an idiot and for whatever reason is not brainwashed with the same cult mentality as the people of Silent Hill. Supposedly his mission was to convince Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa to go to Silent Hill, but… They kidnapped her dad and left a note saying to go to Silent Hill. I don’t think she needed any more convincing. If that was their plan all along, what the hell is the point of Vincent? Did they know she needed a ride so the cult leader supplied her son to be the designated driver? Wait… How does he know how to drive a car? Where did he learn this ability?
How does Vincent even know what a car is because it’s not like there were any functioning vehicles in the first movie. How was he able to afford a car? Did the Silent Hill cult also buy Vincent a car with those deep ghost pockets that they bought a private investigator with? How and why did he enroll in school? This all literally goes down in the span of a day yet they went through the trouble of enrolling him in Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa’s school and even her same classes just so they could basically kidnap her a few hours later? How long has Vincent even been in our reality? I’m assuming it must have been for some months seeing how he’s clearly become so acclimated into a world without hulking bastards with giant Pyramid shaped heads roaming around trying to murder him and now knows what Facebook is, of course. Again, more questions than answers.
Only 40 Minutes In…
Not even halfway through discussing the film and I’ve already written practically two articles worth of me b*tching about it. I’d just like to say at this point of my review, for anyone sticking with me for this long, thank you. And also, you’re nuttier than me if you’re reading all my whining about a movie. Get yourself checked out by a psychiatrist. Thanks again!
Now Entering Silent Hill
Well, here it is. We’ve done it. We’ve made it back into the disturbing and brutal world of Silent Hill once again, which was undeniably a major highlight of the first movie. Can we gain a little bit of that magic once again here? Let’s cut to the chase and say, no. No we can’t. It’s still all dog sh*t. Why though? Why can’t we recapture that lightning in a bottle that was so thoroughly enjoyable from this sequel’s predecessor? For starters; the overwhelming sense of dread, every frame oozing with atmosphere, and astonishing attention to detail within the artful macabre is no longer present in this follow-up. The Silent Hill seen in this sequel honestly doesn’t even feel like the same nightmare inducing town from the original film for most of the runtime as the aesthetic somehow looks wildly cheaper and more horribly dated in its CG effects work than the original which is actually six years older; a mind-bending conundrum in and of itself.
Another reason why this visit back to Silent Hill doesn’t work is because the journey is entirely random! In my re-evaluation of the 2006 feature, I truthfully found much enjoyment from the unpredictable nature of the journey through Silent Hill since I was never certain exactly what terrifying creature was lurking around the next corner to attack our leads. In the sequel, however, I had the complete opposite effect as I didn’t give a rat’s ass what was going to happen next since it constantly made insane rules up on the fly and I was always expected to role with it. Sadly, I was never able to enjoy the ride. The first film was a delightfully twisted fever dream of an Alice in Wonderland tale with the terrifying visuals of Hellraiser. The second film tries to replicate that same tone and creepy sense of adventure, but it never came together.
To me, there’s a major difference between a film being unpredictable and one being random. The first movie crafted an unpredictable narrative to follow as we were as lost and confused as our hero. The second movie tries far too hard to inject as much explanation as possible to thoroughly elaborate on the world we’re exploring, but it’s too much insane information within such a short amount of time that it makes absolutely no sense and I don’t care an ounce about why or how anything in this world works anymore. Plus, it’s still as though we are getting all the explanation possible for the topics that don’t matter at all yet are left with a hundred questions as to why certain events are transpiring.
For instance, we’ll get a full blown flashback sequence about Alessa’s birth mother with no new information given that wasn’t already known from the first movie. Yet out of nowhere in the next scene we’ll get a random five minute sequence involving young women being held captive in a storage room that are being turned into mannequins for some unknown reason by a terribly rendered CG mannequin monster. Why? Who are these people? Why did this happen? Why are we here? What is this all about and why am I supposed to care?! Too f*cking bad we’ll never know!
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
After the pointless mannequin scene, which disappointingly did not involving either Andrew McCarthy or Kim Cattrall, we’re treated to more exposition of crap we already know; Vincent is in trouble with his cult leader mommy because he disagrees about Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa being evil, cult leader mommy is a member of the town which created Alessa’s hate filled curse to plague Silent Hill, Sean Bean is being held captive against his will, blah blah blah. Following that though we are back on the train of confusion with a tasty little cameo by a blind and nutty Malcolm McDowell in an insane asylum, for some reason. As he supposedly explains what this seal is that was used to transport Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa back to the real world. Only problem being that his explanation is him shoving the seal into his chest and turning into a roid-raging version of Slender Man… What? How? Why? Who even cares?
Whatever, I guess. This apparently unlocks the next level for Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa so she can continue on her quest with her completed Seal of Whatchamacallit. If it means getting closer to the end credits, fine. Although without any explanation, Pyramid Head pops out of nowhere to start cutting off the arms of the inmates of the asylum. Please don’t ask why… It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters anymore. Pyramid Head is gone faster than he arrived on screen anyways.
Let’s just move on to the sexy murder nurses, who are sexy and gross and murderous as ever. That being said, their inclusion makes even less sense than when they were randomly chilling in a basement in the first flick. Why do I say this? Well, Vincent is sent by Mommie dearest to the mental hospital where Pyramid Head chops off limbs and crazy McDowells run ramped. Supposedly this was the only place to “cure” him… Sure. Anyways, so in order to “cure” young naïve Vincent I guess involves two henchmen taking the boy into the one room in the entire asylum that has psycho killing nurses who attack anything that makes a sound, resulting in the two henchmen being killed off immediately and leaving young Vincent strapped into a gurney to either die by starvation or faceless zombie nurses that mindlessly stab away. If you’re asking why this is a thing that’s happening then you’ve clearly not caught onto the fact that the movie doesn’t care and neither should anyone else. But if you must know, it’s for fan service and to shove in another underwhelmingly confusing five minutes of “suspense.” Oh so scary.
To the Carnival!
Alright, moment of truth here, I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to anything involving creepy carnival-like visuals. I don’t know why, but it’s safe to say that I’m obviously a Tim Burton fan. Too bad even for a sucker like me, I was still utterly annoyed at when our leads randomly show up to a creepy carnival and there wasn’t a modicum of horror to be found. Yes, I understand that the carnival setting was heavily prevalent in the third game, I do not care. It felt like a lazy excuse to shoehorn in a creepy carnival aesthetic just to have it, nothing more. It was extremely weak and fed me nothing from the experience, it’s simply random without taking any advantage of the possible cool visuals to explore. Although it’s yet another sequence that only lasts five minutes and for some reason the dark version of Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa shows up looking like a Juggalo. Which soon results in a hug off between the light and dark versions while riding a carousel surrounded by CGI fire? Oh, and Pyramid Head is operating the ride. I don’t know why this happened. But it happened. And then it stopped happening, which was nice.
We Still Have 15 Minutes Left…
Why do we still have fifteen minutes left? Why can’t this just be over with already? I know that we haven’t resolved anything, but does anyone care to? How about we let this die? That sounds perfectly fine to me. No need for a resolution or an ending, we’ve wasted more than enough valuable time to continue on this redundant cluster f*ck. Maybe we can make up our own ending, like Sean Bean turned into RoboCop and simply shot everyone in the head. The end! Doesn’t that sound fantastic? I like that idea. Can we do this instead of the actual ending? Please? No… Okay. Fine. Let’s get this over with.
The… End?Click thumbnail to view full-size
The fiery hug off of death is over and we now enter the real climax of the picture. Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa meets up with the evil Silent Hill cult and her chained up Sean Bean daddy down in an underground city that lies below the carousel… Because of course it does. And now all things are revealed for what they truly are; Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa needed to discover the Seal of ‘Who gives a sh*t’ which she so happened to find in her dad’s junk box and bring it into Silent Hill to make it whole again by shoving it inside of Malcolm McDowell, then also defeat Juggalo Alessa by hugging her to death so that she may give birth to a new God… Moving on. As a result of Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa birthing a new God will somehow mean that she will free the residents of Silent Hill so they may wreak havoc or “cleanse people of their sins” as the cult leader puts it… Even though there is literally dozens of ways to escape from Silent Hill, I don’t know why they don’t pick a less convoluted one.
What a Twist?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Turns out not all is as it seems, Heather/Cheryl/Sharon/Alessa tricks the cult leader into “revealing who she truly is” and it turns out the Silent Hill cult leader Mommie dearest was the Cenobite assassin from earlier all along! Dun, dun, dun!! So what does this mean, you ask?! I have no f*cking clue. Who is this Cenobite looking assassin? What is she? Does this mean she’s a demon? Does this mean the evil person is somehow more evil? Does this matter? No. None of this matters. Stop asking questions, we’re getting close to ridding ourselves of this crap.
To the Other Fiery Climax
Surrounded by fire once again, we find ourselves in the middle of another climax with Pyramid Head showing up as the hero we don’t deserve or need right now, but the script demands it. Mr. Pyramid Head faces off against Cult Leader Cenobite in a mostly unimpressive fight filled with sloppy camera work and quick edits while sprinkling in a few lame slow motion shots on top. After that minute and a half is over with, Pyramid Head just awkwardly saunters off. Our heroes have made it through the hell of Silent Hill and are free to go home… Or are they?!
Yes, yes they are. With the exception of Sean Bean who decides that if his character won’t be killed off then he will trap himself in the ghost dimension to search for his long lost wife who is already probably dead while entrusting teenaged Vincent with taking care of his teenaged daughter… Because two teenagers completely on their own without any understanding of how the real world works are totally capable fending for themselves. No way this could turn out bad at all, they’re going to be just fine. Nothing to worry about here whatsoever! The end, everybody is f*cked.
Movie officially closes out on a sequel bait with a reference to one of the franchise’s games. Ha! Nice try, idiots. There will never be a sequel to this movie.
I know I ragged on the two young leads already, played by Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harington, as they were fairly weak and stilted in their acting. Although to be fair, everyone, including the veteran actors are stilted in their deliveries. From Carrie-Anne Moss to Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell, every cast member reads their lines as though they’re voicing an old video game. Which may have been a conscious choice by the director as a way of paying homage to that quirky performance style, however, what may work for a video game does not always work with live-action in front of the camera. That style can be charming in its own strange way when someone is playing a video game, however when that awkward and wooden line delivery is seen in a film it comes across as pretty bad and intolerable at times. Which is definitely the case here in Silent Hill: Revelation.
One of my few complaints about the first film was that the characters were particularly underwritten with awkward clumps of exposition sprinkled in, resulting in mostly uninteresting characters. Revelation makes the characters from the first movie appear as the most in-depth character studies imaginable because all that these characters are in the sequel are exposition bots. Their whole function is to explain every single thing in the world or get us from point A to point B so they can listen to even more explaining of nonsense. There isn’t even a hint of personality seen by anyone on screen, with the exception of Malcolm McDowell’s character, but he’s acting crazy so of course he’ll have something to him. Everyone else though, not so much as there are no true characters in this picture, only planks of wood that talk.
The Effects & VisualsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hands down, the single best element about the first film is the beyond stunningly gory and gruesome visuals with impressive special effects from both the practical and the digital side. Not going to lie, the creatively disturbing art direction and ambitious cinematography are truly what drew me into the first picture so much. Regardless of what anyone felt about the 2006 movie, there was no denying simply how gorgeously well made it was. Silent Hill: Revelation looks and feels like the direct-to-video sequel that miraculously made its way onto the big screen somehow. Revelation is an ugly looking picture through and through. Awful visual effects with most being created digitally and oddly looks worse than the special effects from its predecessor that is six years older. Most of the time, specifically within the ghostly ash covered town of Silent Hill, it legitimately looks like everyone is standing in front of a green screen; which really doesn’t make any sense, seeing how the town itself appears practically constructed.
Nothing visually remotely resembles the aesthetics of the original feature with the exception of the ghostly ash version of Silent Hill. Other than that, these feel like two completely different places when entering the ‘darker/more twisted’ version of the town filled with murderous creatures. The sets feel different, the monster and gore designs feel different with the exception of Pyramid Head and the nurses obviously. Nothing feels quite right or in sync with the first movie. Such as with the mannequin monster coming across as a completely separate tone from what was established in the first film; with the first film’s tone, it set a very grounded and visceral visual style in terms of the gory looking creature designs and the violence where they could feasibly exist in our own reality, making the journey through Silent Hill so intense to behold. Supplying a very human quality to the terror of suffering. While in this sequel, it sets its footing within a slightly more fantastical direction as we see a person’s body generically phase into plastic and we see a spider monster comprised of mannequin parts. This type of horror doesn’t feel remotely plausible in the way the first film achieved and therefore didn’t accomplish that same sense of horror. Or any sense of horror to be honest.
Examples from the 2006 MovieClick thumbnail to view full-size
Examples from the 2012 MovieClick thumbnail to view full-size
The sequel completely misses the mark in terms of style and tone which made the first film so enjoyable. In the first movie, I felt an overwhelming aura of dread and suspense from exploring its bizarrely twisted world. In Revelation, I snicker at Cenobite assassin chick appearing as though she’s smiling at the camera like an idiot or the mannequin monster with the horribly rendered CG job used to create it. Some of the gore on occasion can look okay, for instance when Pyramid Head is cutting off the arms of inmates at the asylum or when the private detective’s fingers get cut off. Most of the time though, it looks like cheap and lazy CGI that only separates itself visually more so from the original. Although even a lot of the makeup work looks confusingly cheap and lazy, such as with the dark version of Alessa looking like a teen goth girl getting ready for Halloween rather than an evil spirit with murderous rage. Long story short, the quality of effects work are relatively lame.
Throughout the movie, I was reminded consistently that this was theatrically released as a 3D flick as there were several camera angles utilized to contain something flying towards the camera. To me, that aspect is a lot of fun when a 3D movie is especially gimmicky with its 3D quality. To me, that is the best kind of 3D and I could tell that these angles used would look extremely awesome if I were able to watch the movie in 3D as intended. Even without the 3D present, I was at least able to enjoy seeing those fun camera shots from time to time when they popped up. I’m a sucker for those types of flicks, my favorite 3D movie is Friday the 13th Part III, so of course I’d praise even a bad movie like Silent Hill: Revelation on at least adding some fun elements like the 3D gimmick to the experience. I don’t think that the 3D would have ever saved this movie for me, but if I were able to see it in 3D then I would at the very least have some visual eye candy to munch on for a few minutes.
Bad. Really, really bad. I’m sorry, but what else is there to say? I’ve literally written an over six thousand word explanation of why this movie is bad. The screenplay is a mess of epic proportions with no sense of solid pacing or world building or suspense, only heavy bouts of random exposition and irritating jump scares. The acting is misguided in its stilted and awkward direction. Visually speaking, looks horrendously cheap and uninspired while failing to recapture the spirit of the 2006 film. Almost everything about this hunk of crap is bafflingly incoherent. Somehow the original movie is approximately 40 minutes longer than the sequel, yet the sequel feels like so much more of a slog to sit through. It’s insane and I’m ready to be rid of this nonsense. If anyone out there is curious about Silent Hill then maybe try out playing the games or stick with the 2006 film, skip Revelation. I promise that the only revelation to be found in this movie is looking back on your life to realize you wasted an hour and half that could have gone into literally anything else other than the misery of this picture.
Worst Silent Hill Adventure
Which 'Silent Hill' game/movie is your LEAST favorite?
That’s All Folks…
Silent Hill: Revelation… It’s atrocious! What do you think though? Like or dislike? Agree or disagree? What do you believe to be the worst film adaptation of a video game? Comment down below and let me know! Also if you so happened to have enjoyed my review then please do me a favor and share this article around the social media world. Thank you all so much for reading and have yourselves a revelation of a day!
© 2020 John Plocar