Silent Hill
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for silent Hill can be found here.

When nine-year-old Sharon Da Silva (Jodelle Ferland), the adopted daughter of Rose (Radha Mitchell) and Christopher (Sean Bean) Da Silva, continues to suffer from sleepwalking episodes during which she screams ''Silent Hill!', Rose decides to take Sharon to Silent Hill, a amall town in West Virginia, desolated since a coal fire began burning (and is still burning) underground for the past 30 years. When Sharon goes missing after a car crash, Rose begins to search for her daughter. Accompanied by Officer Cybil Bennet (Laurie Holden), Rose must face a terrifying mystery.

Silent Hill the movie is an adaptation of a video game series also known asSilent Hill by the Tokyo-based Konami Corporation. The screenplay was written by Roger Avary, Christope Gans, and Nicolas Boukhrief. It was followed by Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012).

While the supernatural and religious elements of Silent Hill are fictional, the story of a town ravaged by the fires of its own mining industry is true. Centralia, Pennsylvania was a coal mining community of some 1,000 people. In 1962, a trash fire set in an abandoned mine site ignited a dormant vein of coal. Fumes from the underground blaze, cracks and sinkholes formed in the unstable earth, and other problems eventually led to the evacuation of the town. Although millions of dollars were spent trying to extinguish the blaze, it still burns beneath the town, making it nearly uninhabitable. Despite this fact, some residents, including the town's longtime mayor, remain firmly grounded in Centralia. Silent Hill screenwriter Roger Avary encountered the story of the town while working on revising the screenplay and incorporated elements of its history into the film.

A brazier knocked over during a religious ritual in November 1974 set the church on fire, which ignited the coal in the mines under the city. The mines have been burning ever since.

They are all aspects of Alessa, the nine year-old who was burned as a witch in 1974. Dahlia hid her child's badly-burned body and cared for her. Old Alessa is that same girl, now grown up. At some point, Old Alessa developed the ability to create two doppelgangers of herself. In one (Dark Alessa), she placed all her dark powers and desire for revenge. She then sent the other child (Sharon) into the outer world to be raised away from Silent Hill.

Alessa's father is unidentified. The mystery surrounding her paternity is a large part of why Alessa was singled out for persecution by the Cult.

In the film, Dark Alessa tells us that Sharon is "all that's left of (Alessa's) goodness." Simply put, Sharon has no human father. However, many viewers mistakenly leave the film with the impression that Colin, the Janitor, is her father because he is implied to have molested Alessa. If this were the case, then it follows that Sharon's birth should follow similarly natural circumstances. As is shown in the film, they do not. Alessa is assaulted by Colin, the Janitor, in 1974 when she was nine years old, shortly before her burning, and the concurrent burning of Silent Hill. The events of the film that we see take place 30 years later in 2004, during which Sharon is nine years old. This means Sharon was born in 1995. So for Sharon to be the product of the Janitor's assault on Alessa some 30 years earlier, it would mean that Alessa was able to conceive at age nine, which is statistically rare, and was somehow able to defy all of human history and remain pregnant for 21 years.

It has been stated by the director that the monsters are open to a variety of interpretations:


I think that every interpretation is possible. The easiest and most basic explanation of course is that the monsters are victims of the vengeance of Alessa. Grotesque figures of doomed people. People in hell. Another explanation is that they are hallucinations. Monsters coming from the psyche of the protagonists. eg: The Mumblers, small child like creatures ( that we call the Greychildren in the movie,) Harry Mason meets them as does Rose as they search for their little girls. They are not only the twisted figures that inhabit Silent Hill but the reflections of the fear and anxiety of these desperateparents.

The only concrete exception I have made in revealing the origins of a creature is a new monster we created called the Janitor. We see him as a human being (in the past), we see him dead (in the foggy world) and we see him as a monster (in the darkness.) This is one of the explanations of our work. I have said many times Silent Hill is a place where dimensions cross and you can exist in different manifestations. The Janitor is a great example of this concept.
In both the film and the games, monsters inhabit both the "Foggy" and "Otherworld" Dimensions of Silent Hill. After the transformation into the Otherworld takes place, their influence simply becomes stronger. Because very few scenes featuring the monsters in the "Foggy" Dimension made the final cut of the film, this may not be clear to a viewer without prior knowledge of the games.

While some viewers leave the film with that impression, the answer, according to director Christophe Gans, is that she is a doppelganger ("a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person") of Alessa herself:


"If we want to explain what happened with Alessa, we are dealing with the theme of doppelgangers. For every fan that has read the synopsis of the first game's story in the strategy guide of Silent Hill 3, they all know that we are dealing with doppelgangers--and it's a very cross-cultural concept, both Japan and Europe have this myth. But in Japan, it means that every character has aspects of a god and aspects of a devil inside them. It's a very shocking concept if we attempt to transpose that into a North American, traditionally Christian perspective. The line between good and evil is much more clearly in North America, especially today. And here we are dealing with a character who has the capacity to split, and when you realize that Alessa is no longer one character, but many, it explains the story of the town. It's interesting because the town itself mirrors this fractured psychology--different dimensions, different doubles of the same person." - Christophe Gans, Director, Silent Hill. Source here.

Gucci is supposed to have aged throughout the course of the film. The same actor was used, with only subtle makeup and hair changes to indicate he was younger (darker, thicker hair and smoother looking skin), shown in flashback and only briefly, thus creating confusion among some people with regards to this issue. There's no doubting Gucci is a real person functioning within a real Police Department. We have police statements from 1974, and interviews from 1995 that we see in the film, as well as characters that interact with and know him (the Nun, the police officers, and Cybil) all of whom would have noticed, and probably reacted, if he hadn't aged.

After rescuing Sharon from the cult and witnessing Alessa destroy them all, Rose and Sharon head back to their Jeep. On the way, they pass Dahlia who asks why Alessa didn't destroy her, too, and Rose explains, 'Because you're her mother. Mother is God in the eyes of a child.' With Sharon nestled in the back seat of the car, Rose drives out of silent Hill, easily crossing the gap in the road that had prevented them from leaving earlier. Along the way, Rose calls Chris to leave the message that she and Sharon are on their way home, but Chris can only hear static on his end of the line. Still hoping to hear from rose, Chris lays down on the couch to lay in the sunlight streaming through the windows. Still in a fog, Rose and Sharon finally arrive home. They come through the front door, leaving it open, and Rose sits down in a chair facing the couch where Chris is napping. It's evident that she doesn't see him sleeping there. Chris awakens and looks at the chairs across from him, but does not see Rose either. He gets up to close the front door, looking at the rain making the greenery bright and clean.

For the same reason they couldn't throughout the film. Christopher was unable to see Rose at Midwich Elementary, because they are on different 'dimensional levels.' The same is true at the film's end. Christopher's version of reality is what we perceive to be the "real world". Just as in that case, Rose opens doors in Christopher's world, but can't get in. Though many viewers have interpreted this scene to indicate that Rose is dead at the film's end, interviews with the director suggest that this may not be the case.

Fans of the game will immediately recognize the transition between the Foggy World of Silent Hill into the Otherworld as being controlled by Alessa. While in the game, Alessa created these transitions to preclude Harry Mason from stopping her from reuniting with Cheryl, Sharon's counterpart in the games, in order to foil Dahlia's plans, in the film they take on a darker meaning: they are said to be instances of Alessa trying to take her revenge on the Cult, as well as 'testing' Rose to see if she'll eventually assist her with her plight. Director Christophe Gans has commented that within the context of the film, the Foggy World represents Purgatory, and the Otherworld (or 'Darkness' as it is referred to in the film) represents Hell. Gans also remarked that the opening scene of Rose and Sharon napping under a tree represents a version of Paradise not shown in the game. This was influenced by his strong and, as yet, unfulfilled desire to have children. Gans also remarked that having Rose and Sharon leave this space at the movie's beginning is representative of "Paradise being lost".

Speculation abounds over what actually happens at the end of the film. While the director has stated that this is meant to be the first in a series of films, he has also said that the sequel be "unrelated to the events of the first film", and will most likely be an adaptation of the second Silent Hill game. From what's shown in the film, we can however deduce that Rose assisted Alessa in getting her revenge on the Cult, but as a result, she effectively ended her daughter's life, which was more accurately a "dream of life" which Dark Alessa tells us "must end". Sharon reunifies with her other self when she sees Dark Alessa ascend the ladder in the church balcony, despite her mother's warning to not open her eyes. This is evident at the end for three reasons: (1) The looks exchanged between Dahlia and Sharon/Alessa, as she leaves the Church, (2) the fact that Sharon/Alessa starts the car with her mind when Rose can't and makes the Road magically appear. After all, Dahlia tells us early on that "Only the Dark One opens and closes the door to Silent Hill.", and (3) the way Sharon/Alessa looks at Rose as she enters what she believes to be her house, and also the way she glares into the camera at the end. In the end of the film, both Alessa and Rose remain trapped in the Foggy Dimension of Silent Hill.

From Akira Yamaoka, Musical Composer and Executive Producer of both the film and Silent Hill 2, 3 and 4 console titles:


"After seeing the film, I think that Christophe has really expressed the elements of Silent Hill, and he's really kept the themes alive in this new medium. Silent Hill is not just a horror game, there is human drama rooted very deeply in the story, and I feel that he expressed that very well with the visuals, sounds, and atmosphere in the film. By watching the film, I feel that you'll get a clearer and deeper understanding of the world of Silent Hill, more so than simply playing the games....I'll probably be very influenced by Christophe's film. I don't like to call my work "videogames," I prefer to call it "interactive entertainment." And Silent Hill is one of the titles that I've worked upon where I tried to take that approach, and after seeing this work on the film, I've witnessed many ideas that I can use in my future works."

Director Christophe Gans, an avid fan of the game series, was interested in remaining faithful to both the tone and mythology of the games, but has acknowledged the difficulty of this task:


One guarantee that fans can have, is that it's much easier to adapt Doom, even if it is a disaster, as we've seen a month before, then adapt Silent Hill. If you want to adapt Silent Hill, and you're not ready to face all of the complexity of the story, it's just too much. For a lazy director, like the one who directed Doom, simply Silent Hill would be too big of a piece to swallow. I dreamed of adapting this game when I first started playing Silent Hill six years ago. I prepared myself for six years to do this job, knowing that every fan in the world would wait for me with an axe. I will be sniped when I go to buy my games at my favorite store if I do a bad job. And I understand that, I'm a fan of the game myself...I admire the work of Akira and his friends, and I feel very much like someone who joined the group and tried to transport that amazing piece of art into a different medium."
The film itself is largely based on the plot of the first Silent Hill game, with several important differences. The gender of the main character has been switched. The cult in the film has different motivations than that in the game series. The resolution of the storyline is also significantly different. Elements of Silent Hill 2, such as some of the monsters, have also been included in the film. Gans, who saw this film as the first installment of a series, is interested in returning to the franchise with an adaptation of Silent Hill 2, his favorite of the four current games.

No, the Cult depicted is an entirely new one, as has been affirmed by director Christophe Gans.


"There isn't just one Cult in Silent Hill. Why? Because what we wanted to do with the movie, and we probably were a bit ambitious, was to open the Silent Hill mythology, to open as many leads as possible." -Christophe Gans
The main difference between the film and the games is the Cult and its leadership. The cult, known as the Order, believes in a god they call "The Holy Mother" or "The Lord of Serpents and Reeds". Their opponents called this deity "Samael". In the games, it is Dahlia Gillespie who burns her daughter Alessa alive as part of a ritual to bring about the god's reincarnation on Earth. She chooses Alessa because, at a young age, she exhibits extreme psychic powers. In Silent Hill 3, it is revealed that "she could kill people with her mind." The ritual goes awry, and Alessa barely clings to life with only the half of the god's soul is reborn inside her. As a result, half of Alessa's soul is reincarnated as a baby later found and adopted by Harry Mason, and named "Cheryl".

On the brink of death, Alessa is kept alive unnaturally by her mother, in hopes that her pain and suffering will attract the other half of the god's soul. She is kept alive secretly in the hospital basement due to the efforts of Dr. Kauffman, Dahlia's partner in a drug-running business that also helps to fund the Order's activities. Though she has been previously led to believe she will be released from the hospital after her convalescence, Alessa realizes the extent of Dahlia's plot 7 years later. Determined to prevent the god's birth, she summons Cheryl, her other half, back to the town so that once fully reunified, she can manifest her powers, and kill herself. Harry, unaware of all of this, tries to find and save his daughter who has become lost in Silent Hill (or so he thinks), while Alessa tries to prevent him from discovering the truth throughout the course of the game.

In the end it is revealed that this reunion was inevitable, and moreover, was monitored by Dahlia herself, who had been using Harry to methodically seal Alessa's powers. Dahlia actually succeeds in raising the god who ironically kills Dahlia instead of rewarding her. However, having been born from this botched ritual, the god is weak and is killed by Harry. As Alessa lays dying, she is once again reborn as an infant, whose care she again entrusts to Harry, having proven himself a worth parent. This baby later grows up to be known as Heather, the lead protagonist of Silent Hill 3, the game that is the direct sequel to these events. See here for more information.

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