Silent Hill (2006) Poster

(2006)

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9/10
Finally, a good, accurate game/film crossover.
phayke20 April 2006
First off, the downsides: Some parts of the movie seemed a little drawn out, the film was two hours, and at certain times, you could feel that. It's far-fetched, and I can imagine some people rolling their eyes at the storyline, and there WILL be some people walking out saying "that was a stupid movie". (As many people responded to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.) Of course, some of them will be saying that in response to the sheer amount of gore and violence, which brings me into the 'upsides': This movie certainly had it's 'wow' moments with shock, anticipation, and gore, especially near the climax. Scenes and even alleyways and monsters from the games were almost identical. If you've played the games you will get a lot of deja vu. (For example, the camera goes crooked at exactly the same time and place it does in one of the scenes in the game.) Also, a lot of the sounds and music tracks from the games are used, and so are the monsters. The entire feel of the games is preserved in the film, and you will have trouble keeping your feet on the floor the entire movie. The creepy presentation works, and if you haven't played any of the games, this movie will scare you in new ways.
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10/10
Best Game Movie Adaptation Yet!
SadisticCaberet20 April 2006
I'm not sure what the original comment leaver saw last night, but it certainly wasn't Silent Hill.

I saw a critic screening last night, and must say I was highly impressed. As a fan of the games, and anything related to them, my faith has been firmly established in Gans and Avery, and I can only wish for sequels.

The atmosphere was perfect, the acting was on point, the creatures were amazing, well, everything was amazing.

The town itself looks just like the town we love, and it's almost like coming home again. You'll see what I mean when you finally get to see the film.

Just be prepared for a disturbing, bloody (oh man, the blood), and genuinely creepy ride.

I'd say more, but giving spoilers would be like slapping you in the face.

Go see it!
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10/10
A very surprising, dark and gruesome movie!
recrimination21 April 2006
You have to approach any movie adaptation of a video game with extreme trepidation. Think of the other corkers we've all caught on TV in the past: Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil. Stinkers, one and all. Doom was vapid, but at least got close to the source material.

So what about Silent Hill? The movie opens with music lifted straight from the game itself - in fact, the entire movie contains original tracks from the game as well as some remixed score. Just as it was a fantastic and brooding background when playing the game, it works very effectively on screen.

As for the film itself, the story is a composite of story elements from the first and second games, but the final act is a monstrous and highly original thirty minutes that kept me guessing (as well as being completely grossed out). Indeed, the violence is pretty gruesome.. clever mixtures of CGI and fully made-up monsters which really add to the foreboding atmosphere.

At first, I felt nervous watching this.. not because of the visuals (which are absolutely SPOT ON.. I've never seen ANY movie adaptation that is this close to the source material.. all the comic book movies from the past few years still stray furiously).. but because of the weak opening. After I'd resigned myself to the fact that the movie was going to be disappointing, I was pleasantly surprised as soon as the main character Rose gets to Silent Hill itself. If you're a fan of the game, you won't be disappointed. If you're a horror hound, you'll love the creatures and the visuals. If you're expecting a deep movie about the relationship between estranged mother and daughter.. you're in the wrong theatre.

Highly recommended. Best horror movie I've seen in a long time.
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8/10
Horror? No. Psychological triller? Yes. Oh yes.
Nessa19 June 2006
Horror? Try psychological triller and you might be closer to understanding why is it that I found Silent Hill such an amazing piece of work.

With that in mind, the reason why Silent Hill worked for me was because it had a story to tell. Granted some of us are already familiar with the storyline and are frustrated with the pace of the film. Others may gripe at how much of a disappointment the movie was because of the lack of certain monsters, the lack of development in the characters they liked best, the lack of answers to puzzling questions, the fact that the storyline was too convoluted and confusing et cetera et cetera.

Yet, the heart of the film lies mainly on one simple idea - Silent Hill is first and foremost, a physical manifestation of a child's mind that is shattered, tainted and shackled by an abuse so terrible that one is unable to articulate it into words. (Ever wondered why Silent Hill is called "Silent" Hill in the first place? If you think along the lines of language being an ineffective medium in the expression of "truth", *cha-ching*! You're right!)

In this light, I cannot understand why so many people had a problem with the pacing of the movie because in the first place, such apparent "meandering" is necessary to the entire film. And why not? The inability for any one character to get to the heart of the problem is prevalent during the entire narrative framework of the film *No one* character dared to talk about it and those who sought the truth are met with an air of secrecy. The "truth" therefore, is oppressed by a *complete breakdown of words* and all that is left is to "show" and let the people "experience" what had happened themselves. (Such is the path that Rose must take because she "chose" to seek out the truth surrounding her daughter's psychological problem and since language fails in Silent Hill can the "truth" cannot be communicated through "words" it must be "shown".)

The same rule applies to Christopher. He tried to uncover the "truth" but was thwarted by people who are reluctant to talk about the town. Everyone who had prior knowledge of the town was unable or unwilling to describe what happened because they 1) are suppressing their guilt 2) are afraid of opening up a can of worms that is best left forgotten. Even Rose and Cybil are faced with a group of people who were so adamant into seeing things in their point of view that they have "blinded" themselves to the atrocity of what has taken place in Silent Hill. (Notice how most of the monsters i.e. Nurses, Pyramid Head, Janitor, are in a state of blindness? Coincidence? I think not.)

And still at the heart of all THAT, a child's horrifying story is desperately waiting to be told. The meanderings are not meant to be a flaw in the plot, in my opinion, but an attempt to show how the outside world tried to suppress and confine the deepest desire of a little girl - the desire for "truth" to be known. Therefore the "truth" cannot be "told" because words will ultimately fail in Silent Hill. It must be "shown". That was why Rose had to go through all the various stages of her journey to seek out the "truth". That was why it was crucial the narrative had to be mapped out thus and it reached its summit in the dramatic finale where the fanatics were reluctant to accept the "spoken truth" but was forced to accept it nevertheless through a physical manifestation of "truth" - the manifestation of their past deeds.

Hence in my opinion, this film isn't about monsters, busty characters, bloodshed, storyline or whatever it is that one normally looks out for in a film of this genre. This film is about a little girl's story that is struggling to surface in a world dominated by a viciousness she could not comprehend but fall victim to nevertheless. Think about it. To be thoroughly abused in a world that you never fit in and cannot comprehend. And later to want to seek vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to you but are unable to articulate it into words because there is no one out there who understands or listens to you. The intense hatred due to the complete lack of control that one is forced into, the desire to achieve "satisfaction" at any cost and the obsession with "vengence" - now that's a scary thought for a little girl of 10 to have, wouldn't you say?

So was it good? Heck yeah. And I'm going for another round of this when my next paycheque comes in.
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10/10
Silent hill isn't a horror movie its a nightmare drama
fox_hound198020 April 2006
For everyone who has seen or is going to see or is thinking of seeing silent hill, do not go into it thinking ohhh its going to be a scary movie,,, because its not suppose to be. Its for intelligent drama based crowds who like good visuals, story line, acting, and mystery. This isn't doom and this isn't resident evil, this is a well written drama/mystery that happens to be very disturbing in its visual and story. People who have not played the game go see it with an open mind and not look at it as a video game movie because even without the game it could stand on its own as a great movie. So that said, if your looking for pop crap gore then don't see silent hill, if your looking for a memorable movie you well think about for years to come then do see silent hill. WELCOME TO SILENT HILL....
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10/10
WOW, I mean W O W!!!
craig-25222 April 2006
Agree 100% with agentmatheus: This is, hands down, the best VG adaption bar none! Seriously, it truly is like you are living the game. Granted, several characters have been changed, but that's to be expected. (Having a woman as the main protagonist, ensure's the main character is more vulnerable, than if it were a man). The set-pieces with the creatures are even more disturbing than their VG counterparts - I kid you not! The production design is truly superb and you get the feeling that Silent Hill really does exist.

If I had to nitpick, it would be that they didn't include any puzzle elements in the film, as per the game; it could have been cool to have Rose solving some mad brainteaser, but you can fully understand that they didn't include this sort of thing (well, apart from her memorizing the hospital floor-layout), otherwise it could have slowed down the whole pace of the film.

I was so skeptical about this movie, as traditionally, Game-To-Movie adaptations are, let's face it, crap! - But they have completely pulled it off, and I await a second installment with heavily baited breath.

Again, it really is the best horror movie in years! HIGHLY recommended.

Check this film out as soon as you can.

Craig
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9/10
Excellent Video Game/Movie crossover
LupinsGal200420 April 2006
Someone said worst movie ever- dude- ever see UltraViolet or Scary movie? Please easily those are the worst movies that should NEVER have been made.

However. this movie was excellent. I have a feeling the person who gave this movie one star was someone who did not play the video game, maybe even did not realize it was based on a video game. I can see how this movie could present a problem to those who are non-gamers. However Most of my friends never played the game either, and they still enjoyed the movie very much.

I wasn't as disturbed by the changing of the characters as I thought I'd be. (Harry Mason to Rose for Example.) I totally understand how Harry wouldn't cross over well. while he was a cool character (From a girl perspective) he was kind of a wuss. lol.

the actors they picked to portray the characters were superb. they did a very good job portraying the intensity, the scary and sometimes disturbing nature of the movie.

I saw a sneak peek where most of the movie goers did a lot of gasping and clutching of their friends or dates, covering of eyes... it was a pretty creepy film, and the only horror movie that actually got my pulse to race. Normally I hate horror movies because they're more ridiculous than scary.

but this movie was scary, well acting, well written, and I loved the monsters. It was much more realistic to use people rather than complete CGI characters. it made it more creepy. I liked that touch. Definitely proves that old school can be more scary than technology. Although they don't completely ignore the modern day novelties. Its a perfect combination of both.

Pretty much- I miss Harry- I can understand why they did away with him (I'm glad it wasn't for a stupid reason like them wanting a tough cigar smoking buff man chick thinking that's "P.C.") but the character changes work, the actors in their parts work, the script works, its creepy, its scary, its a great movie. Some who have not played or haven't heard of the Silent hill games may not get it... but for the most part, I think most should enjoy this movie, gamers and non-gamers alike. This has to be one of my favorite movies this year.
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8/10
Fans of the game will enjoy this film!
E21 April 2006
Fans of the game will enjoy this film. Critics should be impressed with the set design, effects and cinematography; but I'm afraid most of them will miss the boat entirely. As far as a game to film translation, this is one of the best ever made.

There are scenes in the film that are direct recreations from the game. Sounds, music, colors and even meticulous set design that pays homage to the game series. In as far as a horror film, there were scenes in this movie that are incomparable. Really disturbing, solid moments of horror.

Pyramid Head is this decade's Pinhead. A new cultural icon to be feared, and loved.

Good movie. Keep an open mind, and enjoy. This is one of those films that actually deserves its R rating. Don't take the kids, unless you're into the whole "terrible parent" thing.
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8/10
Breathtaking. Simply Breathtaking.
I_is_smart1820 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was simply incredible. To all Silent Hill fans, I say, yes, PH was nothing more than a fanboy favorite and they changed the storyline a little from the first game, but I have never actually felt dread like I did in this movie when I heard the air-raid siren indicating that "the darkness is coming". I actually remember feeling the same dread while playing the game. The ending, while a bit of a letdown due to a lack of definite closure, was definitely very Silent-Hillesque in that it had a certain meaning that IS possible to find if you look closely enough into the clues.

Phenomenal movie, I suggest you see it ASAP.
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10/10
Amazingly Emotional
Lindsay22 April 2006
This movie was amazing. Beginning to end it had me drawn in. This movie breaks the rules and thinks outside the box...and gets away with it. Maybe not a blockbuster, but definitely a cult classic :D To other reviewers: Please, do a little research before you cut the movie off at the knees. 1st off they're not Christian fanatics, they're another cult. Secondly, not everything is movies are based on real things. Certain things can be completely fictional. The movie was made to have that dream/nightmare feel. It was an amazing movie if you actually paid attention to it, and I'm sorry if your feeble mind cannot comprehend what is going on. As for the part where they tell you the back-story, it had nothing to do with anyone not knowing what was going on. Konami as well as Sony loved it so much they didn't cut anything. That is why the movie is so long. Not to mention this is a European FILM!!!! Japanese horror, European writers and actors with few Americans (yeah some of the actors were but they don't write the film). The movie is supposed to make you sit back and go "what the ****??" when things randomly happen...that's what Silent Hill is all about. This isn't your run-of-the-mill horror "horny teen" slasher film (which unfortunately is what's most popular in America). If you can, go to a matinée where you can watch it without all of the people who think they're in MST3k and all of the people who feel the need to talk to the screen. The story is deep, really deep. The ending is tragic. And if you still don't get it, it doesn't mean the movie sucked...it just means you don't get it.
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7/10
Great ideas, creepy atmosphere and eerie mood – but the rest is badly executed
Flagrant-Baronessa11 August 2006
I remember I sat down to play Silent Hill a couple of years ago because the mystery genre intrigued me and the game had an interesting look to it, so I started running through the abandoned town of 'Silent Hill' as the main player. I stopped playing very soon because, in truth, not a whole lot was happening. It was mostly an uncomfortable experience, eerily lit and hauntingly scored. I could feel an intense build-up in that foggy place but I never reached the culmination, so I gave up. OK, fine - I was scared.

Years later this film adaptation is bravely made by Christophe Gans and, even though I'd played less than ten minutes of the game, I immediately recognised the haunting visuals of the abandoned city. So 'well done' here is an understatement. It is superbly breathed new life into.

The plot has been glossed over slightly in a Hollywood fashion, but captures the essence of its characters and storyline - which is: as a last resort, a mother takes her ill daughter to a place she often mentions in her sleep - a place near where she was adopted from. But the hope the mother has for her daughter's recovery quickly shatters and turns into despair when the little girl vanishes in the misty mysterious old town.

I truly cannot credit the atmosphere of this film enough. Christophe Gans has successfully captured the eerie mood of Silent Hill and it is a nightmarish place - a fog-enshrouded hell that shifts between two modes: barren ashen daylight and a gruesome decaying state with fiery ember, demons and enhanced by chilling (and very sudden) sound effects. It's strangely fascinating, surreal and above all frightening.

The problems of Silent Hill (2006) are that there are not nearly enough build-ups. They should have been used not only to stay faithful to the video game upon which it was based but to wield tension in the right way and shock us when the build-up finally culminates. But here we are introduced to horrid creatures early on and often without much foreshadowing devices. Because they are presented to us so generously and clear-viewed, they are not that scary. At all. Some even manage a raised eyebrow, like the crawly CGI cripples.

In the end, I think this is quality horror entertainment and probably one of the better game-to-film adaptations, abut it is much too chaotic - too many monsters and too often and too clearly to be frightening. The mood and atmosphere are what is frightening and so it should have been used even more in Silent Hill, but instead the director feels pressured to introduce creatures to satisfy mainstream audiences' need for bloody gorefest and kinetic action.

7 out of 10
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7/10
A great horror epic!
l_biu20 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I have just returned from seeing silent hill. Did I like it? Yes! Did I love it? HELL YES!

The movie pretty much has a solid pace. The cinematography is beautiful and the special effects are great. So what about the story? It does get a bit convoluted, especially when we have scenes solely there to explain WTF is going on.....Sean Bean is a terrible actor, he was bad in LOTR, he was bad in that crappy ITV show he was on and he is pretty crappy in this.....I wish they had cut him from the film entirely..his scenes added nothing, except some explanation on silent hill and to remind us that Rose is in another reality to them...also I was a bit annoyed that PH was really only in two scenes...HOPEFULLY he will get used more in later instalments. The ending was a bit upsetting, I get why it happened...I just got a little chocked up (yes I am a wimp, so sue me). The score is wonderful, I really could listen to it all day....I don't know the names of the songs but I would definitely buy the soundtrack. Rhada is a amazing actress, she has a face which can tell a billion tales with just a slight twitch and she is very believable as a mother looking for her child. Cybil actually was my favourite character, in the beginning she is pretty much a tough ass bitch, but she does become more human towards the end.....what happens to her is pretty graphic,which leads me to another point.....this movie actually is pretty gruesome in parts, a little to gruesome for a silent hill movie. The tension in the film is nail bite ting, the nurse scene actually made most of the audience jump and someone screamed LOL! Thats what is so amazing about this film, you get the same feeling you got when you were playing the game by yourself, complete stillness and fear.

Overall this was a great movie, the visual and grand scale of the movie is so astonishing to watch. It really has some striking visuals...i.e grey children first attack, the first change to alternate silent hill and the final battle which holds much of the gore.

A almost perfect horror movie.
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8/10
Thank god for the return of R-rated horror
skaje2220 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. Silent Hill marks the return of well-written, well-acted, R-rated, balls-out, minimal use of CG horror. Did I mention it's R-rated? After months of PG-13 crap like Stay Alive, we finally got a movie that actually seems to stretch the limits of the R rating when it comes to gore. This movie drips and splatters blood. The use of CG is surprisingly low. Most creatures are really people in costumes, but it's so realistic yet strange that you almost think its CG. The movie is well-casted. Instead of, say Sarah Michelle Gellar they went on a limb and casted Radha Mitchell, who's biggest role so far has been in a minor Woody Allen movie. She carries the movie and does a fantastic job. They casted someone named Laurie Holden for the role of Cybil the cop, and she impressed me. Sean Bean as the husband is pretty much the only well-known actor in the movie, and he's basically a secondary character (though he does fine for his role).

Did I mention this movie has gore? In one lovely scene, Pyramid Head first rips off the clothes of a woman, then rips off her entire skin in one piece and hurls it at a closing door, which is just open enough that a spray of blood splatter the main characters. Oh yeah...Pyramid Head is awesome. When he first goes after Rose and Cybil, shoving that 10-foot sword of his through the door, I pretty much crapped myself. He really only has those two scenes, and they never do explain just what the heck he is, but as the movie already breaks 2 hours, they probably didn't have the time.

The whole movie is kind of like that. Most of the monsters you see just show up for no reason without explanation. And the story does get a little confusing near the end, but not too much.

The changing of Silent Hill between fog-time and Hell-time, is really well-done, and never fails to amaze and frighten, especially when it's preceded by that siren.

The movie ends with a bloodbath in a church that will shock all but the Japanese. The amount of blood, and the way in which it is sprayed around, is really quite nasty.
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6/10
It's Silent Hill, but it isn't Silent Hill
Crush72622 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've got mixed feelings towards this film. I've eagerly awaited it's release ever since it was first announced.

The Silent Hill fan in me wanted me to love this movie, and the cinema fan in me told me otherwise, so I was quite torn while viewing the film.

Cinematically, it was a beautiful film. The sets were astonishing, the creatures were horrifically gorgeous, and the music was haunting (however, misused in some places, more on that later).

The films main problem is the script.

Oh, Avary. What happened? How the mighty have fallen.

The dialogue was horrendous. There were only a few lines that I really liked, and most of them were spoken by Dahlia. There were a few other lines scattered here and there that I liked ('mother is god in the eyes of a child' was one I really liked). The acting was also quite stiff and over the top, but that's mostly due to the poor dialogue that the actresses and actors were given. However, I was quite impressed with Jodelle Ferland's work. Quite impressed, indeed.

Now, from the perspective of a Silent Hill fan, this film was lacking. The story only took some ideas from the games, and then seemed to bastardize them. The whole cult thing didn't work well in the movie, and whenever they chanted "BURN THE WITCH," I could only think of a certain Crusades movie.

The film wasn't really boring, though. The moment we first see the Grey Children, my heart sank. I never feel anything physical during movies, but here, I did. The Patient Demon was also quite neat, as were the nurses.

But the best things about the film were the Janitor and Pyramid Head. Wow. That's all I have to say about them.

Now, let's discuss the music. While I LOVE Akira Yamaoka's works (listening to them right now), I felt some of it was misplaced during the film. They used the Silent Hill 2 soundtrack way too much, especially Promise and True. Music was just weird in certain parts, but in others, it was completely fitting (like Prayer as Pyramid Head approaches the church).

Well, in a nutshell, this film was somewhat of a disappointment. It may have looked great, but the plot was jumbled and the dialogue was weak.

Overall rating: 6/10
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4/10
It's got the look. That's all it's got. I'm angry.
Martin Wagner22 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If there was any video game-based movie I feel I had a stake in, it was Silent Hill. I'm a devoted fan of the games, having played all four multiple times each. I don't think I've ever had as spine-chillingly memorable a time doing anything related to the horror genre as I've had playing those games. After the crushing disappointment of the Resident Evil movies, I had cautious optimism about Silent Hill. Early interviews with director Christophe Gans seemed to point to a guy passionate about the material and determined to do right by it.

Sadly, this movie goes down as Just Another Failed Game Adaptation. If the best video game franchise can't even get a good movie made from it, I think Hollywood and video games should be kept away from each other for good, preferably by restraining order.

Gans may be passionate, but here he's done the impossible. He's taken Silent Hill — which is not only the most frightening horror video game ever made but quite possibly one of the most frightening horror entertainment experiences in any medium, games, books, or movies included — and made it BORING. The video game is scary as hell. The movie has — I cannot stress this enough — not ONE single solitary scare, and indeed, a few of the intended scares come off as silly.

The movie has the look of the game down just fine. The production designers have replicated the game's foggy, deserted streets and dingy derelict buildings perfectly. But Roger Avery's script (and here was a guy who took great pains to warn fans he was NOT a huge devotee of the games) suddenly feels the urge to EXPLAIN everything in exhaustive detail. So, instead of piling on suspense and scares, it piles on exposition. And I mean, PILES it on. We get endless talky scenes of back-story and history, and yet the more the movie attempts to clarify the whole back-story of Alessa and the cult that victimized her and turned her into an evil malevolent force, the less coherent it all seems.

Gans's devotion to reproducing the game's visuals makes him forget that there will be a sizable audience who see this without ever having played the game. And to them, no concessions are made. Non-fans of the Silent Hill games are given no clue as to why the town changes appearance, or why it's inhabited by poison-spitting faceless monsters and other weird beasties. To non-gamers this will be the most nonsensical movie ever, despite Avery's endless info-dumping dialogue.

But worse than info-dumping dialogue is Obvious Dialogue, where the writer assumes his audience is suffering from Downs Syndrome and must have everything spelled out no matter how obvious it is. In one scene, Cybill (the cop from game one, who has a much different fate here) has just found a drawing by Rose's missing daughter in a slot at the hotel desk.

Rose: "Where did you find this?" Cybill: "Room 111." Rose: "We have to go to Room 111!"

Well, duh.

All of the exposition simply stretches the running time out to over two hours, while spending as little time as possible in the Otherworld for which the games are famous. Here's another failing I cannot stress enough; **where the hell WAS Silent Hill in Silent Hill?** Why are we listening to Alice Krige doing her endless Cruella DeVille routine when we should be trapped in terrifying dark corridors or fleeing monsters down misty back alleys? This stuff gets started just fine in act one, then stops when the script settles into a talk-fest.

So much from the video games appears in the movie to please fans, but only at the most superficial level. It's as if Gans pored over each game, saying, "Okay we'll use that, gotta have that creature, okay, and how about a Lisa Garland cameo!" But that's where the homage stops. The school? The hospital? Yeah, they're there, but wasted. Radha Mitchell literally RUNS through the hospital (which, for some reason, is about 200 stories underground) in the third act, until she encounters the nurses...who look great, in their prosthetic makeup, but move in such an absurd way I kept expecting them to break into a dance routine like some Janet Jackson video. And Pyramid Head? Cripes, how do you waste Pyramid Head!?! He has two scenes, does one cool thing where he grabs a woman and tears her skin off like a candy wrapper — then it's bye bye. He's gone from the movie after that!

By the time we're well into the protracted act three, in which a mob of mad cultists is threatening to burn Rose's daughter alive, any resemblance between the game Silent Hill and this movie is purely coincidental. I saw a post from one guy on Rotten Tomatoes suggesting the filmmakers must have come down with ADHD and thought they were making a Hellraiser movie instead. Couldn't have put it better myself. The movie is just one cheesy line of bad dialogue after another at this point. I just cannot listen to a mob of people (and where did this mob come from, anyway?) shouting "Burn the witch! Burn the witch!" without thinking of Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

I'm hurting. I'm angry. I'm bitter. The video game movie that should have been a masterpiece is just another disasterpiece. I don't know how everything that was so awesome in the game got so badly lost in translation. Is it too much to hope someone, someday, will do another Silent Hill movie that will nail the whole thing, not just the perfect set design? Maybe. I'm going to play the game again, to remind myself why I love Silent Hill in the first place.
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7/10
Fans will be pleased but wanting more.
Cooldude321 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Silent Hill is far from a perfect movie. But, Silent Hill is also one of the best video game to movie adaptations out there. That's really not saying much. If you were to watch this movie without playing the games, you might as well bring your pillow. Fortunately for me, I've played all 4 games in the series multiple times, and it was for people like me that the movie was made in the first place. The plot of the movie steals familiar elements from the games. But, it doesn't tie into the games. They combined the plots of the first two games, changed the focus around, and ultimately steered away from the MUCH darker and much more confusing plot of the games. The fans will either be smiling with glee or reliving their darkest nightmares as the movie tosses fans a lot of bones. There are EXACT shots recreated on the silver screen that were used in the games. Multiple times I THOUGHT I knew the direction in which the movie was going, because it was so familiar, and then they'd go in a completely different direction. It was actually irritating at first, but once I got over that, I just enjoyed it for what it was. Do NOT expect to watch "Resident Evil" with this movie. While they may share similar genres, that's where the comparisons end. MUCH like the game, the movie is slow, and it's scares rely on a creepy, skin-crawling feeling rather than "jump" scares. But, the acting is actually what impressed me. Some may see it as annoying, but those that played the game, will actually feel like they pulled dialogue directly out of it. And, Radha Mitchell does a good job acting like a frantic mother searching for her child. I will admit though, at times I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration because her character actually hardly does anything. She just runs around, chasing after a little girl that she thinks is her daughter. Did no one learn anything from Event Horizon? If they run AWAY from you, they are playing a game with you. Apart from minor annoyances with her character, the other characters were bland and flat, but hey, you can't have an "R" rated horror movie without a high corpse count. Although they did take the "survival horror" to the extreme with the survival part. It would've been nice to see some of the violence directed at the creatures. C'mon, you beat them senseless with lead pipes in the game, but that was lacking. Sean Bean could've helped make the movie all that more stellar, but he's kind of a side-plot. Without giving too much away, there's some closure to the movie, but it would be naive to say they wouldn't make a sequel starring Sean Bean, unless, of course, he was only a "draw" to bring more to the movie. The cinematography and camera angles steal from the game, but they are effective and well done. The sound was superb, with many sound bytes from the games, and a lot of eerie effects for the creatures. The gore was a little over the top, and like mentioned earlier, needed to be directed more at the creatures. All in all, the movie felt like a throwback to the games, putting in as many elements that made "sense" with the movies plot, to make the fans happy. Those unfamiliar with the series, MAY appreciate it for what it is. Basically this- it's a creepy and gory distraction, that's pretty boring as is, but given that it's based off of a video game that's just a creepy and gory distraction, that's pretty boring as well, they're a perfect match. Just remember that it's probably the best video game-to-movie adaptation out there (need I bring up Uwe Boll?), but leaves it's fans wanting more. Thankfully, the movie industry milks licenses for all they're worth, and we'll probably see a sequel sometime in the future.
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10/10
Excellent film, meets and surpasses standards in every way.
Chad Odom21 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Silent Hill came in with big expectations from video game fans, and horror fans alike. Knowing what I do about "game based films" usually tending to be sub-par, I was very impressed when Silent Hill not only met my standards for a great horror film, but also surpassed them.

Ignoring the typical teen horror movie "boo factor" Silent Hill scares by the creepiness of the backdrops, creating hellish environments out of otherwise peaceful (but slightly haunting) areas. The plot describes the town of Silent Hill that Rose finds herself trapped in as a "nightmare world", and that is exactly what Christophe Gans does with the film. Buildings actually transform into a caged inferno when "the darkness" comes. The creatures that come with this darkness, the pyramid head, the patient demons, and the nurse demons all instill a sense of innate fear.

But perhaps the best part was the fact that none of the evils of the world are overused. That is what truly separates this film from a zombie movie. The demons, with the exception of the pyramid head, aren't the true evil of the film, but rather work to install a profound sense of fear while they are on screen. Gans was not afraid to get gory in the film either, having several scenes with deformed and tortured bodies, as well as one where the pyramid head flays a human being with his bare hands. These scenes are also used extremely effectively, and nearly always add to the intensity of the movie.

The music and sound, much like in the game, is nearly perfect, avoiding the overused and ineffective "heavy metal horror" approach.

The acting, was the only part I could find some fault in. Radha Mitchell does a very good job with her part in most scenes, but there's a few where she is just way too "cool under fire" to be realistic. Sean Bean is not very emotional when he is "emotional" either. Other characters such as Laurie Holden playing Officer Bennett do an amazing job, and truly pull you into the plot though, so I can't discredit the casting too much.

In the end I truly believe this film is the best "video game movie" I have ever seen. It sticks true to the tales of silent hill, and leaves many allusions to the games, while not watering down the sheer sense of both mystery and fear that the games instill in its fans. As a horror movie this one also stands out above the rest, keeping the audience entertained, scared, and guessing throughout much of the film.

I give it a 10 out of 10, and I look forward to a sequel. I also recommend that any of you who liked the movie try the game, they compliment each other perfectly.
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Big, loud & dumb CGI horror fest
Camera Obscura17 October 2006
I didn't expect much in the way of storytelling or suspense in a film based on a video game, but this was an embarrassment. All the lurid horror clichés are on offer; ravens flying round the church, witch burning. I don't even know what I just saw. There's no story, just one mindless action sequence after another. Sure, the beginning is promising and the first half hour it still got my attention, but soon it becomes clear that no effort was made to draw characters who have any resemblance to human beings and pretty soon it all becomes an alarmingly senseless excuse for and endless string of computer generated gory effects.

This is also a film that takes itself way too seriously, some in-joke reference could have made this slightly more bearable. We have undefinable creatures that are lurking in some underground tunnel complex, where for the last thirty years a coal fire is raging under the ground. At first I was intrigued - a little - but since it is absolutely impossible to grasp what these "things" are and no explanation is given, it becomes nothing more than a video-game side-show. The final scene in the church, where the whole cast suffers from some incredible over-acting, has some spectacular effects, I'll admit that, but eventually goes WAY over the top and takes so long, it soon becomes downright ridiculous. Going over the top can be fun, but not without humor.

Former Tarantino video clerk-buddy Roger Avary penned this thing down and assembled some bad Canadian actors. He should be so lucky he got co-story credit for RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION, since he clears things for us here. He can't write, he's got no idea whatsoever that a motion picture has very little in common with a video game. You need to have actual human beings in a motion picture, or present some interesting visual ideas. We get neither.

And the dialog...? I can't remember all the mumbo jumbo I've heard. The second half of the film is full of hysterical lines like;

"The Truth is clear for those who see."

"We drew a line in the sand and said: Demon, do not cross!"

And I thought THE VILLAGE was a new low in pseudo satanic reli-crab.

Sean Bean was top-billed but he only has five minutes screen time with - again - mind-bogglingly awful dialog.

Skip this big-budget overblown piece of junk.

Camera Obscura --- 2/10
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1/10
Typical Hollywood Crap
moonmonday9 August 2014
Strangely, the sequel did a better job of capturing the actual feel of the classic Silent Hill games from which this series ostensibly drew its name. This film, however, is a terrible disaster. It drags on for over two hours, in which time it never justifies its length. It's a pathetic attempt to alter the original game's story, but it manages to do absolutely nothing right, instead needlessly shifting characters' genders and creating extraneous characters that it never makes anything but annoying and awful.

The direction is terrible, the photography is atrocious, and the acting is barely serviceable, which says something considering that this film includes some generally good actors. Sean Bean is utterly wasted on the disposable role he's given, and Kim Coates is literally *painful* as Thomas Gucci. There's so much in this movie that is worth of contempt, and not just because it flagrantly disregards the beloved series of games, but because as a film it's crap.

Whatever message it attempts to present is lost in a morass of misogyny and incompetence. It's not even entertaining, which is probably is greatest fault; it certainly does not engage an audience, nor does it justify its ridiculously long running time.

Skip this one and watch the sequel instead; it actually tells a decent story that feels true to the source material, unlike this pathetic garbage. And thankfully, it's also shorter.
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2/10
You've got to be kidding me, right? No? Damn.
GuitaristTLW-122 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A two you might be asking yourself right now. Yeah, that's right. The ONLY reason why this movie got a two out of me was because I was impressed by the creature and setting designs. The transforming of Foggy Silent Hill into Nightmare Silent Hill was definitely a visual I would've loved to have seen in the game series. Also, the creature representation was excellent as well right down to their movements, and of course, freaking Pyramid Head. I loved that guy...monster...thing...I give up. But that's about it. In dead on terms my opinion of this movie was mostly bad, a little good, and a lot that was bad but was inevitable in the movie adaptation. Stop reading now if you gave this movie higher than a 5.

Reasons why this movie didn't work:

-There should be no hordes, rather in my opinion single creatures stalking around the protagonists would have been more effective in making an eerie and uneasy atmosphere.

-Although I agree with its usage, ultimately it would have been better to cut out the husband who does not really get "involved" with Silent Hill. His use to move the truth along is important, but I felt that the answers could have been found within the city itself rather than out. By cutting to scenes of the husband searching outside of Silent Hill you lose intensity which could have been focused inside the city. I felt that detachment from the source really put a cramp on the potential of this movie.

-Long drawn explanations. Rather than having it all just told to the audience straight out front from the horse's mouth, subtle hints and fragments of the truth would have made this movie noteworthy if not a hot topic of discussion after the movie is over. The only questions I heard about the movie after seeing it was confusion about the ending which you will have to see for yourself. A movie that gives subtle hints to the answer is a hell of a lot better after the movie is over rather than a movie that spills its guts in the last 20 some minutes.

-Idiotic statements. Let's see here, what are some lines that people just couldn't help but laugh at? "it seems like there was a fire here," "Look...I'm burning," "what the f***....what the f***!?". I'd certainly hope that the intellect of the audience isn't put into question when statements like these have to be made. And that just goes to show that silence is golden more times than not.

-Gore. We all know and some love it. What's a modern horror flick without the gratuitous gore-fest? I admit that sometimes it is necessary but not to the extent to which the movie goes with it.

The list could go on...and on, but it's gonna stop there. For me, who has played through all the SH games numerous times (once for each ending no less!), there were a lot of inherent flaws, but at the same time those flaws were necessary to make the adaption possible for the mainstream viewers. If you're someone who goes and sees this movie and found it unenjoyable, confusing, or not worth giving higher than a 5, then do yourself a favor and go find cheap used copies of the video games and find out why veterans are shooting back and forth between "this movie was an excellent representation of SH" and "this movie disgraced SH".

But don't let anything I've said deter YOU from seeing this movie. There is a lot to be appreciated that isn't connected to the plot, and yes, I do mean the visuals. Creature design and screen representation are amazing. I never dreamed I would be able to see Pyramid Head in all his frightening glory. Also, the architecture of the city itself is pretty much 100% scale to the city from the games (right down to the street names, in particular Nathan ave). But the thing that really made me smile was how the city would change from Foggy Silent Hill into Nightmare Silent Hill. I can't stress how cool that visual was.
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8/10
A patient, intelligent, atmospheric horror film that doesn't go for cheap scares
Potty-Man13 October 2006
I have been a fan of the first game since it came out. As with most video game adaptations, I expected this to be a piece of sh#@. Instead, I got an atmospheric, haunting thriller that slowly creeps into you and doesn't let go.

True, the game was scarier. Way scarier. And there was something appealing about the vagueness of the story - the fact that it was never fully explained. And some parts (especially in the third act) could have been edited down and made more intense. And I wasn't fully convinced by Radha Mitchell's acting. But seriously, folks, this goes above and beyond your standard fare horror flick.

Speaking visually, the film is breath-taking. Some of the best conceptual designs I've ever seen. The creature's design and effects are top notch. Pay attention to one very creepy scene that revolves around a flash-light. It is brilliant.

The score is perfect. Disturbing and melancholy at the same time, just like the themes the movie explores. It has depth and its meanings are relevant to our current existence.

One thing I wanted to see used more was the radio static that signifies when a monster is approaching. That was to me one of the scariest elements of the game, since you knew the monster is close, and yet you couldn't see it. Also, with such a tightly woven, dense atmosphere, some boo moments could have been super scary, although the movie doesn't use them. That is a plus and a minus. The result is more sophisticated, refined, working more on psychological horror rather than shock value. On the other hand, on a superficial level, the film is not as scary as it could have been.

To conclude, a very pleasant surprise. Hopefully this is not the last we've seen of Silent Hill.
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Don't expect a story to unfold or any symbolism to occur. It won't
Simon Percival13 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
'Silent Hill' opens with a mother, ROSE and her daughter, SHARON who are involved in a minor car crash. ROSE regains consciousness to discover SHARON is missing. She wanders into the desolate and foggy Silent Hill shouting SHARON'S name repeatedly.

Occasionally a badly textured CGI monster confronts ROSE. The CGI is so bad it can only be a homage to the original video game. These monsters have a habit of conveniently evaporating before they amount to any real threat. This is basically the core of the film, don't expect a story to unfold or any symbolism to occur. It won't.

In a second non-story which runs parallel to the first one, Sean Bean drives around searching for ROSE. I don't remember the name of Sean Bean's character because it isn't yelled once every thirty seconds. He shouts ROSE's name repeatedly. This is pretty much the extent of Sean Bean's purpose in this film.

Whilst Sean Bean is hoping his agent finds him a better role next time, ROSE continues to call SHARON'S name. She is interrupted by Miss Havisham who mumbles incoherently. Presumably Pip's benefactor was out of town because he never makes an appearance.

At this point in the review I must confess I stopped watching Silent Hill after about an hour. I have better things to do, like suicide or making a voluntary tax contribution.

Note: This film has the Borg Queen from 'Star Trek: First Contact' in it, although I didn't see up to that point. 'Star Trek: First Contact' contains action, humour, story, real characters, conflict etc. Go watch that instead, or 'Great Expectations'. Just don't have any great expectations if you intend to watch this drivel.

1/10
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4/10
good visuals, not so good acting, weak story line
warjamy19 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The title says it all : - the "spooky" moments (when darkness falls) are sort of cool visually but not creepy (to my mind). I never played the game but I suppose some of the gory stuff shows in the game (like bloody characters - or parts of them - hanging from barbwire and stuff, the big demon itself with its funny box hiding its head, and its huge sword are typical of a video game). The small distorted creatures are quite nightmarish. The change of reality is also successful I think. Also, when Rose is going down the pit to face the source of evil, I could definitely feel video gaming there. The screwed up nurses were a bit funny (but not spooky) ...

BUT ...

I completely lost interest when the church business started. Again, we have the same old (and annoyingly flat) ingredients : - religious fanatics, - f...ed-up kid that develops hatred - and worst of all : explanations!!! why on earth is the dark side of the girl explaining the whole root cause ???

Another source of annoyance : acting. Pretty bad I think. The dialogs were a bit lame at times. Ex :

  • Cybil, after her first darkness : "what the f... was that ?"


  • Rose, replying : "It's gonna be fine, don't worry".


How lame can that be!!!

The character Chris is just optional, or not very useful at the least ...

I grade it 4/10 for the visuals, real effort here to a create nightmarish and disturbing atmosphere.
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8/10
Trippy
Gafke22 April 2006
I don't play video games, so I went into this film with no pre-conceived notions or expectations. I came away pretty impressed and a little disturbed.

Rose and Chris Da Silva are worried about their adopted daughter, Sharon. Little Sharon has been sleepwalking and speaking, while still asleep, of a place called Silent Hill. When Sharon nearly falls to her death during her latest sleepwalk, Rose decides to confront the issue head-on. She packs Sharon into the SUV and heads for Silent Hill, West Virginia. But Silent Hill is a ghost town that the locals don't like to speak of and which is contaminated by an ever burning coal fire deep in the bowels of the earth. After a freak car accident knocks Rose out, she awakens to find Sharon gone and a rain of ash falling from the sky. Silent Hill is indeed a ghost town, populated by demonic mutants and the ghosts of the damned. Rose is led by grisly clues deeper into the tragic history of the town and a terrible secret which involves her adopted daughter. Aided by police officer Cybil Bennet, Rose must face the dark demons of Hell and prevent history from repeating itself if she is to save Sharon.

This is quite a freaky film, though surprisingly not as gory as I had thought it would be. After a somewhat slow first 20 minutes or so, the film descends into rotting horror as air- raid sirens warn of The Darkness, deformed creatures lurch out of the shadows and the patina of normalcy literally melts away with the approach of evil. Standout characters include the sorrowful Dahlia, played by Deborah Kara Unger, who looks like the worlds oldest and saddest Goth woman, and the hideous creature known only as Pyramid Head, who stomps into view with a horde of cockroaches at his command. Radha Mitchell does a great job as Rose, playing her as a realistically frightened woman, but also as a determined mother who will stop at nothing to save her daughter. Jodelle Ferland is great in her double role of Sharon/ Alessa, a sweet, haunted little girl one moment; a creepy, frightening little monster the next. Sean Bean as the hopelessly lost Chris Da Silva is perfect; you can feel his frustration and panic. Alice Krige too is unnervingly chilling as Christabella.

The atmosphere of this movie is great - ash covered cemeteries, drippy basements, abandoned schoolrooms - all very creepy and menacing in their utter stillness. The violence, when it comes, is quite brutal. Skin is ripped off, bodies are roasted, limbs ripped away by barbed wire. Pretty gruesome, but not overly so. The demons are the real attraction here: besides Pyramid Head, there are also twisted torsos spewing black acid, deformed beings in nurse uniforms wielding scalpels and, in the scene which freaked me out the most, a man with his body bent double and his feet over his head crawling across a bathroom floor.

I've never played the video game so I really can't tell you if this was a faithful adaptation or not. But I can say that it is very original, quite spooky, satisfyingly bloody and even rather disturbing in several parts...and I don't scare easily. All in all, a very good horror movie.
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3/10
Poor
martinistripes22 June 2012
I'm a fan of horror and also a video games player, but watching Silent Hill was a slow and tedious experience. The characters are completely detached from reality. You feel no connection with them, and don't actually care what happens to them. You'll see them doing all kinds of things that defy common human logic. The best acting is by Sean Bean, despite this being the worst role I've seen him in. And some idiot decided it would be a good idea for him to use an (American?) accent. Why, oh why? He just sounds odd. There are a few creepy monster designs but I found the CGI often interrupted the experience and dispelled any belief. I wanted to turn this movie off, but I persevered and sat through it. If you REALLY love the video games (as I'm guessing many of the other reviewers here do), you might find something to like. Otherwise, I strongly recommend avoiding this one.
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