Movie Defense Force: Silent Hill

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I havn't played the games so certain things in the movie confused me, why could the cop also enter Silent Hill, she seemed legit good guy?

The film's cult is the biggest problem. They went from genuinely disturbing, scary, and mysterious in the games to... well, hilarious. I just cannot listen to "She's a witch! Burn her!" without conjuring up giggles at Monty Python's Holy Grail.

The 2/3rds of the movie works, and works well. But things take an immediate down-turn once the town is literally swarming with cult members, opening up plotholes and sucking out the isolation and loneliness that practically defines the franchise.

But things pretty much came to a grinding halt after the otherwise-brilliant Nurse hallway scene where Rose runs through a door and... "Congratulations Rose. You did it. You won".... a baffling and unnecessary exposition dump, poorly edited backstory, rushed explanation for events, and setting events in motion for the finale that forgoes subtle, ambient horror (that defined the better parts of the film) in favor of full-on guts and gore and shock value brutality, with none of the psychology or emotional resonance that the initial games carried with them in spades.

It's 2/3rds of a good movie marred by 1/3rd disaster... which, as a Silent Hill fan, will forever bug me at how close we got, yet so far away.

.... And then Silent Hill: Revelations happened.

PunkRex:
I havn't played the games so certain things in the movie confused me, why could the cop also enter Silent Hill, she seemed legit good guy?

Explanations below.

I haven't seen this film, but now I kinda want to. However not having ever played a Silent Hill game I don't really care how faithful it is to the source material.

Trishbot:

The 2/3rds of the movie works [...]

It's 2/3rds of a good movie marred by 1/3rd disaster...

But I ask you this: does it work as a horror movie? Or is just a good thriller with supernatural elements?

For me that's the major fail of the movie: not being scary.

I'm kind of sad to see this movie here because I love it, for me it's a great movie , when it's on cable I always see it, and I do recommend it to people that don't know shit about the game.

I enjoyed both movies. They, at least, try to stay to the games as much as possible. Sure, they did a # of liberties in both, but to have the one actress in the 2nd one look as close to Heather Mason as possible, I thought, was really well done. Both are on my guilty pleasure list (along with Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros).

"hi. my name is attackshark, and i think Silent Hill is pretty okay."

this was a bad movie? i liked it the whole time, and agree with your points.

Ruisu:
Well, now you'll have to do a Movie defense force for Max Payne. That is one extremely underrated game adaptation that needs some love.

+1, exactly what I wanted to write. I seriously don't get why the Max Payne movie gets trashed. I really like that movie. But, since even SH gets trashed, I guess it's just another proof that people are stupid.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

RJ 17:
All I really remember about the movie was the barbed-wire tentacle rape at the very end, but taking it as purely just a "scary movie", I recall finding it pretty enjoyable.

Fun fact: I remember making a terrible joke, of which I won't repeat here in the open, when that happened and a friend of mine that went to the movie theatre with me to see it just about died laughing.

I'm a horrible horrible person.

When I saw it getting set up I was like "No frickin' way are they REALLY gonna---ok, yeah, they did just go there..."

JohnHayne:
To say that Silent Hill the movie is good because it has the aesthetics, the pacing, music and camera angles is like saying that a game is great because the graphic looks nice, even if the gameplay sucks. Just saying...

Erm... except there's a big difference, because the aesthetics, pacing, and camera angles are mostly down to the direction, so if the direction of the film is good there's at least a reasonable chance the film will be good. Whereas with a video game, the direction of the cutscenes would never be able to save horrible, tedious, boring, or broken gameplay.

So, is SH:tM watchable? Sure. Can you have fun with it? Yes. Is it any good? Well, depends on who you ask.

One thing is sure: It has a lot of flaws...

You've just described... well, everything ever. Because in your own words,

you can have fun with anything, depends entirely on personal taste.

OT: I've never seen it or really put any time into the games because I'm not the biggest fan of horror unless I'm in the proper mood, but I don't recall generally seeing a lot of hatred being flung at the first Silent Hill film. Here and there, sure, but it seemed about even with the people who liked it. Though, that may be because I only really caught the discussions years after the fact. Who knows.

The only problem I have with the movie is they ruined the 'other word transition'... by giving it a transition. In the first games, going to the other world was a mind-fuck. That's why it's was scary! In the movie it's the cgi version of 'BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOO!". It's so retarded it isn't even funny. Whats worse, is once the Silent Hill games turned to shit, they adopted this terrible design choice... as if to facilitate they knew they were now shit.

But yeah, otherwise a great game based movie, with VERY detailed and recognizable enemies and locations. I am still impressed with how accurate the school was.

Wow, look at all the apologists crawling out of the wood work for this one. The comments section for this video must be the only place on the whole of the internet where you all feel safe admitting you liked this movie, since you know you'd be lynched anywhere else.

xPixelatedx:
The only problem I have with the movie is they ruined the 'other word transition'... by giving it a transition. In the first games, going to the other world was a mind-fuck. That's why it's was scary! In the movie it's the cgi version of 'BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOO!". It's so retarded it isn't even funny. Whats worse, is once the Silent Hill games turned to shit, they adopted this terrible design choice... as if to facilitate they knew they were now shit.

I'm so glad someone else feels this way, since all I ever hear about the Other World transition from this movie is praise. It's showing the Shark in Jaws, I don't care how "cool" an effect it is, it completely ruins the point and impact of the other world. The only reason I didn't mention it below was because Jim didn't defend it, which is good cuz I feel like if he did I woulda thrown my keyboard across the fucking room.

I, for one, have never disagreed with Jim more when it comes to any of his videos anywhere ever until this one. Every single thing he said in this video, I went "no" to. Pretty much every single thing.

First, though, I think it's fucking funny he doesn't mention the Sean Bean plot even once. If you're just going by this video, you wouldn't even know literally half the movie is completely pointless and would have been better served on the cutting room floor because Jim doesn't even pretend it exists. To be fair, that is most wise, but I feel it undermines his point in defending this movie a bit when half of it (literally half, time that shit) is sooo bad it's undefendable. So when half the movie is so wretched he wont even mention it, on top of a third act that makes you wanna eat the disc, don't see how you can stamp the "successfully defended" print on this one.

And also, minor point, but that child actor is awful. Every moment with that little kid on screen is like nails on chalkboard in my brain.

"It was criticized by fans of the video games for not being enough like the video games"

I criticized it for being a completely wretched horror movie, and that doesn't change even if you take out the part where it shits all over a beloved game franchise.

"... and sneaks in enough fan service to do the trick."

Fan service is never good. Ever. And even if hypothetically there was ever a situation where fan service wasn't the worst thing you could do, it wouldn't be enough.

"Silent Hill is a stylist, beautifully designed film, that at the very least nails the aesthetic of the games series."

The first half of this statement is subjective, but I don't find a movie with two colors (gray and orange) to be beautifully designed. It mutes your eyes to look at it. And I definitely take umbrage with the latter, since while you could argue that that's "the point" of the movies design, it isn't the point of the games. Contrary to popular belief, the point of the oppressive nature of Silent Hill isn't to make you feel "alone", that's Metroid, it's to make you feel the exact opposite. You're trapped in a very confined space with something that means you harm, that you never the less can't even see. That's the whole point of the radio (which is absent from the film, along with any semblance of roaming monsters around the town to threaten our heroes) you can't SEE the monsters hidden behind the foggy vale, but the buzzing of the radio means you know they're there, and that's what makes it scarey. Nails the aesthetic of the games? I think not.

"The surprisingly authentic looking town"

About as authentic as the ones in North Korea. It doesn't look authentic at all, it looks abandoned, which might make sense in the "real world" but the fog world DOES have people living in it! WHERE ARE THEY ALL HIDING!? What do they EAT!? Why are the buildings either collapsing or burned out? Cuz of the coal fire? Oh do not get me fucking started on that contrived horse shit...

Authentic compared to the caricatures at Disney World, maybe.

"...uses original game tunes"

The music in this movie is the biggest thing I hate about it. It disgusts me to my very core, and whenever I hear people offer the cursory "well at least the music is good" I facepalm. Having a good sound track is not the same thing as having good music in a movie, people. Watchmen: great sound track, does not understand anything about how music is supposed to be used to establish or heighten the tone of a scene. This movie has it even worse because the music is uses already existed as something that was meant for a very specific type of scene to establish a very specific type of mood, and throwing it around at random across the scenes in this movie not only doesn't fit the music, but at times it actively ruins the intention of the tone the movie is trying to set. Every time this fucking film used Angela's theme for Cheryl, I questioned what on earth the sound dudes on this movie must have been smoking, and I totally called that they'd use the opening song of Silent Hill 3 for the credits because that would have been the perfect god damn cherry on the suck cake.

"the plot is a little bit convoluted where they tried to put a Hollywood spin on the games more culty elements"

No mention of how they turned Harry Mason into a woman? Or the reason WHY they did that?

(the reason is sexism btw)

"But this movie is mostly a real life tour through gamings favorite ghost town..."

Wherein we visit none of the famous or popular locations from the game, the town in the movie doesn't look anything like the one from the game, and there's no Lake. Saying the town is called silent hill doesn't make it silent hill (I don't remember Silent Hill having a fucking coal mine under it), so we're really just touring some town. A town that isn't scarey.

"[ramble about how fan service is good]"

No it isn't.

"[Talking about the creepy scenes]"

Again, this is a subjective thing, but I don't think these scenes he's talking about are scarey, and I don't know anyone else who does either. The burned babies are just jump scares without the sudden out of no-whereness that makes it a jump scare, they cause the protagonist no harm, and they vanish when she yells at them. Not scarey. (oh and then she wakes up in a bowling alley..... what?)

The Janitor isn't scarey, he's fucking hilarious. Everyone I know who has seen this movie, everytime I watch it with someone, that is the scene we laugh the hardest at. I mean, are you kidding? Some guy walking on his hands with his legs over his head making goofy tongue noise shit? You can not have even begun to claim that shlock was scarey with a straight face.

The nurse scene, I have only this to say: watch it while playing Micheal Jackson's Thriller in the back ground. You will never be able to take it seriously again (if you ever could in the first place cuz it was fucking retarded)

This movie isn't scarey, it's attempts at trying to be are laughable. The original Alien is a film I consider to be the greatest horror movie of all time, that fucking movie is scarey. Compared to that, there is no contest.

But oooooh that isn't faaaaaaair, what would be fair? Comparing it to the games? Comparing it to a slasher movie like the Halloween or Friday the Thirteenth series? It still loses. Fucking The Evil Dead is scarier then this movie. The original, not the remake.

"[anything with Pyramid Head]"

Maybe my inner fan nerd is different from Jim's, but I'm hard wired to rage whenever I see something that shouldn't belong and was only shoved in for patronizing fan service shit. Shit, I raged when Man of Steel didn't have Supes keep the red underwear on the outside, I am the wrong person to try and convince Pyramid Head was in this movie for any other reason than to be insulting to the fans. And that scene where he rips off the womans skin and throws it? Another big laugh moment for me and my circle of movie watching associates.

"... nicely paced..."

He claims while showing the one and only clip of a scene from the Sean Bean half of this movie that gets acknowledged in this video, the existence of which takes any semblance of pacing the movie has and crashes it into a brick wall. Those scenes add nothing, ruin any tension or pacing the actual Silent Hill stuff might hypothetically have had, and should have been cut. It wasn't though, and it single handedly ruins the entire movie even if you were to try and agree with Jims other points.

"... more respectful to the source material than most video game films..."

They turned the cult into a Christian witch burning thing. and had Pyramid Head running around. And turned Dahlia into the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons.

Fuck. You.

"It didn't please anyone when it came out back in 2006, but looking back on it, it was a pretty damn fun ghost train of a film."

Yeah people only say that NOW, because the sequel makes it look like a fucking masterpiece in comparison. Can't wait till he gets to that movie.

Yeah, it's pretty. If they'd pay as much attention to the plot as they did to the visuals, we might have gotten a good horror movie instead of a passable one.

Still, it's better than Silent Hill: Revelations (not as pretty, twice as dumb).

As many others, I'm quite surprised to see this movie here. It's probably the best VG adaptation I've seen (and I've seen many... Mario, Wing Commander, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc., which were quite cringe-worthy or so bad it's good) and I never played a SH game before.

shrekfan246:

JohnHayne:
To say that Silent Hill the movie is good because it has the aesthetics, the pacing, music and camera angles is like saying that a game is great because the graphic looks nice, even if the gameplay sucks. Just saying...

Erm... except there's a big difference, because the aesthetics, pacing, and camera angles are mostly down to the direction, so if the direction of the film is good there's at least a reasonable chance the film will be good. Whereas with a video game, the direction of the cutscenes would never be able to save horrible, tedious, boring, or broken gameplay.

My point is: art direction cannot redeem the bad stuff in a movie, the same way nice graphics (not cutscenes, but graphics in general) cannot redeem bad gameplay.

Take what Yahtzee calls "spunkgargleweewee": FPS with cutting edge graphics with boring gameplay. Fun? it can be, but it in the end they are bad games.

It's like saying: "Man, that story made no sense, plot holes all over the place, half of the cast was a joke, but, boy! that art director! Oh my! And that soundtrack! What a good movie"

randomthefox:

And also, minor point, but that child actor is awful. Every moment with that little kid on screen is like nails on chalkboard in my brain.

"It was criticized by fans of the video games for not being enough like the video games"

I criticized it for being a completely wretched horror movie, and that doesn't change even if you take out the part where it shits all over a beloved game franchise.

I remember her from the Kingdom Hospital tv series. She did ok then, but in SH she was not good at all.

"...uses original game tunes"

The music in this movie is the biggest thing I hate about it. It disgusts me to my very core, and whenever I hear people offer the cursory "well at least the music is good" I facepalm. Having a good sound track is not the same thing as having good music in a movie, people. Watchmen: great sound track, does not understand anything about how music is supposed to be used to establish or heighten the tone of a scene. This movie has it even worse because the music is uses already existed as something that was meant for a very specific type of scene to establish a very specific type of mood, and throwing it around at random across the scenes in this movie not only doesn't fit the music, but at times it actively ruins the intention of the tone the movie is trying to set. Every time this fucking film used Angela's theme for Cheryl, I questioned what on earth the sound dudes on this movie must have been smoking, and I totally called that they'd use the opening song of Silent Hill 3 for the credits because that would have been the perfect god damn cherry on the suck cake.

Completely agree on this one. It's like they put the game sound track in a shotgun barrel and shoot at the movie timeline and call it the day.

RJ 17:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

RJ 17:
All I really remember about the movie was the barbed-wire tentacle rape at the very end, but taking it as purely just a "scary movie", I recall finding it pretty enjoyable.

Fun fact: I remember making a terrible joke, of which I won't repeat here in the open, when that happened and a friend of mine that went to the movie theatre with me to see it just about died laughing.

I'm a horrible horrible person.

When I saw it getting set up I was like "No frickin' way are they REALLY gonna---ok, yeah, they did just go there..."

That's probably why I said what I said because I was surprised they went there. One hell of a way to die though.

I will say what was kinda funny was that when that scene was happening some of the girls in the theatre crossed their legs. I know my friend and I just watched on uncomfortably....I had another horrible comment, but I don't want to get in trouble so I will just let it die.

i dont think the movie needs defending. it could have stood on its own without taking the name of silent hill, but it did and rightfully so, because as jim said, it was aestheticaly very close to the early installments of the video game.
were there inconsistencies in terms of "silent hill lore"? absolutely. then again, those inconsistencies only reveal themselves to hardcore fans of the games and the director took the artistic liberty to rather include some things that make some real impression on the screen rather than leave them out for lore continuities sake. im glad the movie turned out as good as it did, i liked it very much.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of those points. Then again, I watched it before I ever actually played any of the games, even though I was familiar with the stories. I don't know if my opinion will have changed now that I have played them, but I would guess probably not. I enjoyed it, and in my mind if you can enjoy a movie, it's done its job, no matter how good or bad it may actually be. I mean, hell, that seems to be the principle SciFi Channel is operating on these days, and it seems to be working.

And anyway, next to Silent Hill: Revelations...

One of my friends, who hates horror but saw the first Silent Hill (through the gaps in her fingers...when they weren't completely covering her eyes) got talked into going with us, and by the end she was laughing her ass off with the rest of us. It's been a while since I've seen a movie that God-awful in a movie theater and not on, say...SciFi.

Was a fan of the movie as well. If anything, I always said they had the atmosphere nailed down 100%, and having Yamaoka's score brought in certainly helped in that regard. I didn't even mind the shift away from the original game, or how they killed certain characters off who never died (or, did, depending on your ending).

Though if people want to argue about sticking to the source, Silent Hill: Revelations seems to try harder at doing it. Though, I'm still not entirely sure if I really liked that movie, or thought it was okay. Bits and pieces of it almost felt unnecessary, and were only there to make it feel more like the games, instead of being there for the pacing. But hey, it had Malcolm McDowell in it, so it wasn't all bad!

edit:
Fun bit of rumor info, but that tentacle wire ending? Apparently that was done because their original idea went over the budget. They apparently wanted to have a whole host of spear-wielding Pyramid Heads to burst into the Church in the pivotal moment of the ending, led by Alissa, who then proceed to slaughter everyone else. I still think the barbed wire schtick worked out pretty good anyways though.

I... actually really enjoyed Silent Hill. I haven't played the games but I thought it was a genuinely decent horror flick.

Having never played any of the games when I saw this, the movie scared the shit out of me. Plus, I didn't need to worry about it butchering the cannon because I knew nothing about it. This is such an underrated movie.

Nyeeeehhh I have a hard time with this one.

Taken as its own, the movie CAN be a good horror film. However, its pacing gets gutted thanks to the Sean Bean scenes that do nothing for the movie and the only reason they're in there is because the studio said "We need a male lead too". Now they could have just put in Bean as Harry, taken Rose out, and with that Cybil would have had a more important role, but no. Gotta be stupid.

Plus, it's the fanboy in me that just cringes when I see the monsters. Yes, they look great, but they don't belong in an adaptation of Silent Hill. I mean if you'd just buttoned the nurse's tops, bam. You got them right. But no, gotta make 'em the big-titted bobble-head ones from 2. Same with the lying figure. In fact, with all the monsters they had why didn't they just make it an adaptation of Silent Hill 2? If you're going to take all the monsters from the second game, just make a movie out of the second game!

Then there's the cult being witch-burners. Why? I mean when did that stuff happen? I'm pretty sure the feds would've had something to say about that.

Then there's the "fan-service" thing. When a movie makes nods to something like they did here, I feel more like they're going "See? We did it right! We didn't ruin it cuz we put this in here!".

I dunno, I look too hard at it and my judgement of having to compare it to the source material makes me unable to like it so well. "There have been worse adaptations" doesn't fly for me either. It's like saying the rhubarb pie was a closer adaptation to the apple pie than the chocolate creme was to the strawberry. You still did it wrong when the ingredients and recipe were plainly in front of you. I give points for effort but that was a ridiculous mistake.

Haven't watched the video yet.

Just taking a quick moment to say I rather liked Silent Hill. Christoph Gans has an eye for the material and the changes he made, while a bit frustrating from the viewpoint of a Silent Hill lore nerd are completely understandable in terms of getting the story and themes across to the uninitiated.
Turning The Order into a sect of pseudo Christian zealots is an acceptable alteration as it avoids a lot of the excessive lore that comes with supernatural cults (who do they worship, how does their culty magic work, why are they worshiping this particular entity, are there other gods and demons....blah blah blah.) Setting it amongst a backdrop of an industrial mining community allows for a lot of the traditional Dark Silent Hill imagery while still playing into the idea of it being a twisted alteration of the world that Alessa feared.

It's not perfect but in terms of big screen adaptations of video games I'll take an imperfect alteration to an existing story over a poorly executed attempt to carbon copy the game narrative into a cinematic experience.

Ok watching the video now.

Back in a mo'

Edit:

Well okay then...glad we agree.

Watching the review and seeing the quick progression of the story reminds me of one of my favorite little design choices in this movie.
Namely that as Rose De Silva progresses through Silent Hill her outfit continues to accrue stains and damage until the once white and off gray outfit she started out with in "foggy" Silent Hill ends up the same rusty brown and crimson mess as the rest of Dark Silent Hill.

image
image

I love that.

Lastly, I hope we can all agree that Silent Hill: Revelation was an unwatchable pile of pig shit.

This was considered bad? Shlocky horror, yeah, but not certainly not bad shlock. Second only to Mortal Kombat in terms of game-movies IMO.

Anybody seen the second one? It's got Jon AND Eddard in it, so I figure it's probably brilliant.

Does anybody get skinned?

Any brutal lives of ceaseless torture in a hell not of their making?

Edit: Apparently the second one is bollocks. Genuine shame that. Like I said, SH never blew my mind but I had fun.

I enjoyed the film. But I found the end frustrating.

http://youtu.be/hW5ND6OysSs

Watch the comparison vid. Say what you will about the movie and the director, but its clear that Christophe Gans actually loved the game and paid his dues. Sure, it fell apart in the end, but SH1 was my favorite game in the series and for a game/movie adaptation to honor that, has my respect.

It's not the worst movie ever, but I don't like it for a few reasons:

The inconsequential side story, starring Chris DaSilva. This was a result of the aforementioned tampering with the characters.

Use of monsters from the games that had no business being there. Yes, Pyramid Head was just tossed in, but the nurses are the biggest irritant for me. Why does "darkest nightmare" of a young girl include sexy female humanoids with giant boobs?

Its confirmation of multiple dimensions. In the games, it was always left ambiguous; the film solidified that. It's a nitpick, but it felt like one instance of the film going out of its way to explain everything.

I can't blame the film itself for this one, but the inspiration the later games took from the film, especially Homecoming. I partially attribute the overuse of PH to its use in the film.

That said, the sets are fantastic, the monsters are well-realized (I actually quite like Colin the janitor as well), and the music is used pretty effectively. The nods to the games are always fun to see.

It's not a bad movie, per se. My biggest problems with it are all to do with moments and ideas I perceive as missing the point of the games and the attempted fanservice (I'm one of those guys who gets annoyed when Pyramid Head or the "sexy" nurses show up outside of Silent Hill 2). Beyond that there's some fairly minor tonal issues - occasionally the film shoots for scary and ends up downright silly. Still find it mildly enjoyable and I imagine that if I wasn't a fan of the games I'd probably like it a bit more.

EDIT: Thinking about it, Christopher Gans adapts material the same way Zach Snyder does: with a very keen eye for visuals and surface elements but with little deeper understanding of what the material is actually about and why it works (or at least, little that comes across in the finished work).

I remember the outcry, I remember renting the DVD, I remember sitting with my friends and laughing about how it was going to be fun to watch this supposed pile of crap.
I also remember the six of us being pretty agreed that it wasn't as bad as everyone had been going on about. In fact I think we even said the words "actually" "pretty" and "good" together in a sentence describing the film.

Now I look at the comments here and see a similar response.
I would like to say it didn't need defending but maybe it did.

My intended closing comment was taken and I'm lazy...

Diddy_Mao:

Lastly, I hope we can all agree that Silent Hill: Revelation was an unwatchable pile of pig shit.

i also enjoyed the movie. you can clearly see that they tried their best to stick to the source as much as possible. even in the making of the director said that its impossible to be 1:1 to the game. "a movie is a movie, and a game is a game". thats what he said.
he also said that he is a silent hill fan and i think he did a good job capturing the moments we know from the game.

the second movie though, that was really crap.

To me, there are two major problems that boggles the film down both in regards to faithfulness and pacing (well, one problem in the strictest sense, the other is a side-effect of the first). Both problems that Jim didn't touch upon.

First we had the decision of turning Harry Mason into a woman. The director's justification was more or less that he saw Harry as a rather feminine character because he believed that a father wouldn't go to such lengths to save his daughter, and of course to have that bit of tagged-on mother symbolism ("Mother is God in the eyes of a child"). All in all, it just comes across as dumb and, well, kind of sexist.

This leads to side problem of the scenes with Sean Bean, which consists of him doing unrelated and ultimately pointless things. Scenes which are solely there because it was felt that the film needed a principle male character, a problem that wouldn't be present if Harry hadn't been genderswapped.

Odd, I didn't even know this one needed defending. One of my friends made me watch it after I scoffed at another video game adaptation by Hollywood and I'm glad that he did. The plot lacks at times but it is more than up for with some incredibly creepy scenes.

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