Movie Defense Force: Silent Hill

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When the jazz started while a car spun out in the rain into a haunted town I started getting serious Two Best Friends Play Deadly Premonition flashbacks...

At the time of watching the film I'd only played Downpour and knew large chunks of the overall plot of Silent Hill, but the film didn't manage to put me off even with it's ending (which was mostly retconned in Revelations anyway), Pyramid Head, the total misuse of the monsters and the Cult appearing far too much. It was a good film, I'd recommend it to none fans.

To be honest, I see more people hating Silent Hill 4: The Room (which isn't that bad) than Silent Hill: The Movie, and Silent Hill: The Retcon Movie.

I had always been under the impression that Silent Hill was of the "better" game films. This being the better of a very shoddy bunch.

Not played the games so can't really see where the "failings" were from that point. As a film...sorry, as a horror film *lowers expectations* it was entertaining for me and had enough creepy and disturbing things in it rather than being GOREFEST IS SCARY!!1!

The first 15 minutes of Silent Hill 1 on Playstation were more terrifying than the movie, sadly. It mimicked the scenes, almost shot for shot, but didn't get the same level of tension or terror.

I really enjoyed this movie for what it was: a TAKE on Silent Hill. Not meant to be an exact copy of the story line, just based on it. My opinion might not count though since I've only played through 4 mostly. :)

So I literally just realized that the barb wire rape scene was a homage to the original Evil Dead. Herpa derp.

I remember seeing this in theaters while I was in college. I remember thinking it was okay even if I laughed through the entire third act.

I liked this movie since it came out. And i like silent hill 2 (though the game is great to experience, a torture to use the mechanics). But you, i seem to remember back in 2008 on Podtoid you tore it to shreds, with same arguments you just brushed of as "Yeah it has that" here.

CapchA: empire state of mind
I certainly hope so.

I think the main problem of the film, from which all others stemmed, was that it simply did not respect its audience.

The films that inspired the franchise (Lost Highway and Jacob's Ladder) were so effective because of the ambiguity of the plot, protagonist motivations, and antagonists. The first four Silent Hill games followed suit by adopting that ambiguity into their game design with Silent Hill 2 being the glowing example and shining all the brighter for it.

The movie however dumbed everything down to such a degree that its almost insulting. Gone is the old cult whose aims may or may not be noble, replaced by a silly uber puritan group of idiots. The monsters respecting aspect of the psyche have been switched for recognizable series icons in a shameless attempt of fan service.

The worst offender is the plot. Everything is shown. I'm surprised we weren't shown the characters out on a bathroom break given how much the scriptwriter and director didn't trust us to not get confused. In the aforementioned games and movies, large parts of characters' actions weren't shown and the audience was left to figure it out which made for great surreal disorientation. The crowning turd is the ending. That exposition dumb...wow.

I'll agree with the opinion that its not terrible, just resoundingly mediocre, but the question is why even bother with this movie when you can a better 'Silent Hill experience' from much, MUCH better films?

I didn't know people hated this film. I loved it.

Could certain parts of the movie have been better? Yes. Was it overall a "bad" movie? No. The flak it gets from critics, I feel, is unwarranted. Compared to other video game to movie adaptions it's cinema gold.

Jimothy Sterling:
Silent Hill

Movie Defense Force takes you on a trip to a quiet little town this week. Where you will die. You will die of babies.

Watch Video

Wait, there are people that don't like this film?

What the fuck, this film is fucking brilliant. I LOVE this film. It's one of my favourite horror movies!

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of the acts, it's a great game all the way through.

Hmm, to be honest I'm surprised this one made it onto "Movie Defense Force" largely because I wasn't aware that it really needed defending. It's "failure" seemed to be the result of the movie not succeeding immediately in theaters, it however succeeded well enough overall that it received a sequel a few years later. Not only that but it's popular enough within the nerd culture that when "Critical Miss" did a joke about the Lamnent Configuration from "Hellraiser" a number of people thought it was a joke about "Silent Hill", which should say something about the current generation. The movies also did well enough where Universal Studios made "Silent Hill" the theme of their Halloween event (last year I believe).

That said, unlike my usual comments about how things need to be judged based on the relative handling of the material, I will say that "Silent Hill" actually fared pretty well given what a train wreck it was in that respect. They seemed to have little problem shying away from the gore, but at the same time they seemed to get away from the whole idea of what the cult operating in the town was all about, whether that was for fear of offending people, or the writers wanting to get some jibes in at Christians, I have no idea. It also features perhaps the absolute dumbest scene in any movie to date which involves (Spoiler to the right, since I can't make spoiler space work today for some reason) a certain lady cop telling the homicidal cultists she is out of bullets after successfully holding them at bay with an empty gun, which she could have continued to do.

The Silent Hill Sequel (more spoilers for anyone who cares) on a lot of levels managed to be a little more loyal to the source material, which makes it kind of funny when I run into fan boys who slam it harder than the first one for whatever reason. Silent Hill 2 was pretty much using the plot from the third game, albeit instead of the twist that all the monsters the protaganists seeing are actually people and she's hallucinating (albeit with the source of this coming from Silent Hill) it's handled in a more straightforward "they are real" sense. They did it more or less right, except for the actually fairly clever twist in a storyline that was inferior to the first two games in the series, which is more or less what sold the entire thing as far as it went. The idea that the monsters are people is an ancient one, but it was interesting when you learned that slightly easier combat in some areas compared to the harder survivial aspect of the first two was simply to bait you given that the ending was largely determined by how many people you killed thinking they were monsters.

It's also worth noting that the first Silent Hill movie was NOT even attempting to follow a game storyline, instead it was blending plot points from Silent Hill 1 and 2 together into one narrative. The actual twist ending as far as it went is actually the twist from the first game, not the second.

To be honest though, given that the guys holding the license have been unable to string together anything more than a mediocre "Silent Hill" game since the third one, I think the movie guys deserve some slack when dealing with material no professional has been able to write well in a long time. I suspect largely because of fears over backlash that started when the Silent Hill team got complaints about how the demo for "Silent Hill 2" went too far causing them to edit "Silent Hill 2" for content (true story) with later games being done as if they were tip toeing across a mine field, wanting to make the game messed up, but not TOO messed up, as a result it failed to deliver to genere fans who expected the ante to be upped in each sequel.

It's also noteworthy that people tend to project onto "Silent Hill" quite a bit, and to be honest a lot of the explanations people use for how things work and fit together, and how everything is based on the psyche of the latest victim, are based on theories that were presented in the game that people ran with beyond what was actually said, especially when it came to "Silent Hill 2". Totally overlooking that the conclusions could have been entirely wrong, especially in light of the facts established in SH1 where the driving force was actually confronted directly. I've often felt that Silent Hill kind of suffered from writers figuring that they liked the Fan's explanations a bit better than what they originally thought of, and then ran with them. Those explanations while fairly elegant do make for some pretty craptastic and predictable storytelling. It also tends to overlook why a driving intelligence wouldn't want to keep something as powerful and intimidating as Pyramid head around as a minion even after the guy that inspired the intelligence had moved on. One of the few things I've always boggled at is why certain fans object to his appearance, while at the same time argueing there is a malevolent intelligence at work. Nobody complains about the nurses, which are arguably a sign that the town does like to keep a few stock tricks in it's bag.

Really? I loved this film, most people I know who were Silent Hill fans don't dislike it, and at the time it was the first horror movie in years that was actually a horror movie, not a slasher or sequence of jump scares without atmosphere.

I have never understood the people who cry and scream for a game (almost any game, really) to make it to the big screen, then cry and scream at any change, major or minor, made to it. If you wanted a perfectly pure experience of the videogame, maybe just go ahead and PLAY THE VIDEOGAME AGAIN. Or realize that it would be impossible to translate a 10-15 hour videogame into a 2 hour movie without making SOME changes.

This was great, though, as someone who thought the film was just fine and had some genuine thrills AND chills.

Talvrae:
I said it before, i say it again...
Silent Hill is not a great Movie... But it's still the best video game movie to date...

^
100% this.

I Honestly cant remember much about the sequel. Was there some sort of scene people chowing down on human flesh? Thats all that seems to stick out in my mind.

FrozenCones:

I Honestly cant remember much about the sequel. Was there some sort of scene people chowing down on human flesh? Thats all that seems to stick out in my mind.

Yes there was such a scene... what sticked out the most of the sequel to me was how often i felt: "Wow they really nailled Silent Hill atmosphere... hope no never mind they just totally drop it there"

I am still hesitant to watch the sequel because of how bad this first one was, I really hate how Hollywood has to take a massive shit on any material not original to itself. I am still massively insulted by the bullshit excuse given for the entire premise of the movie, Wanting to help/save your child is NOT and exclusively feminine/maternal thing it is universal between both sexes/parents, so that choice is shot out of the water off the bat, hell the whole opening scene where they explain that Cheryl is adopted outright is just stupid and fucking pointless in the game you don't find that out till at least the halfway point or later so it gives much more weight to Harry's actions and willingness to delve into the hellish horrors of Silent hill to Save his daughter, blood or not. The coal-town thing was idiotic as well, hell the entire "what is Sean Bean doing?" section of the film was pointless and ultimately served no purpose to the story

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.

And really, I never though Silent Hill needed a defense. I though everybody loved it. I know I did when it came out. Never watched the sequel though...

I second this, although those slow motion parts in Max Payne were really poor, they went almost full stop. Either way Max Payne should have gotten a better film, it was an easy (easier then most) game to turn into a movie since the game was so attached to noir, something that if the movie did well it could have been a great movie for the now basicly dead noir genre (even if its somewhat of a satire).

Still enjoyed it though.

I really enjoyed Silent Hill movie (the first at least, haven't seen the other). It wasn't true to the game's story, sure, but it was its own and it kept true to the theme of the Silent Hill series. It was really good.

I think you should defend Dungeons and Dragons next.

I pretty much agree, it was my favourite video game to movie adaption up until the complete awesomeness that is Ace Attorney. Proof that the Japanese can do those adaptions the best.

IllumInaTIma:
I freaking loved first Silent Hill, honestly, I think it's the best videogame adaptation up to date! Sure, it takes some liberties with narrative, but it doesn't try to be exactly what game was and it manages to pull off the atmosphere perfectly!
But Silent Hill 2... it's only redeeming quality was Pyramid Head's final fight with... something.

Never, ever, EVER call Silent Hill Revelations "Silent Hill 2" Unless you're deliberately trying to troll the fanbase. Trust me, they will hate you for it. (and I'm one of them)
OT: Yay, glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoyed this movie here. (Plus it got me to play Silent Hill 2, so that's just gravy).

Aptspire:

IllumInaTIma:
I freaking loved first Silent Hill, honestly, I think it's the best videogame adaptation up to date! Sure, it takes some liberties with narrative, but it doesn't try to be exactly what game was and it manages to pull off the atmosphere perfectly!
But Silent Hill 2... it's only redeeming quality was Pyramid Head's final fight with... something.

Never, ever, EVER call Silent Hill Revelations "Silent Hill 2" Unless you're deliberately trying to troll the fanbase. Trust me, they will hate you for it. (and I'm one of them)
OT: Yay, glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoyed this movie here. (Plus it got me to play Silent Hill 2, so that's just gravy).

Please excuse me for calling a second Silent Hill movie Silent Hill 2. Oh please, please, please, Silent Hill fan base and especially you, Aptspire, don't hate me for that!

I've always liked this film. I remember thinking it was the best game to movie film I'd seen at the time. (maybe it still is... having a hard time remembering game to movie films I've seen recently)
I never had a problem with it. In fact quite the opposite, I really quite enjoyed.
That being said, I was never massively in to the games... so maybe that would have changed my opinion.
The only part I remember not being that fond of was the end... but it did somehow work even if it did leave me not quite understanding what exactly had happened.

But as it stands - this is a movie I really liked.

Talvrae:
I said it before, i say it again...
Silent Hill is not a great Movie... But it's still the best video game movie to date...

Then video game adaptations still have a lonnnnnnnnnng way to go...

But hey, comic book movies had to wait forever to be done right to, so it'll happen to video games sooner or later.

....right? =|

I'll give this Silent Hill movie credit for something, though: It has been the best EFFORT put forth to make a worthy translation. Most of the others just don't bother trying, but the atmosphere and the set designs and creature designs here were indeed good. So it seems like their heart was at least in the right place. And if it wasn't so gore-happy and iconography shoving like every other horror movie in the mid-00's were and really cracked down on the psychological aspect of what makes Silent Hill Silent Hill (the cultists are just PART of the problem; the real antagonist is the town itself), then we'd have something here...but alas...

I hate the "it's not Shakespear" card. When people go "just don't think about it." This is the worst defense that people use for something and act like it's totally ironclad and a flawless argument.

Like, dude, you realize you're saying the thing you're defending is shit and you'd have to be stupid to like it when you say that, right? Cuz the argument isn't "no, it's good," it's "it's bad, yeah, but fuck you you should like it anyway."

Seriously, people.... get some standards.

I liked the movie as a whole, I even liked Silent Hill Revelation. I do wish they would have kept Harry Mason as the main protagonist, and I really wish they'd dropped the FRI trope they added in to Silent Hill Revelations, but still enjoyable.

Sgt. Sykes:

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.

I'll take a stab at explaining why. Max Payne and Silent Hill 2 are two of my favorite games of all time (Max Payne probably #1 on my list), and the reason I like Silent Hill's movie but not Max Payne's movie is because while neither were perfect adaptations, Silent Hill at least captured the feeling and spirit of the game.

Max Payne is literally a god damned story board, so there is no excuse for screwing it up like they did. Take those graphic novel cutscenes and boom, there's your script. Pepper some action scenes in between and you're done. Instead, the movie loses the entire gritty film noir feel by eliminating the brooding narration (something Sin City did perfectly), leaving out entire major characters (Vinnie Gognitti, Vlad the Russian, etc.), and changing others (Jack Lupino). Oh, and the "blaming himself for the death of his family, nightmare drug sequences" were entirely omitted as well.

I was actually fine with Mark Wahlberg as Max. Not my first choice, but I had high hopes. He wasn't bad (though I think Mel Gibson would have been better if the movie had been made just a little sooner; think "Payback"). Mila Kunis as Mona Sax though? Awful. Too young, too weak, too... small. I don't know. There was literally nothing about her that I liked as Mona Sax.

The icing on the cake for me was when I saw that the storage facility was called "Gognitti Storage". That was like a slap in the face to me. As if they were saying, "Ya, we know the story. Ya, we know who the important characters are. No, we aren't going to use any of that." This is exactly why I refuse to see World War Z. You want to make your own movie that bears no resemblance to the source material? Fine. But why even use the license then? Just make your own thing.

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.

And really, I never though Silent Hill needed a defense. I though everybody loved it. I know I did when it came out. Never watched the sequel though...

I would love that, because that movie was absolute trash. You can see my post above for my reasons, so I would love for Jim to give me literally anything to like about that movie. Just... anything.

Jackel86:
Max Payne is literally a god damned story board, so there is no excuse for screwing it up like they did. Take those graphic novel cutscenes and boom, there's your script. Pepper some action scenes in between and you're done. Instead, the movie loses the entire gritty film noir feel by eliminating the brooding narration (something Sin City did perfectly), leaving out entire major characters (Vinnie Gognitti, Vlad the Russian, etc.), and changing others (Jack Lupino). Oh, and the "blaming himself for the death of his family, nightmare drug sequences" were entirely omitted as well.

Funny, I was defending the MP movie (again) just last week in another thread.

Anyway... MP is one of my favorite games as well and I think it is the most important game in the shooting genre since Half-Life. Maybe since Quake. I played that game to death and not just because there was a time when my CD drive couldn't read anything else except my MP CD.

That said, I don't actually think that game is very suitable into making a movie. No, really. Yes, I know the game 'feels' like a movie quite often. But break it down and you'll find that if you'd just use the game's story (or most of it), it would make a completely idiotic, nonsenical B-movie. The game is full of characters because a) the game needs bosses, b) the shooting needs to be kept interesting by adding plot twists etc.

I mean, take some of the iconic MP moments. Like, when Alex gets killed just in front of you. Or when you meet Mona several times with guns pointing at each other. Or when her body disappears just like that. When a 'detective' story changes into a conspirational theorist's dream. The diabolical 'hag'. Max getting drugged, left for dead, but getting back up like nothing happened. All of this works great for the game, but imagine those scenes in a movie - it's ridiculous B-movie material. And I'm not even getting into the hundreds of bodies, which is, a thing that made the game.

Now, helicopter shooting at you in the elevator was cool, but Die Hard was made in the 80's.

At one point I actually DID try to remake the graphical novel scenes into a coherent story... Without the game, it just fails.

Now, I would welcome more 'grit' in the movie as well. However, putting Max in such nightmares like in the game would easily push the movie beyond R rating territory. Again it was so effective in the game because you could play it, the movie would have to convey this message in a much stronger manner.

Also, the story in the game, such as it is, is still a couple times longer than the movie... It would need to be cut down anyway.

Nah I just think the movie is just fine. And now I need to replay MP the game again.

SupahGamuh:
I'm a massive fan of Silent Hill and I liked this movie for the exact same reasons you described, seriously, I own the DVD and I already watched it like 5 times now.

The story was definitely cringe worthy, but at least the aesthetics, the pacing, music and camera angles were perfectly nailed and it does feel like Silent Hill, even if the story was shit (or at least, just the third act sucked).

And as I say, anything trying to be horror that feels like Silent Hill is good in my books, seeing as the first game is one of the best aged horror games of all time, and surprising me at just how scary it still is for a newcomer.

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