Jul 28 2010

Rant: How did they fuck up the Silent Hill movie so bad?

My apologies to James Rolfe.

Silent Hill is a good franchise, all said. The first two games are quite good, with the second being among many people's top 10 of all time (including my own. Actually, I would rank it number 2 or 3). Now, I'm not a fanboy; I really didn't expect the movie to be great, nor did I care that it would probably not follow the games very closely. What I hoped was that it was at least Lynchian in sensibilities, heavy on mood or horror, or at least be a formula film, which I actually think are just fine.

So holy fuck was I not ready for this turd. Look, the games were so good, they could have made a decent movie just recreating the main scenes. Not great or anything, but just fine. And the game makers were involved in the movie, so it should have been good, right? But no, we got this stinking pile of vomit. Shit.

Ok, so instead of the protagonist Harry Mason searching for his daughter Cheryl, we get a woman Rose trying to find her daughter Sharon in the ghost town Silent Hill after a car crash. Silent Hill isn't a mysteriously deserted town, but a West Virginian city that has a multi-year coal fire burning under it. Fine, whatever. The movie sets itself up to be like the game. Rose chases Sharon into an alleyway, which soon becomes "the dark world." In this world, as in the games, the streets and walls are all twisted and rusty iron grating, and disgusting flayed corpses suspended by barbed wire populate the scenery. Hey, good, this is one of the main motifs of the series. And Rose gets attacked by the ghost children, just like Harry does in the prologue to Silent Hill 1. Cool!

But instead of the film going on like this, a largely isolated affair where Harry tries to unravel what the hell is going on, and punctuated by interesting but rare character interaction, Rose immediately meets up with Sybil, a female cop who also gets trapped in the town while she's chasing Rose on the highway. See, because we can't have characters remark on shit unless we put superfluous characters in for them to chat with while being attacked by innumerable dream creatures. Good, nothing will create tension than by turning this into a buddy film. They even have the obligatory enemies-become-friends interaction between them, as Sybil arrests Rose before letting her go after the attack by slightly creepy creature.

The monsters in here look stupid. I mean really stupid. Really, there was no need to go and change what the nurse monsters look like. They're crazed undead nurses wielding scalpels---that's pretty fucking scary in my book. Adding a dumb looking rock face actually makes them look less menacing.

Instead of Harry figuring out what goes on, Rose chases Sybil to a few locations before meeting up with the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact. Yeah, I know it's just the same actress and not an actual Borg, but I can't actually tell that from this performance. ok, then Rose finally catches up with her daughter...except it's not her daughter? It's the devil? Then we are treated to a "here, let me explain this all" five minute film. What a horseshit hackey fucking plot device.

And they make the story worse! I mean, it wasn't exactly awesome to begin with, but the idea that Alessa Gillespie, being born to a cult like Rosemary's Baby to father of a god, then subsequently being burned alive, making her create the dark world of Silent Hill, is a pretty good idea. But no, we have to go and put the devil in. See, it's not Alessa doing this, it's fucking Satan. Jesus buffalo diarrhea fuck.

So in this dumbass Silent Hill, all the people who burned Alessa in the real world are trapped in the hell Silent Hill but living just fine and dandy inside the church. Why the hell can the people, who the Devil is trapped in a special world specifically to torment them, just hole up in a church IN HELL and be safe? We never are told. Anyway, the Devil needs Rose to let the Devil temporarily inhabit her body so that Rose can smuggle the Devil into the church. Jesus god let me die. Rose does it, she gets stabbed by the cult leader, and the devil comes out and kills everyone.

I haven't even mentioned the totally unnecessary side plot involving Rose's husband trying to find her. I'm not kidding; we spend at least 20 minutes of the film watching Rose's clueless husband arguing with the police and breaking into the hall of records to find out who his adopted daughter Sharon really is. News fucking flash, she's a reincarnation of Alessa Gillespie.

Ok, so Rose reunites with her daughter Sharon and the church gets cleared out by the Devil and Alessa, who finally gets her revenge on the cult that burned her alive. Rose and Sharon leave town in their car, which finally starts. It is made clear in the movie and the game that cars don't work in Silent Hill until you actually get to leave. So when Rose's car starts we know that it's over. Except it's NOT. Rose and Sharon leave Silent Hill and go home, but they are still in the hell/parallel universe. They get home, the whole world is deserted except them. Then the credits roll. What an assload of shit. I guess they're going to make a sequel or something, starring the father. And you want to know what the sad thing is? I'm going to watch the god damned thing! Because I hate myself and I need to be dicked around for another 90 minutes of bullfuck.