'Silent Hill: Revelation' is not your typical horror movie
The movie duo of "Silent Hill" and now this new, "Silent Hill: Revelation" are both based on a popular video game, so it only stands to reason that, if you failed to see the original movie (as did I) you would be as lost as if you picked up the video game for the first time, and tried to play it.
In fact, I was beyond lost, although I suspect, with the exception of The Devout (those who are deeply into the game) there were more than a few who were as lost/indifferent as myself.
Indifferent, because I found myself not the least bit interested in the main characters. In the plot, the star player, Heather, played by Michelle Williams lookalike Adelaide Clemens ("Rectify," "Parade's End," "Camilla Dickinson") a popular Australian television actress, makes it a point to tell classmates that she wants to remain anonymous and unnoticed. With me, she succeeded.
Although her parents are named "DeSilva" in the original, her last name here is Mason and British actor Sean Bean ("Lord of the Rings" movies, "Sharpe's..." series, "Patriot Games") returns from the original as her dad, Harry ("Christopher DeSilva" in the first movie, and I don't know why).
He takes a "little more than cameo" role into this movie, while the star of the original movie, Radha Mitchell ("The Crazies," "Finding Neverland," "Man on Fire"), returns in a cameo crossover link up to the first film.
Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix," "Chuck," "Disturbia") as Claudia Wolf (I have NO idea who she is or where she comes from) briefly portrays the bad gal and yadda-yadda-yadda...
Simply because there is hardly any plot here -- and what there is, is nonsensical -- this movie's storyline makes the "Saw" and "Hellraiser" franchises (as bad as they were) read like "Gone With the Wind."
"Silent Hill: Revelation" is a series of horror scenes linked together with just enough spirit gum to make a movie. It was as though the writers were sitting around trying to think of a way to make their rent money.
"Hey," says Writer One, "Remember those old ideas we had for a frat party Haunted House we had in college?"
"Yeah," says Writer Two, "Let's link them all together and make a script!"
There was the carnival scene, for all of us with a clown phobia (clowns are from the circus, not the carnival, but Hollywood makes that mistake on a regular basis).
There is the very popular haunted operating room, from the first movie (and the original video game), for those who fear starch white clad nurses or the occasional appendectomy.
A really cool department store stockroom scene (the only part of the movie that I enjoyed) involved a creepy mannequins and a mannequin spider that I didn't care for.
At least the "Saw" films had a halfway entertaining way of linking the horror sequences together. In "Silent Hill," the plot seldom thickens to even the point of water.
I was unable to keep up with the plot, but I didn't really care to. I was bored with the characters and found each one with very little personality. Where the audience is supposed to care about the protagonist in a movie, I not only did not care about Heather, but was ready to kill her myself in a couple of scenes.
This movie originally got a pretty fair assessment by the different movie rating websites, but I don't know how. If you asked either of the two couples who were in the multiplex screening with me, they probably wished (as, did I) that "Silent Hill" had remained silent.
I thought it funny that I had not even heard of the first movie, even though I am an amateur film buff, as well as a smalltime critic. After seeing the sequel, I don't feel all that slighted.
This movie will not appeal to horror movie buffs, splatter movie aficionados, or even the date night crowd. Maybe the video gamers will wait patiently in their basements for the DVDs to arrive, but other than that...
Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.