I must have missed SILENT HILL RELOADED.
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
Stars: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, and Sean Bean
MPAA Rating: R
Most of the entries in the Silent Hill video game series are standalone titles utilizing fresh characters and unique stories. One of the few times they’ve strayed from this formula was the third game, which was a direct sequel to the first game. This is important to know. So, in 2006, a film adaptation of the first game was made and released into theaters, SILENT HILL. It used the most basic element of the game’s plot (a parent searching for their lost child in the town), but changed everything else. From the gender of the hero to the nature of the villains to even the reason for the hellish events happening in the town, the resulting film was barely recognizable as Silent Hill. This should make an adaptation of the third game impossible, right? Don’t tell that to writer-director Michael J. Bassett, who has made SILENT HILL REVELATION 3D. It is a sequel to the first film AND an adaptation of the third game. So, how does it fare?
SILENT HILL REVELATION 3D follows Heather (or Sharon from the first film) and her father, Harry (or Christopher from the first film) as they settle in a new town. They are on the run from The Order of Valtiel, who has goals involving taking Heather back to Silent Hill. After a few nightmarish events, Heather makes her way back home only to discover that her father has been taken and a message has been left beckoning her back. Armed with a gun and her wits, Heather makes her way to the town to rescue her father and get to the bottom of the mystery of her past.
SILENT HILL REVELATION 3D is awful in almost every way. It’s supposed to be a sequel to the first film, but it retcons most of the story and character motivations that were established in it. This is an attempt to make the new film more like the plot for the game it’s based on, but the adaptation is still poor. Character names, events, and locations from the game are used, but not at all like they are used in the game. Everything is different. This makes the enormous retconning job utterly pointless. Why alter the first film’s story to fit the game if you aren’t going to properly use the story from the game in your new movie?
Based purely on it’s own merits, the film is still terrible. There is too much spoken exposition, comprising of about 95% of the dialogue. The drama is more melodramatic than a daytime soap opera. The characters are poorly-written. The villains are barely in the film. Many of them are introduced, only to be dispatched mere moments later. The monsters exist pretty much as they did in the first film. They act mostly as cameos, coming out for only one scene. Only two of them get more than one. Unlike the first film, though, none of them make any impression.
The quality of the production itself is mixed. As previously established, the script is horrible. The directing leaves much to be desired. There are no interesting or iconic scenes, and most of the action feels tedious. The acting isn’t very good, but it’s hard to tell if that’s a result of the acting, the writing, or the directing. There’s a lot of talented actors in this film, but none of that talent is displayed. The lighting, sets, sound design, and music are all implemented fairly well. The make-up and creature effects themselves are also very good. The 3D effects are unimpressive, and not worth the extra cost of the ticket.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone being pleased with SILENT HILL REVELATION 3D. It fails as a sequel to the first film, it fails as an adaptation of the third game, and it fails as a movie by itself. The filmmaking involved is shoddy at best and insipid at worst. There isn’t even a quick thrill to be had with seeing the Silent Hill creatures on the big screen. Avoid this film as if your life depended on it.
SILENT HILL REVELATION 3D is now playing in theaters nationwide. It cannot be recommended at all by this critic.
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