the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Silent Hill (2006)

Reviewed on 2007 March 18

I’d never even heard of the video game when I first saw the trailer for Silent Hill, and I wondered if it would have enough substance to make a movie. I seldom dismiss something out of hand, and I like video games — Duke Nukem was a favorite — so I thought it was worth a shot. The camera work looked great; I had no clue where or what Silent Hill was, but I figured it wasn’t a new edition to Epcot Center. I sat down, and for a long time felt sort of like I’d walked in the middle of a movie even though I watched it from the beginning.

Rose and Christopher De Silva (Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean) have no idea how to help their disturbed, sleep-walking daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland). Sharon mentions a place called Silent Hill in her episodes, and the De Silvas discover that it’s a town in West Virginia. When nothing else seems to help, Rose decides to take her there to face her fears. When they get to the creepy town, her daughter gets separated from her, and she gets in trouble with Officer Bennett (Laurie Holden). When she sees what Silent Hill really is, she realizes a run-in with the law is the least of her worries.

The monsters were well done, and there is an explanation of what happened at the end, but the dialogue is so stilted that it’s not effective. Most of the acting was good, considering the characters were compressed to get us this far into the Hill mythos in two hours. While Christophe Gans was faithful to the game, it just doesn’t have enough to work smoothly as a film. Without more of a story or background on the characters, it was more like the kind of nightmare you’d get after eating rich food and cramming for a final than a movie. The other problem was that parts of it were just too sick even for me. Dead-Alive is one thing. This just went beyond nasty in a couple of places. (So, why did I watch it? because it’s my job.)

One chocolate morsel. It was atmospheric, and it might be interesting playing in the background at your Halloween party.



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