I have a confession to make about Silent Hill. At the very start of my post of course. I have not played the 1999 game, but I have played the sequel. Silent Hill 2. Thanks to my husband who’s a huge fan of the 2001 game. And still to this day considers it a masterpiece, but I digress. I’m yet to check out the original 1999 Konami game. But I have seen the 2006 film adaptation (several times to be honest), and I thought it would give me a decent material for this post. Hence, the 2006 film adaptation is the main theme here.
Silent Hill and Silent Hill Revelation Will Be Covered At IndieGala
However, as I previously mentioned (in the header above) both the 2006 adaptation and the 2012 movie sequel will be covered here at IndieGala. But admittedly in 2 separate posts, since it would be a waste to cram the two movies into one post. So, make sure to stay tuned for that as well!
However, the main culprit for this post is the incredible Silent Hill Homecoming video game that we have here at IndieGala. The 2006 movie adaptation is the main theme here, but the Konami game is the inspiration for it. Besides, this is not my first post about a Konami. No, I’ve had plenty before, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. Hey, I’ve even discussed the career of Hideo Kojima, before his exit from Konami. Which was an awesome opportunity, I admit.
But this is totally different. It’s a post about one of Konami’s hot commodities. The Silent Hill franchise, and how it was transformed to the silver screen. So, consider this post as a simple observation from a fan. A rookie fan, but a fan nonetheless. I’ll try to be as objective and honest as I can, but as I mentioned before: I have not played the 1999 game yet. I’ll have nothing to compare it with. But first…. I think that a brief explanation about the game is in order.
Silent Hill: What’s The Game All About?
Developed and published by Konami, Silent Hill Homecoming is a single-player survival horror game. It’s also the sixth installment of the franchise. And it follows the journey of Alex Shepherd. He’s back to his hometown of Shepherd’s Glen to investigate the sudden disappearance of his brother. From Shepherd’s Glen to the foggy streets of Silent Hill, Alex will face the darkest of horrors. All while struggling with his grip on reality. The main character (which is you BTW) must unravel and discover the truth behind his brother’s disappearance. Not to mention confront the evil that has taken hold of his soul.
The Road To Making Of Silent Hill Was Not Easy
To say the least anyway. First and foremost it took 5 years for the director Christophe Gans to obtain the rights for the video game. Seriously. Konami finally relented after he sent a video of himself explaining what the game meant to him. And along with the video he also sent scenes that he took with his own money to show how he envisioned the movie to look. Now, that’s true dedication and commitment, don’t you think?
And may I just say, that the movie was spectacular. Visually the Silent Hill movie was on point. The visual depiction of the atmosphere, the VFX effects and even the set pieces was incredible from start to finish. All in all, there are exactly 165 sets and locations in Silent Hill. Personally, I think it’s astonishing since the reported budget of the movie is around 50 million dollars. The direction from Gans is outstanding as well. You can clearly see that he cares about this adaptation. And of course that he’s a true fan of the Silent Hill video game.
And here’s another fact that helps the movie too. Do you know that aside from the use of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire at the beginning, every piece of music is directly taken from the game’s soundtrack? No wonder it’s so scary and terrifying.
Style Over Substance
Indeed. Probably the best way to describe the 2006 movie is style over substance. It’s graced with fantastic set pieces, incredible visuals, strong direction and decent acting. Especially from Laurie Holden in the role of Cybil Bennett. However, the movie is severely lacking in plot and character development. The dialogue was not too impressive as well.
Which is weird, because the script is written by the one and only Roger Avary. The man wrote classics such as Killing Zoe and The Rules of Attraction. He even co-wrote Pulp Fiction (with Quentin Tarantino) and won an Oscar for best original screenplay. However, I must applaud the man for not killing Sean Bean’s character here, and for keeping me interested for about 90 minutes of the runtime. In this over-long movie, probably the last 30 minutes are overstaying their welcome in Silent Hill. And they’re testing my patience as well.
Ultimately, the thing that ruined the last third of the movie was the cheap exposition scene from the Dark Alessa. But that particular hostility for this scene is mostly coming from my deep hatred toward exposition scenes in general. Seems like they’re always a cheap (and lazy) way of explaining the plot, and they’re not doing a much better job here.
Interesting And Effective Production
Interesting is an understatement here that’s for sure. For instance, many of the creatures in the film are played by real-life professional dancers. Why you might ask? Well, so they could be flexible enough to create the required disturbing movements. Additionally, to make the look more authentic (Rose’s dirty hair), the actress (Radha Mitchell) did not wash her hair through the entire filming.
Moreover, in the original script, there were only female characters. After submitting this, the script was returned to Christophe Gans with a memo saying “there are no men!” Hence, the characters of Sean Bean and Kim Coates were added to the script.
And in the end, even with all the hard work, and fairly decent box office success Silent Hill was not well received by the critics. Hey, Roger Ebert even put it on his annual „most hated“ list of movies. He also gave it a 1 and ½ stars in his review.
Your Thoughts On Silent Hill
But what are some of your thoughts on the 2006 movie Silent Hill? Did you like it? Did it do the game justice? Or is it another Hollywood’s cheap attempt to mess with great source material? Tell us in the comment section.