Silent Hill Revelation is the latest horror/thriller to come down the pike where filmmakers throw random crap at the screen and then try to stuff it all into a half-assed screenplay and story in the hopes nobody would care or notice especially if they pay lip service to a certain demographic.
Universal | R – 95 min. – $49.98 | February 12, 2013
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
Writer(s): Michael J. Bassett (written by)
Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Deborah Kara Unger, Martin Donovan, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell
Theatrical Release Date: October 26, 2012
Features: Featurette, DVD Copy, Digital Copy, UltraViolet
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.0/5
Released in 2006, the video game adaptation of Silent Hill has been considered one of the better successes in the genre, though not very hard compared with the others, properly translating the game’s atmosphere onto the big screen. It also was a moderate success at the box office taking in $98M worldwide and combined with the home video sales, apparently granted itself a sequel 6 years later.
Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, Silent Hill Revelation takes place some years later after the events of the first movie. We find Christopher Da Salva (SEAN BEAN), now going by the name Harry, and daughter, Sharon (ADELAIDE CLEMENS), now named Heather on the run from what she believes are the police. Heather still has nightmarish dreams about Silent Hill but her father doesn’t reveal its origins as she apparently has no memory of the events from the first movie.
Just setting up in a grungy new town in a hole in the wall apartment, Heather begins her first day at a new school along with another recent transfer, Vincent (KIT HARINGTON), who wants to be friends, but she wants nothing to do with him knowing she might have to bolt and run once again. And this becomes the case quite quickly when approached by a man named Douglas (MARTIN DONOVAN) who later reveals he is a private investigator hired to track Heather and her father. I guess Chris/Harry isn’t very good at hiding as they had only just gotten into town.
Heather alerts her father that they’ve been discovered and agree to meet the mall, but before he can leave, Harry is whooshed away by some creature (black thing swipes by the camera). While waiting in the food court, Heather starts seeing disturbing images as the nightmares and real life collide. Also there is the P.I. who fills in his purpose before being gruesomely disposed of by some weird-ass creature. She manages to get past the police line outside where she runs into Vincent who offers to escort her home. Upon arriving, she discovers the words “Return to Silent Hill” written in blood on the wall alongside a unique symbol she recognizes from a wooden box her father kept various letters and news clippings in. Inside is a letter her father wrote laying out what is really going on.
Despite his warnings in the letter, not to mention those of the creepy girl in her nightmares, she’s determined to go to Silent Hill and save her father. Along for the ride is Vincent though, as you might have already guessed, he has something to hide.
Eventually, she manages to enter Silent Hill where the nightmare she’s dreamt so many times comes to fruition. There she meets the creepy girl’s, Alessa, mother (DEBORAH KARA UNGER) who further informs Heather of her past and why she’s so important to the town’s people and the cult, known boringly as The Order, she really is: apparently Heather is the good in Alessa and destroying her will once and for all destroy the curse Alessa has had on the town (it’s all about revenge).
You get the gist with the remainder of the film finds Heather going down different avenues to find her father including meeting a cranky/crazy old man played by Malcolm McDowell, further proving A Clockwork Orange has made way for pointless and forgettable cameo roles. She also encounters terrifying creatures, crazy asylum inmates and a protector with a triangle-shape on his head wielding a big ass machete that would make Machete (i.e. Danny Trejo) himself jealous.
I can’t speak to how this movie compares with the game but I can contrast it to the first film, which I wasn’t in love with but it at least offered up interesting concepts and a fantastic atmosphere, and frankly Silent Hill Revelation is the same kind of drivel I’ve seen many times before with the Resident Evil sequels and the numerous video game to feature film adaptations. Despite some unique monsters, it all still had a familiar feeling. Also, the story was a mess and although I haven’t seen the original in many years, something about this sequel connects seems off.
On the positive side, the casting was mostly well done. Sean Bean continues to be an amazing actor appearing in subpar films; the young Adelaide Clemens shows she hopefully has a future being able to mostly carry the film and all its randomness quite nicely; and even Kit Harington with such a thinly veiled character wasn’t bad. Of course, where you have the good, there’s the bad. Malcolm McDowell is ridiculous in his small role (only appears for maybe 5-minutes), Carrie-Anne Moss is completely wasted and sadly, Radha Mitchell, despite being credited, makes a small cameo setting up for a third and potentially final out in the Silent Hill series.
Writer/Director Michael J. Bassett attempts to re-create the atmosphere from the original and placing his own spin but instead it’s a messy screenplay with lots of random ideas that make little or no sense. It’s the same problems movies like The Apparition and Paranormal Activity 4 had by presenting a flimsy script and throwing “scary” images at the audience and hope they won’t notice deficiencies in the plot. I realize that this isn’t going to be a movie with grand ideas or anything, but at the very least these filmmakers don’t need to treat their audiences like idiots. I’m sure on the page and even in the storyboards it all looked good, but in live action it does not translate.
Silent Hill Revelation offers no new ideas and squanders whatever potential the original had and pissed it all away. This sequel is alongside the numerous failed video game adaptations that have come before, albeit not quite as bad as Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne films. I will say Sean Bean and Adelaide Clemens at least deliver fine performances despite the script and some of the visual effects, especially given the relatively reduced production budget of $20M, were decent enough. By no means do I think this is an awful film but it’s clearly not very good either. This might be worth a rental otherwise skip this entirely.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
This release comes with a lenticular slip cover. Inside the standard-sized Blu-ray case is the 3D Blu-ray Disc, 2D Blu-ray Disc and a DVD Copy. There’s also a slip with the download code for either the regular Digital Copy (via iTunes) or through the UltraViolet system.
A Look Inside Silent Hill Revelation (3:06; HD) is a basic promo that barely scratches the surface offering up some limited interview sound bites by the cast and crew intermixed with scenes from the movie.
Theatrical Trailer (2:31; HD)
BD-Live – Your usual portal for additional content for Universal Studios.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Universal Studios Home Entertainment releases Silent Hill Revelation onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and sporting a fine 1080p high-definition transfer. If you’ve seen the movie, or the previous one for that matter, you know by its very nature it is a dark looking film (with mainly rusty-brown colors) and indeed it is, but that doesn’t stop the detail levels from looking quite nice to go along with excellent black levels which never show off any imperfections. There is a fine amount of natural noise and/or grain but it’s never overabundant or distracting. Another reason I liked the transfer is because often when a movie is made with 3D in mind, the 2D version sometimes suffers, but it did not in this case.
On the 3D front, I thought the effects were fairly well done with some nice depth and although it is a very dark looking picture, as noted previously, it provides for a positive 3D experience even if the movie isn’t up to par. Now, it’s obvious the filmmakers made the movie for 3D so you do get the occasional objects (or gore) thrown in your face for no other reason than to utilize the technology. Even so, and although I won’t be revisiting any time soon, it’s a solid 3D transfer.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is simply put, fantastic. The lossless audio offered up ranges from simple dialogue to the numerous action sequences that, inane as they may be, envelope the room with incredible depth shaking the floor with the LFE channel and the ambient noises making use of the surrounds. It’s not particularly loud per se but instead finely balanced throughout each of the five channels. Yep, the blood-curdling screams and, on a positive note, Akira Yamaoka’s score is beautiful reusing many themes taken from the game.
OVERALL – 2.25/5
Overall, Silent Hill Revelation is the latest horror/thriller to come down the pike where filmmakers throw random crap at the screen and then try to stuff it all into a half-assed screenplay and story in the hopes nobody would care or notice especially if they pay lip service to a certain demographic (this includes using the same score and even the same song). Personally, I got very little out of the movie as most of the scenes were gross rather than scary (a distinction the Saw sequels couldn’t make either) which only led to something that was dreadfully boring and forgettable. The Blu-ray does have excellent audio/video transfers however the features are lacking.