I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Vern’s Been To SILENT HILL!!

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

And so has Quint and, to my great pleasure, so have I. I’m not sure when Quint’s going to write about it, or even if he is, but I’ve got some things to say, and I’ll do my best to get them on paper before I head to bed. For now, though, here’s the one and only Vern, and he and I are really in tune today, since he seems to have reacted much the same way I did:

I’m not gonna lie. If you’re reading this, you probaly shouldn’t see this movie. I’m betting 95% of you who do are gonna hate it. At the screening I saw it at, people were laughing and loudly criticizing (and for some reason one crazy dude was naming the makes and years of the cars parked on the streets). The people I saw it with, who were more polite, said it was a huge pile of shit.

And in some ways they got a point. The dialogue in this movie is terrible. (Apparently that wasn’t Roger Avary’s job on PULP FICTION). It’s best when it’s just about running around facing creepy obstacles. The more it gets into plot and conversations, the more it loses its momentum. It’s pretty muddled and confusing and has an awkward explanatory narration near the end and like most of the movies by this director, the frenchman Christophe Gans, it’s probaly too long. (By the way, I looked it up and Christophe Gans is NOT Chris Gaines, that famous singer who looked exactly like Garth Brooks but with a soul patch. I know, I thought so too but let’s clear up that misconception right here.)

Silent HillAlso there’s a cop lady in here that has a pretty ridiculous movie star look that is not believable as a real cop. I don’t care if this is based on a video game, that was hard to take.

So you will have a point about that stuff but as far as the rest of the movie, you’ll be wrong. You motherfuckers are too literal. This is not a movie for people who think literally.

The movie starts abruptly and weirdly with two parents chasing after their sleepwalking daughter in the middle of the night. She’s mumbling weird shit and has somehow walked to the other side of a cliff with a roaring waterfall. It reminds me of when the kid sleepwalks out onto the freeway in WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (by Wes Craven) and even if it didn’t, I would assume it’s going to turn out to be a dream. But it doesn’t. And you stay off balance for the whole movie.

Turns out the girl is adopted, and she keeps mumbling things in her sleep about a ghost town called Silent Hill, but when she wakes up she doesn’t remember saying it. So her mom decides to take her to this place to see if it jogs her memory.

Even before they get to this weird town (which, contrary to normal horror movie convention, doesn’t take long at all) the mom is doing weird illogical things like leading a motorcycle cop on a high speed chase and crashing right through the front gate of the closed off town. By this point it has probaly already lost most of the audience but for me it’s where I got hooked. As soon as they get to the town the sky is snowing ashes and the little girl runs away, and for most of the movie the mom will be chasing her like Alice chasing Bugs Bunny or the Easter bunny or whoever it was.

Alice in Wonderland is a good comparison because this is not a movie about ordinary human logic. Only dream logic applies. The surreal vibe of SILENT HILL reminded me of a movie I like called INFERNO, by that freaky Italian sicko Dario Argento. Stylistically they’re nothing the same, but that’s another movie where nobody does what real people would do but they do what you would do if you were in a dream. So for example a gal drops a key into a little puddle and she reaches in and it turns out to be a really deep puddle, so without much hesitation she dives into the puddle and finds herself swimming around in a room completely submerged in water, where she finds a dead body. (Later there is one of the craziest fucking scenes I’ve ever seen, involving an old man on crutches, a bag of cats, some hungry rats and the sudden appearance of an unhelpful meat vendor.) If you for one second question why the gal would dive in after the key, or why the mom in this movie would pull a note out of the mouth of a mutilated corpse she finds wrapped in barbed wire sitting on a toilet, you should not watch INFERNO and you should not watch SILENT HILL. That’s the test.

The first part of the movie is especially great because there’s not very much talking and there’s a whole lot of atmosphere. With some exceptions, most of the score is very subdued and eerie, and there’s some points where it seems to blend into the creepy ambient sounds so you’re not even sure if you’re hearing music or some weird machine chugging away in the distance. There’s a really brilliant sequence where the mom chases the daughter through the town as it turns into Hell and crazy nightmare shit starts to happen. Let’s just say that she is mobbed by crying, freaky babies burning from the inside. And that’s just for breakfast. There are much weirder things that are gonna happen later.

Even after you hate this movie please at least acknowledge that it is full of amazing visuals and crazy imagination. There are bizarre, fucked up images in this movie like I haven’t seen since HELLRAISER, and at times beyond that. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first movies this year to include a scene where two women hide in a room while a guy with a huge metal pyramid on his head stabs through the wall with a six-foot machete and a swarm of giant roaches with almost human faces swarm in through the holes. If not it is still one of the best scenes of that type.

I don’t know, maybe it wouldn’t seem as insane if I was familiar with the source material. They say this is based on a video game, and that makes sense. Alot of the movie is like running through a big maze (like Pac-Man) and there are also ghosts (like Pac-Man). But there are no barrels that they have to jump over so alot of video gamers might have a problem with that. But I disagree I think barrel jumping would not really fit in to the tone of the movie in my opinion.

I admit, this is sort of one of those movies that as it gets to the last third and tries to both get crazier and tie things together so you might possibly understand what the hell’s going on, it starts to lose me. I had that problem with PRINCE OF DARKNESS and LIFEFORCE and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and not quite as much with this one. At the end they start talking more, and there are some lines that are some real groaners but when the movie is good it’s real fuckin good so I am willing to forgive that. At least it’s not dubbed like the Argento movies I was talking about earlier.

Maybe the biggest sin is whenever they cut to the subplot about the husband and a cop trying to find the missing ladies. It’s not terrible but there’s really no reason to cut away from the crazy shit and bore us with the real world. It takes you out of the story and like I said the movie feels a little long, and probaly wouldn’t if you dumped all that useless shit. (I wasn’t surprised when somebody told me it was not originally in the movie but was added at the insistence of some studio fool who thought there should be more men in the movie. What, the pyramid head guy isn’t a good enough representation of our gender?)

Okay, so this movie is flawed and it will most likely be widely hated, and for a Christophe Gans movie it is surprisingly lacking in Mark Dacascos, the poor man’s Brandon Lee. But I for one applaud these weirdos for making a non-jokey, completely bizarre and fucked up nightmare of a movie. You gotta at least admit it’s the best video game based movie so far and will probaly continue to be at least until PAC-MAN: RESURRECTION and BURGER TIME: APOCALYPSE come out.

Dear Christophe and Roger, don’t give up, there’s one or two of us out here on your wavelength. I heard some guy walking out of the theater saying it was “awesome” and I think he may have been talking about the movie and not something else. So that would make at least two people liked this one. Please get a sequel going before some asshole says something. Me and that guy want to see more crazy shit.

thanks boys

your friend,

Vern

As always, Vern, you said it better than I ever will. Great stuff.

“Moriarty” out.

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/23086

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • April 21, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    well that seals it

    by haywire666

    i aint watching it

  • April 21, 2006, 7:52 a.m. CST

    this sounds intense!

    by misnomer

    ….definately catching this. oh…and <ahem> first!

  • April 21, 2006, 7:53 a.m. CST

    damn!

    by misnomer

    why did I decide to type a comment?! just because of the first-haters dammit! *shakes fist*

  • April 21, 2006, 7:56 a.m. CST

    First!!!

    by timbal339

    First- Still want to see this movie.

  • April 21, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Never Mind

    by timbal339

    Dammit- I’m Fourth.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:05 a.m. CST

    PRINCE, LIFEFORCE, MOUTH OF MADNESS…

    by Roguewriter

    The critic just named three fascinating little horror flicks that I find absolutely compelling… even though, like he says, they’re incomprehensible by the third act! So I’ll give SILENT HILL the same attention… in case it’s one of those “almost” flicks… potentially great horror films that missed by thaaaaaaat much. The best kind, IMO!

  • April 21, 2006, 8:05 a.m. CST

    French directors

    by MrNelson

    French directors often have an amazing visual style. Like Amely, Vidoque and City of Lost Children.

    U.S. directors could use some of that IMHO.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    I knew it!

    by brycemonkey

    When I watched that lenghty ‘making of’ I said in the TB that it looked great but people wouldn’t understand what the feck is going on. Good review Vern, I think I will catch this but not with my girlfriend who prefers movies featuring Matthew McConaughey…

  • April 21, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Recent horror…

    by Roguewriter

    Don’t really know what to make of the current horror trend, but I’m damn glad there’s something to trend. (I’m in Alabama, so forgive me for playing catchup, metro-geeks!) Just caught WOLF CREEK; some thoughts, potentially relevant because of this reviewer’s disappointment w/ SILENT HILL as a horror film… There are certain movies where ya just gotta accept that you’re mired in genre and go with the flow — and in doing so, you can actually enjoy the ride. (That said, sometimes you find yourself wondering

  • April 21, 2006, 8:26 a.m. CST

    I AGREE WITH VERN…

    by Mister McClane

    I saw this at a critic screening on Tuesday and he’s right on the money. Crap script, pointless plot, but the atmosphere, monsters, and general mayhem of ‘Silent Hill’ is brilliant. When that air raid siren goes off and the screen fades to black with a huge bassey ‘woommph’, and the monsters come out, it really is the last place in the world you would want to be. It’s a fucked-up nightmare. Let’s hope the directors cut completely drops the Sean Bean story (which I can’t really imagine though seeing as he’s one of the stars) and ups the gore and running around screaming!

  • April 21, 2006, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Sounds familiar…

    by Karl Childers

    “Even after you hate this movie please at least acknowledge that it is full of amazing visuals and crazy imagination. ”

    That’s what I thought of Event Horizon.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Wow, Vern’s concept of videogames is frozen in the 80s.

    by Drathan

    Burgertime?? Oh man, I dont even have anything witty to say about BURGERTIME.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:28 a.m. CST

    I AGREE WITH VERN…

    by Mister McClane

    I saw this at a critic screening on Tuesday and he’s right on the money. Crap script, pointless plot, but the atmosphere, monsters, and general mayhem of ‘Silent Hill’ is brilliant. When that air raid siren goes off and the screen fades to black with a huge bassey ‘woommph’, and the monsters come out, it really is the last place in the world you would want to be. It’s a fucked-up nightmare. Let’s hope the directors cut completely drops the Sean Bean story (which I can’t really imagine though seeing as he’s one of the stars) and ups the gore and running around screaming!

  • April 21, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    “This is not a movie for people who think literally”???

    by Orbots Commander

    What does that even mean? You mean, ‘this is not a movie for people who think logically’. I didn’t know the mouthbreather and lobotomized market segment was that large.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Disappointing.

    by Psyclops

    I saw this last night. The movie almost works but the script is riddled with weak dialogue, a pointless subplot involving Sean Bean’s character and many questions that remain unanswered. It doesn’t help that Radha Mitchell is kind of a weak leading lady. She isn’t a bad actress but she lacks the commanding presence that this kind of role requires and she changes from frightened and desperate to tough and determined a little too quickly. That’s the other problem, the movie just speeds through character development to get right to the scares, like the plot that exists around the horrific set pieces only serves to pad out the movie. On the plus side, the FX are pretty amazing and the film looks incredible. Whenever the “darkness” takes over and the audience gets sucked into hell it’s a total blast. The grimy hallways, tormented creatures and blood soaked finale are enough to make Clive Barker cry tears of joy. It’s the kind of visceral punch that’s been missing from a lot of these modern horror films. It’s far from perfect but it’s got some genuine chills and enough splatter to satiate your average gorehound.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Vern’s review leaves the impression that he is…

    by Frank Black

    …unfamiliar with the video game series, but I can’t tell entirely. Fans of the games are likely to love it and embrace the incohesiveness as it was in the games, where it sounds like the masses will not. Great! Silent Hill, in concept, isn’t meant for a large audience, (game or movie,) and is more of an esoteric nightmare ride. It sounds like Silent Hill fans will love it and the rest will love it. Anyone who enjoyed Brotherhood of the Wolf won’t dare miss it. Vern’s review wasn’t really negative but would have been more positive if he had played the games and been familiar with the series.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Sorry Vern, bored at work. Just being snarky.

    by Orbots Commander

  • April 21, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    avary

    by JacksonsPole

    sounds like roger avary to me.

    weird, surreal, clunky dialogue, potential for greatness, but ultimately crap.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    More mouthbreathers than not, Orbots…

    by Roguewriter

    Really, you were being facetious when you said that, weren’t you? The number of mouthbreathing imbeciles that flock to any given theater showing in Alabama certainly far exceeds we few, we happy few, we band of buggered. To quote beloved Dr. Logan from Romero’s DAY, alas, we don’t have enough ammunition to shoot em all in the head. The time to do that would have been in the beginning, but no, we let them overrun us. They HAVE overrun us, you know. We’re the minority now… something like 400,000-to-one by my calculations… ;)

  • April 21, 2006, 8:48 a.m. CST

    It Sounds Like Interesting Movie.

    by The Outlander

    I remember seeing A Clockwork Orange as a teenager and not understanding it at all and now that I am older I think A Clockwork Orange is the best film ever made. I’m getting sick of the recent batch of Horror films that are aimed at teen market and are totaly unoriginal. Silent Hill sounds like a horror film that breaks the mold. Thank God.

  • April 21, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by jjeter

    This movie absoltely SUCKED ASS!!! People walked out of the theatre after 30 minutes….everyone was just laughing and cracking up. The actress who played Rose was AWFUL…the little girl…TERRIBLE…and the cop…where did she come from a rejected village people troupe? Visuals aside, the dialouge/acting just kills this.

  • April 21, 2006, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Confusing story? Not everything explained?

    by Johnno

    Movie not for ‘literal’ thinkers??? THEN THAT’S PRECISELY SILENT HILL!!!! You HAVE to piece that shit together! This movie is going to rock for those who loved the games! I will be seeing this Sunday with my gaming buddies…

  • April 21, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Hey Roguewriter…

    by Fuzzyjefe

    As a fellow Alabamian, I wanna back you up on your point about certain horror films. When they work, they do so regardless of any lack in originality. Horror is all about an individual’s reaction to what is seen. What really crawls under one person’s skin may not bother his buddy, brother, or girlfriend. That’s why the remake of Hills Have Eyes, Wolf Creek, even Hostel get me–that whole idea of a person in unfamiliar surroundings being victimized, the total loss of control in a strange place, the fear of being utterly alone really creeeeeps me out. Monster movies are cool, but don’t get me on that visceral level. I’m really looking forward to Silent Hill, ’cause it sounds like there are some really cool ideas here, and the game (I think it was the 2nd one) really freaked me out. So hello from the Heart O’, and always go to movies at a matinee–that cuts down on the mouthbreather attendance, and it’s usually people who actually want to see that particular movie. But I’m sure you know that already.

  • April 21, 2006, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Characterization…

    by Johnno

    The town itself is like a fuckin character… also as I recall, the first game/origin story didn’t have that much deep characterization and the story was disjointed purposely so you can put 2 and 2 together… The real character stories etc. only really kick in with Silent Hill 2 and the story of James and his wife, and Angela and Eddie… once the origin is out of the way. Gans has expressed interest in doing a sequel and that’s when we should really get into it as I feel he’s going to go ahead and translate the story of Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 3 also expands upon Silent Hill one and develops Cheryl(Sharon)’s character. Silent Hill 4’s story and characters are also bloody fucking brilliant. If there are going to be more films made on Silent Hill, then that’s when you’ll really begin to feel that shit once all the cult origin etc. stuff is out of the way…

  • April 21, 2006, 9:40 a.m. CST

    I really want to see this, but

    by lethalegg

    I’m getting the feeling it’s going to be one of those movies where the theater is packed with fucking teenagers talking and laughing throughout the whole thing as though they couldn’t do that outside of a goddamn movie theater. Every single horror movie these day, I swear…

  • April 21, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Don’t go to Vern’s house to play video games…

    by Billyeveryteen

    What a retard.

  • April 21, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Silent Hill Game Trailers for those interested…

    by Johnno

    Silent Hill 1 : http://tinyurl.com/r4kzt Silent Hill 2: http://tinyurl.com/p7nbw Silent Hill 3: http://tinyurl.com/o6yv4 Silent Hill 4: http://tinyurl.com/pezy8

  • April 21, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST

    my concept of video games is also frozen in the 80s

    by HypeEndsHere

    because that’s when i was a fucking child.

  • April 21, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Right there with you, Fuzzyjefe…

    by Roguewriter

    The subjectivity of horror is its greatest asset… and can be its greatest liability when it comes to critics (never forget Pauline Kael foolishly walking out of DAWN OF THE DEAD 15-20 minutes into it and promouncing it “snuff porn horror”!!). I’ll approach SILENT HILL like I do every horror flick… if it finds those sensitive pressure points on the back of my scalp and the pit of my stomach, that’s all that matters to me. Bring on the creepfest! So where are you in Bama, jefe? I’m un Huntsville, which is prepping for the opening of a completely new theater chain, Rave Theaters. Anyone know anything about Rave? We’ve had Regal and Carmike here forever… both of which like hiring 16-year-olds and promoting them to “manager” as a graduation present. If any of them get that far… ;)

  • April 21, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    And this talkback’s…

    by DocPazuzu

    …”Mark Twain You Fucking Moron!” Award goes to talkbacker Billyeveryteen, for the peerless lack of irony detection skills on display in his post: “Don’t go to Vern’s house to play video games… What a retard.”

  • April 21, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    Interesting…

    by Killah_Mate

    …After all this time, it seems a disturbingly high proportion of Talkbackers still don’t know who Vern is. Those comments about his taste in videogames, for example. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was playing, like, Splinter Cell 3 right now; but it’s not the kind of thing he puts in his reviews. He *does*, on the other hand, frequently use weird and off-kilter references designed specifically to piss people off. It’s his thing. Get with it.

  • April 21, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Me likes wierd nightmarish flicks!

    by DerLanghaarige

  • April 21, 2006, 11:04 a.m. CST

    I like Vern…

    by Roguewriter

    … knowhutimean? Keep the reviews comin, Vern!

  • April 21, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    by OriginalThinker

    I saw it last night and the sound design and creature effects are fucking awesome, it’s definetly not the greatest movie but I think it accomplishes what they were doing and just something fun and creepy to watch

  • April 21, 2006, 11:34 a.m. CST

    So it’s kinda like Pac Man

    by Harold The Great

    I got the jist of it.

  • April 21, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    barrel-jumping

    by TheBaxter

    that would have made King Kong so much better.

  • April 21, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Oh, now I get it

    by Billyeveryteen

    He’s hilarious! Pacman and Donkey Kong jokes = genius! Burger time? Let me wipe a tear. Doc = retard.

  • April 21, 2006, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Oh dear Billy…

    by brycemonkey

    Tell your parents or a teacher about your being bullied. Oh, and go away.

  • April 21, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    One last time, leave the retarded kids out of this.

    by Vern

    Stop slandering the retarded kids. They got nothing to do with this. If you got a problem with me not knowing the ins and outs of your hobbies then go after me, don’t pick on retards. What you do not know Billy is that I am a grown adult so yes, the only games I remember was what they were playing in the discos long before the invention of The O.C., when the oldest person you’ve ever met was still a glimmer in his mother’s eye. In those days there were no x-box 3000s, no cell phones, no drinkable yogurt, no Paris Hilton. Even those giant pants that the kids have been wearing for years now had not been invented yet. It would be hard for you to imagine but the world was more beautiful then. Anyway I feel as a horror fan I am allowed to watch a horror movie and say what I think about it, even though I am too old to play video games. This is gonna piss you off, but I have also seen The Godfather even though I haven’t read the book. I have seen Frankenstein but I haven’t read the book. I have eaten phad thai but have never been to Thailand. This type of outrageous shit happens every day, so get used to it fellas. You should be happy that a video game was turned into a (to me) respectable movie that can be discussed by people who don’t do that shit. If you are afraid to hear the opinions of people who don’t share your hobbies then what the fuck are you doing here, get back to the atari and go after that fucking gorilla. Or are you gonna just sit here and let him manhandle that poor woman? fucking plumbers, man.

  • April 21, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Some people don’t “get” Vern…

    by Billyeveryteen

    Sadly, I am one of them. I am a gamer, and I started with “Zork” in the early 80’s. I have finished and enjoyed all 4 Silent Hills. Unlike Ebert, I do feel video games are art. Video game movies? Not so much. Vern is very clearly a horror fan, which is kewl. As I said, don’t go looking to him for a current game opinion. I hope Silent Hill is better than what I have been reading.

  • April 21, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST

    “Doc = retard”

    by DocPazuzu

    Oh, snap.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I agree 100% with Billy

    by eraser_x

    when he says, “Sadly, I am one of them.” It certainly couldn’t be a happy thing for a middle-aged man to be still writing “Doc = Retard” and the like. The poor thing!

  • April 21, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    I dont get all the hype over roger avary

    by Manaqua

    I know ive heard him say how quentin jacked some of his ideas for pulp, but if it wasn’t for QT, you wouldnt even know his name. Killing Zoe was pretty cool, but thats the last good thing hes done solo. Rules of Attraction was horrible. NOthing he does gets me excited. Lets hope beowolf proves me wrong. Nuff said.

  • April 21, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    c’mon Vern, I know its no “Hollow Man 3”

    by nomad202

    but give it SOME slack, eh?

  • April 21, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Sorry Doc, Monkey, and X…

    by Billyeveryteen

    You’re right, I shouldn’t be so liberal with slurs like retard, no matter how apt. Vern was not “ironic” in his game terms, he really is that stupid.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    who told you you should be pround to be a gamer?

    by HypeEndsHere

    the only way you should be playing games is if you’re under 25 or a fucking douche bag. more likely than not, both. it’s a judgment call and i’m making it.

  • April 21, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Okay, so… I just went and checked out the movie…

    by Roguewriter

    (spoilers here, probably) …cuz oh my God, Alabama actually got one on the national opening day. First, the deal w/ the air raid sirens was awesome… it gave me that 10-year-old freak-moment identical to the sirens in the old Pal classic THE TIME MACHINE, the blaring horns that call the Eloi to docilely prep for another Morlock feeding. Woohoo! Fun stuff! The cinematography was gorgeously nasty, the sound design and some of the FX (not all, but some) were first rate, the use of long moments of blackscreen (and whitescreen) were effectively disturbing… The acting wasn’t great, but it was on par with the Argento giallo pix this film is so reminiscent of. I was also reminded forcefully during the church sequence of HELLRAISER, not just because of the barbed wire fetishism, but the whole barbaric, blaspheming-in-the-house-of-God profaneness of it. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yes, Sean Bean’s entire subplot added nothing except a good ghoulish finale (telltaled from early, early in the flick) but man, I loved Rose’s journey into the heart of darkness. Great, savage, visceral horror. Now if we can just get a little more attention to script, plot logic and pacing, I’d say another golden era of horror may be upon us!

  • April 21, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    The Secrets Of Silent Hill

    by VenomFangX

    HypeEndsHere, i bet people over 25 will be seeing the movie, so by that token, i think someone over 25 could easily enjoy the Silent Hill games, I’ve played them all, and I’m 20. I imagine that I shall revisit them all many times in my life. In Silent Hill, the character’s see monsters, but in the real world, they are human. They are halluncinating becuase of a drug born in Silent Hill called White Claudia, it grows by the lake. Natives sold it the americans as a narcotic, and it has been the cause of many ‘miraculous’ deaths not just in Silent Hill. Those who die go to Silent Hill, watch the movie to find out why. It’s creepy as hell, because it is hell.

  • April 21, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Just saw it too..

    by Fuzzyjefe

    and thought it did everything it set out to do: adapt a video game respectfully & entertainingly. It had really great visuals and slight winks to the game, and has a great sense of creepy weirdness about it. Not the best film evar; but definitely not a misstep in the new glorious surge in R-rated horror that we have been blessed with. It’s a good time to be a geek.

  • April 21, 2006, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Roguewriter:

    by Fuzzyjefe

    I live just north of Birmingham, but work in Huntsville. Neat-o. There are Rave theatres in Bham, and they’re my favorites. They have great sound; all but 2 or three auditoriums have HUGE screens; there is plenty of leg room; stadium seating; & the seats lean back a little. Highly recommended.

  • April 21, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Sigh, I hate when there are multiple talkbacks going…

    by Shermdawg

    This was a movie that I had hoped would be the first great videogame inspired film. Unfortunately it was not great, nor was it all that good. Yes it had it’s moments, mostly the creature designs and effects, but as awesome as they were, they could not save this film from it’s horrible acting (Dakota Fanning has nothing to worry about), poor pacing, and convoluted ending. But you know what? That’s exactly how Silent Hill was.

    Imagine that, the downfall of a videogame movie due to it being so close to its namesake. Sure some elements were changed. Most notably, the sex change of the main character, the demise of the cop chick, and the inclusion of SH2 baddie Pyramid Head. But it really felt like the game, or should I say, watching someone playing the game. The film dragged in certain scenes like in the school where Rose stumbles to clues which leads her to a hotel, where she finds clues that leads her to…see where I’m going?

    The film is way too literal when it tries to capture the spirit of the game. They should have ditched the unnecessary exploration and gave a little depth to the characters, or made the plot a little easier to grasp. I’ve played through the PS1 original around five times and it’s plot still escapes me. I was hoping for a little more light to be shed on the Sharon’s (Cheryl in the game) ties to Alessa, which they do (although, it’s still a mess), but it is explained in the dreaded Harry Potter style reveal everything all at once and as quickly as possible at the end of the film gimmick.

    Also, it’s not nearly as scary as actually playing the game. (It’s kinda weird, no film outside of E.T. has ever frightened me, but Resident Evil 2 and the first Silent Hill did.)

    Even with all the bad, this film is probably the best theatrical videogame adaptation so far. Of course, that’s not saying much. I will say, that it’s effects (which I mentioned were awesome), will end up causing me to add this to my dvd library when it comes out. Which is rare, because I’m usually so critical of the films I buy, but I’ll want to see the barbed-wire dude over and over. I know this might seem strange, but I compare this to The Dark Crystal, I didn’t care for the it’s story all that much, but I did for it’s effects and visual style. The same goes for this film. Silent Hill will be remembered for its creatures, not it’s story. They knocked this aspect out of the park.

    So will people like it if they haven’t played the game? I doubt it, and even if they did, they’d still probably have problems with it. I do hope it is successful at the box office though, enough to warrant a sequel. I’ve always felt Silent Hill 2 was the best of the series, and hopefully it will get a chance.

  • April 21, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Damn, I C&P’d that from my blog, and left the HTML in.

    by Shermdawg

  • April 21, 2006, 6:11 p.m. CST

    judging by this talkback…

    by Mr Brownstone

    the predominant characteristic of hardcore “gamers” is that they’re humorless.

  • April 21, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST

    *Almost* worth the ticket price

    by Roxxor McOwnage

    I just saw Silent Hill. Ditto to Vern’s review. The third act killed this movie for me. I never played the video games, but now I want to. Silent Hill reminded me of Event Horizon. I think Event Horizon is the better movie, but both have their merits and flaws. IMHO Event Horizon was worth seeing in the theater, and Silent Hill is worth a rental. -SDHSFR

  • April 21, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Every time Vern writes a review

    by kuryakin

    At least three people come on the talkbacks and mis-spell abuse directed towards him, generally based on things he says ironically. I wonder what it feels like to be one of these fuckwits going “Oh my god, you thought Gans was a SINGER?” or “Wow you think Pac-Man is a current video game?” and to feel you are being really smart, only to have everyone else on the board look at you like you are that thirty year old guy with his mum at the zoo talking REALLY LOUD and with his shoelaces untied and a bit of drool on the side of his lips…

  • April 22, 2006, 12:11 a.m. CST

    So Vern loved a terrible movie

    by Doc_McCoy

    Super.

  • April 22, 2006, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Burger Time: Apocalypse…Good one.

    by Captain Happy

  • April 22, 2006, 2:56 a.m. CST

    So Doc McCoy disapproves

    by Vern

    Explain.

  • April 22, 2006, 4:42 a.m. CST

    In the Mouth Of Madness is perfection

    by CuervoJones

    Best 90

  • April 22, 2006, 5:07 a.m. CST

    I hate “logic” in horror films

    by CuervoJones

    There is no logic in nightmares

  • April 22, 2006, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Two Vern Reviews In Rapid Succession!

    by buster00

    Splendid! As to SILENT HILL, I really used to enjoy psychedelics back in the day, so I think I’ll enjoy this movie along those lines. I don’t expect much else from it. Same with ABOMINABLE. Thanks as always for the heads up, Vern, and summa the only reviews worth reading all the way through.

  • April 22, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I am holding out for Horace goes skiing…

    by Alonzo Mosely

    Just to see what happens after the road is crossed… In glorious technocolor! Oh, and why are so many gamers humor-free about their hobby/obsession. I mean if playing games is your choice of entertainment, that is great, but surely you have to realize the inherient comedy in being older than most of the guys who fought in WWII, yet spend you time, unemployed, in your underwear, in your parents basement, pretending to be a WWII soldier.

  • April 22, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Silent Hill

    by blackwood

    Holy shit. Brilliant.

  • April 24, 2006, 12:31 a.m. CST

    That was a great review… I loved it

    by Mike Lovestein

    There are tons of shitty reviews on this site, so when there is a good one I would like to point it out. Good job Vern.

  • April 24, 2006, 4:51 p.m. CST

    by lead_sharp

    This definately looks like a DvD watch, might even improve the atmosphere. To those knocking vid’ games, nob off. There just as much fun escapisem as anything else. “it’s a judgment call and i’m making it.”

  • April 26, 2006, 2:37 a.m. CST

    geez that movie blows

    by rabban

    …the dialogue sux and the cop girl was doing the best t-1000 impression the first time you see her.

    all of the additional cast was perfect in this movie just the mom and the lady officer did a bad job…lot of unintentional humor in this movie…anyways…i might just give up on hollywood movies now…got burned twice this year already.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    I respect Vern’s opinion, but…

    by The Amazing G

    this movie sucks, if you’re familiar with the game that is, if not I guess I can see why you would like it….

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 21st, 2006 at 7:45 am and is filed under AICN, Horror, Reviews, Videogame. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Vern’s Been To SILENT HILL!!”

  1. CordwainerBirdIII

    August 14th, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Gotta’ side with you here Vern. I recognize all the legitimate complaints most had, but like you I was so impressed with it visually, and by it’s sheer weirdness, I bought the Blu-Ray of it.

  2. Gotta second the above comment (though I don’t own Blue-Ray, so strike that) just because I was JUST posting about INFERNO over in the G.I. Joe review (of all fool places) and it made me think of this movie, another example of the sort of movie where things which would conventionally make a movie “good” (plot, acting, writing) are completely unimportant next to the ability to reach down into your subconscious and really hit you
    on a level that you can never really expect.

    I don’t know that I think the script is awful here, per se, but it really seems to kinda be fighting the dreamy, surreal style of the film as it labors to explain everything. I’d also like to say that I think the acting in the movie is brilliantly bizarre — I think they are purposely trying to act like the CG video game characters, who look and act “sort of” human to really creepy, nightmareish effect. I’d love to see Gans work in this genre again, though, especially if he’s interested in doing something with a little more abstract script.

  3. Hmm, yes. Just saw this. In retrospect it was great up until they reached the church. I should have turned it off at that point, because they quickly burned through all the credibility they’d earned.

  4. I know Vern doesn’t the video games, but Silent Hill 1-3 are excellent, Silent Hill 2 in particular is a work of art

    the games are also veeeeery surreal, they don’t even try to seem like they take place in the real world like the movie does (that’s because they technically don’t take place in the real world, but alternate dimensions you see)

  5. I liked this one. Best videogame movie ever.

  6. Before I delete this spam I gotta note for the record that it used the screen name “rainbow and unicorn game touch to chase your dreams again.”

  7. Sounds like an euphemism for masturbation. Especially the part about touching a unicorn.

  8. In Vern’s book YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER! his introduction to the section on horror movies says that in this section he will review, among other things, “a widely hated video game adaptation that I thought was really good.” However, no such movie is reviewed in that section – presumably it was cut out for length but the introduction wasn’t updated to match.

    So I’ve long wondered which movie review had been intended for that slot. I guessed it was maybe some Uwe Boll movie. But now I’m pretty sure it was SILENT HILL.

  9. I never realized that happened! I remember we had to make some cuts for length, there was some squabbling over removing some Kevin Smith disses in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and the legal department would not let me include the PAPARAZZI review at all because it was based on the premise that Mel Gibson may have committed a series of vigilante murders during the filming of LETHAL WEAPON 2. Seriously. But yes, the video game review would definitely have to be SILENT HILL.

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