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Movie Review: Silent Hill

For a place called Silent Hill, the residents sure like to spend a lot of time talking. They go on and on about orders this, and seals that, and nonsense about darkness, all centering on a family that can’t stop bickering, locking each other up, and cursing everything and everyone.

It is terribly annoying and distracting, but much for much of the time, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a bizarre haunted house of a movie, filled with the bloody and the bizarre. The soon-to-be 18-year-old Heather (or is it Alessa?) is terrified by her dreams and nightmares, which exist just on the edge of reality. They are filled with masked men, faceless monsters, and endless hallways of emptiness.

Heather (played by Adelaide Clemens and looking remarkably like Michelle Williams), is adopted, and pretty savvy as she is always on the move with her father Harry (Sean Bean, returning six years after the first Silent Hill). Harry is looking for his wife, and maybe his daughter, or maybe he is trying to run away. It’s not really clear, as a constant fog that descends upon Silent Hill clouds the movie.

None of that really matters, either. It is a wonderfully creepy film when it wants to be, but would only be scary if you were the one wandering aimlessly through. We’re not exactly sure where Silent Hill is—maybe it’s somewhere over the rainbow or second to the right—but the deathly town seems to pop up when you least expect it.

Heather (or is it Sharon?) is beckoned by the terrible town, looking for her kidnapped father and some sort of ring-of-Mordor type of jewelry that will stop something or other. No one should care, but she and her boring heart-of-gold male accomplice Vincent spend a lot of time chatting about it.

The inhabitants include a giant arachnid with a love for mannequins, a coven of mummified, mimicking nurses, and the great Malcolm McDowell, who can’t help but make an appearance in seemingly every horror movie, playing his creepy self.

And when these things attack, with chains and knives and severed heads, they do so in overt 3D, thankfully, because the film needs something to hinge on. It is not so much anymore that 3D is distracting, disorientating, or excessive, it’s simply that it is being used to atone parts of a film that are lacking: like plot or dialogue or acting.

It is what it is, a 3D horror sequel six years removed from the first film, all of which is based on a video game. The creepy pyramid head makes a bunch of appearances, and offers up a few exciting scenes, but for the most part Silent Hill, though grotesque, carries on with not much more than a whimper.

[star v=25]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.