Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Director:- Michael J. Bassett
Starring:- Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell
Runtime:- 94 minutes
And so like Adelaide Clemens’ reluctant teen Heather we go back into Silent Hill, the sequel no-one was asking for, to a video game series turned film no-one saw. In the original Radha Mitchell descends into the mists of the ghost town in search of her young daughter and faces a whole host of deformed monsters while armed with little more than a flashlight. Mitchell’s Rose is almost entirely absent in Silent Hill: Revelation (3Dud) and so the task of stumbling through the mist in search of a lost family member falls to her adopted daughter Heather, who returns to the town after her father (Sean Bean) goes missing.
For a film barely over 90 minutes in length, director Bassett wastes an awful lot of time getting his characters back to Silent Hill. About half of the film is spent in the setup which ruins the momentum, and means they have to fit the majority of the scares and horror set-pieces into the final 45 minutes. This rushed approach proves problematic as there is very little time to dwell on elements of danger. Revelations video game origins create the same issue that occurred in the original film, with a lot our heroine running to a rundown location, encountering some kind of demon, and then running away to the next location where the sequence begins again. It becomes rather repetitive quite quickly and saps the film of any sense of threat.
Revelations is not completely without merit. A scene where Heather is stocked by a gigantic spider-like creature constructed out mannequin parts that spins webs out of cling-film is a clear highlight. Its disjointed movements and other-worldly noises make it a standout in a town full of otherwise lacklustre mutants. Another notable scene sees Malcolm McDowell make a brief appearance as a blind, shackled patient in Silent Hill’s mental asylum. For the brief time he is onscreen he chews up and spits out the scenery with relish and aplomb, clearly collecting the pay check and embracing the ridiculousness of the entire set-up. There are other accomplished thespians on the cast list, Sean Bean and Carrie-Anne Moss being the most notable, but none of them are enjoying themselves as much as McDowell. The problem with these two standout scenes is that they collectively make up about five minutes of the screen time. Nothing else in Revelations is as scary, memorable or exciting as these brief flourishes.
From the Super Mario Brothers’ movie to the Resident Evil franchise via Tomb Raider and Max Payne, attempts to bring video games to the big screen have never proven to be critically successful. The terrible narrative structure, lack of any discernible scares and some laughable performances from its lead characters suggests that Silent Hill: Revelations isn’t about to buck the trend. It is a soulless and cynical attempt to cash in on the Halloween cinema-going market with a film which really should have been banished to the depths of straight-to-DVD hell where it belongs.