Writer: Elaine Ewe
Overall: 2.0 Out of 5
Cast: 1.0 Out of 5
Plot: 1.0 Out of 5
Effects: 2.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 2.5 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: "Silent Hill"
It has been a while since the live-action adaptation of "Silent Hill" in 2006 by Christophe Gans, and now, six years later, the nightmarish town has returned in the form of a sequel, titled "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D", serving as an effective reminder to filmmakers what not to do for a live-action adaptation of a video game.
The film takes place on the eve of teenager Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens)'s eighteenth birthday, who turns out to be Sharon, Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) and Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean)'s adopted daughter and the girl who was abducted in the original film, who is a manifestation of the innocence and goodness in Alessa. Alessa was feared in by the townspeople of Silent Hill for been born out of wedlock, leading them to believe that she was a witch. Like in "Silent Hill", Heather is plagued by nightmares of Silent Hill and its monsters, a result of the cult known as Order of Valtiel trying to lure her back to Silent Hill. However, the nightmares alone are not enough to work, and the cult soon kidnaps her father, forcing Heather to travel to Silent Hill with Vincent (Kit Harrington), a fellow transfer student to save him.
Despite being a sequel, it is almost inevitable that comparisons will be drawn between "Silent Hill" and "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" as the two recounts the same tired, cliched tale, albeit with different protagonists and budgets. It is not even entirely definite that what went on in "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" can be construed as a narrative as opposed to an excuse to display as many iconic "Silent Hill" monsters in what are fundamentally unnecessary scenes, such as the entrance of the Mannequin Monster. Further, the characters in the film feel less like real people and more like items on a checklist but the rules of business state that high-profile actors needed to be in the film for audiences to watch it, which is the reason director Michael J. Bassett ended up casting not one, but two actors from the critically acclaimed "Games Of Thrones". While Kit Harington himself has acknowledged that Vincent's character has been changed from the game version in order to give some leeway as a support character for Heather, the script direction has been distorted to the point that there is absolutely no reason for Vincent to be in the film.
Adelaide Clemens tries her best to live up to her role as the confused, frightened but determined young woman, but it is hard to do anything when Heather Mason is written so paper-thin. Put that with dialogue like Claudia Wolf's response to Heather's call for her to go to hell, "We're already here." Well, if it works...
The only times when "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" truly comes alive is when the monsters make their appearances, everything else is a wipeout. There are fan favourites like Pyramid Head, the Nurse, and the Mannequin Monster. Nonetheless, all meaning associated with their appearance has been stripped away, such as explanations as to the monsters, the Otherworld and the Fog World. Those familiar with the "Silent Hill" video game franchise will know that the town is a place where "a thick fog perpetually enshrouds the area and makes vague the reality and dreams of those who visit the town" and that the Otherworld and the Fog World are representations of Alessa's distorted perception of Silent Hill and her experiences there, but for those who have not played the games or even watched the 2006 film, they will be wholly lost in the transition.
It is also exciting for fans of the "Silent Hill" video games as there are many Easter eggs to uncover, such as the Robbie the Rabbit dolls, the carousel scene that provides a nod to the film's base, "Silent Hill 3", cameos of protagonists from and references to the other games in the series.
As it is, "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" is an example of lazy filmmaking at its finest. Burdened by one-dimensional characters, stilted dialogue and terrible pacing, this horror film may have just singlehandedly killed the franchise for good.
Cinema Online, 29 October 2012