Silent Hill (2006)
Genre: Horror Mystery Thriller (Canada, Japan, USA, France)
Directed By: Christophe Gans (The Brotherhood of the Wolf)
Overview: A little girl cries out "Silent Hill!" whenever she sleepwalks. Much to her husband's chagrin, her mother takes her up to the haunted mining town in hopes that she might find the cure to her daughter's madness.
Acting: The cast is all proven. These actors are established, they're in films that were successful, so we've got a great solid foundation. Somehow Christophe Gans makes them unlearn everything they've accomplished in their career so far. What happened in Silent Hill was a train wreck, not a coal fire.
Cinematography: If you're going to make a videogame movie with a formula that includes a huge CGI, latex and gore budget, and every time something looks not-so-good, throw money at it until it DOES look good, you're bound to succeed. Take the coolest and creepiest monsters from the game and convert them over to film. Sounds like a no-brainer right? Absolutely. It's effin' gorgeous.
Script: "The Last Days are at hand, and I am the Reaper."
Imagine yourself in a theater on opening night, a full house. Imagine how stoked you are because Horror is your favorite genre. Suddenly, everything is madness and for the first time the characters realize they're completely, utterly screwed. "It's ok. It's going to be ok," says the main character. Audience laughs, but you're still trying to get into it, you let it slide! Later, a scene when people are tied up, ready to be broiled over a spit, kids are screaming for help, while crowds of people surround. "It's ok. It's going to be ok," says the main character.
I throw my hands up in surrender.
Plot: This plays out more like a videogame built by a team, rather than a story written by one person. Scene after scene of creepy events are more non-sequiturial examples of individual imaginations, rather than having a cohesive theme. The end has a good excuse for existence, and hence is tolerable, while there's genuine attempts and building a culture of this ghost town, but ultimately it's mom chasing after a little girl.
Mood: When a scene is committed to scaring you, really freaking you out, you can't get away from it. Charred children, tortured soldiers, zombie nurses and a most impressive golem-like butcher are all prime examples of why you will love this movie. When so much insanity is unfurling itself around you without knowing the reason why, you want to follow deeper into that pit of Hell, in hopes that the next test will glean a clue. Oh yeah, creepy, gory and dark, just like you knew it would be.
Overall Rating: 62% (Silent Swill)
Aftertaste: I don't like movies that make the audience laugh out loud several times when you went to go see some serious horror. This isn't Final Destination 3, where you got a free pass to go see it, it's something you paid top dollar for at a premier. Did I expect any better? I hoped, but did not expect. I called it: great look and feel with script and delivery that someone pulled out of a toilet. The gore didn't make up for the story, as much as this had a really spooky feel.