Thus it was decided that I should go and finally see Silent Hill - a movie which a number of my friends had apparently really enjoyed and one I'd been looking forward to. I will say at this point that I generally do not like American 'horror' films nor have I ever played any of the Silent Hill computer games. I knew a bit about it from friends of course but this was my first proper exposure to the Silent Hill universe.
The first freaky thing to hit me was the actually cinema I was in. I was in my local multiplex (not that freaky) and the film was on their biggest screen (again not very freaky) but I was the ONLY person in the entire screen! I thought it might fill up abit but no, I was left to be all by myself in a big cinema watching a horror film! ...and yes, I did look over my shoulder a few times during the movie to see if I was still the only living - or unliving - soul in the place!
Anyway, the film. Silent Hill is certainly one of the best films I've seen in regards to the actual set and creature designs. The look and feel of the film was stunning, the colours and the way they filmed it are certainly in a style that is one of my favourites. That it looked 'stunning' was not a surprise to me. Afterall the film had Christophe Gans directing it (he of Brotherhood of the Wolf fame) and he certainly excells at 'setting the mood'.
The story is about a young girl who was orphaned and adopted by Rose and Christopher De Silva (played by Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean). The girl is troubled by dreams and sleepwalking. One thing that she keeps saying during her sleepwalking is 'Silent Hill' - although she can't remember anything about this when she awakens. Rose decides to seek out 'Silent Hill' which she discovers is a town abandoned in the 70's after a major mining fire that is still bruning underground to this day. She then decides to take her adopted daughter, Sharon, to the town to see if it stirs any memories...
You can guess the sort of things that follow :p
The script was reasonably good, although possibly relied a bit too much on certain characters explaining what was going on and certain aspects of the background. The acting was good and, considering the film actually used very little CGI, the special effects were some of the best I've seen. The soundtrack was also very good and is one that I'd certainly like to track down.
I was surprised at how 'unscarey' the film actually was though. Maybe that's just my warped mind, but I didn't find it tense, jumpy or frightening. I'd have placed it more in the horror-fantasy mold of things - which is not a put down at all. I did ENJOY this film, but like I've mentioned several times my main enjoyment was from the films actual style and story rather than it scaring the shit out of me! :p
It is a film I would reccomend people going to see and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets into my end of year Top Ten (admittedly mainly on the strength of its deisgn). I put this film firmly in the same catergory that I put The Cell - visually stunning with some great ideas.
Oh, I guess I should say that if you have a weak stomach or don't like gore then you should probably avoid seeing this. It somehow was only given a 15 rating but I think someone at the classification board decided to scare the kids...
School Report: B+ (Visually stunning)