By: Addison Wylie
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is not only a bad movie, but I can’t remember the last movie that strived and strained so hard to find a purpose for existing.
That may sound harsh, but it’s a sentiment that is constantly crossing your mind as you watch the latest instalment in a series that was doing perfectly fine with having only one movie in its holster.
Let’s double-back to the first Silent Hill. I have only vague memories of it, but I do remember not disliking it and I remember its disturbing and freaky imagery. The shot of someone’s melting face as they hung over an open fire has strangely stuck with me since its 2006 release.
That first movie was directed by Christophe Gans, someone who had a clear vision for his mysterious and murky adaptation of the Konami video game.
Watching Silent Hill was like solving that puzzle that reads 1000 pieces on the box and feels intimidating as you try to solve it, but you want to know what the completed product looks like; so you stick with it. The ending may not have issued accustomed roundabout answers but it generated talk by the time the credits rolled.
I still have conversations with people to this day about that haunting ending; whether those other people in the conversation liked it or not.
With Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, there’s none of that suspense or mystery. That puzzle of 1000 pieces has now turned into a wooden block with simple shapes carved into it. Imagine those game instructions telling you every little detail about how to pick up those shapes, what they’re made out of, and how to gingerly slip them into the matching holes – not missing any sort of slim detail.
The problem doesn’t lie with keeping things simple but rather with how the information is relayed to movie goers.
The story, in this case, has nothing about it to solve along the way. The director who has taken over for Gans and who has also taken over script writing duties (Michael J. Bassett) wants to explain to us in long droning scenes of dialogue everything you should know about the main character’s motivations, her mission, and each objective she must overcome. Nothing surprising unfolds in front of us and nothing is challenging which is a shame.
Because of that, the action sequences that have made these films so alluring are far and few between. What’s even worse is that they are so overly-choreographed and edited in such a way that shows us just how slow the actors are moving, that the suspense is removed from these moments as well.
The story is straightforward, which is even more confusing as to why Bassett has made the details so complicated and incomprehensible, so I won’t spend too much time on it. It involves our heroine Heather (played by Adelaide Clemens) having to travel back to Silent Hill, after being released from the dreadful town as a youngin, to find her kidnapped Father and to collect an amulet and then slow-fight, or no-fight, a final boss.
I’d rather talk more about what Silent Hill: Revelation 3D feels like rather than what plays out in front of us. Namely because it would make for a far more fitting read.
The film feels like it’s arrived to theatres past its prime. Maybe shortly after the first outing’s theatrical run, this could’ve been borderline acceptable, however, because the story calls on lots of intricate details from Silent Hill, it feels like that excitement to keep up with the franchise has evaporated because no one thought a sequel would be made. We accepted the lone first film and put it to bed.
It also feels like a product where a director, some cast members, and a bunch of crew members were on board to make a movie and the only project their talents could all be put towards confidently, at that specific moment, would be a redundant sequel to Silent Hill.
I’ll give Bassett this. He does understand how to visually mold this sub-world of Silent Hill. The art direction in this film feels faithful to the subject matter it’s based on. The 3D doesn’t add anything to these strengths but through the gimmicky shades, we see Bassett’s only positive.
Other than that, we have a lead performer that sort of looks like the female lead from the first film, villains that sort of look and act like baddies from the first movie, and technical qualities that feel reminiscent to the ones that took place during that first outing.
It’s a film that’s far too busy trying to get audiences to remember what they liked from the first film rather than trying to do something creative or original on its own.
For fans, SIlent Hill: Revelation 3D will be a massive disappointment. For naysayers, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D will be unnecessary. I, for one, feel from both camps and I can’t get over that ridiculous and overlong title.