Monday, November 5, 2012

Movie Review - Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

 So, roughly five or six years after the first attempt at a Silent Hill movie, here we are again. With a new director and relatively new cast, hopes were high that the new movie, if it ever got off the ground and was actually filmed, would surpass the seemingly-low bar set by the original movie. Nobody really knew what the final outcome would be, though. Any pre-existing expectations were promptly Shot Down In Flames when it was announced that the new Silent Hill movie would be filmed in 3D. So, by this point on, nobody was expecting it to be any good at all. Did the movie deliver on its apparent-guarantee of being yet another mediocre video-game movie? I saw it, and I can clarify that it is actually a decent horror film on its own, and one that won't leave gorehounds or fans of the games disappointed (much).

The first and most important question: How godawful is the 3D? Well, it avoids the technique's worst trapping right off the bat by being actually filmed in 3D as opposed to merely being converted in post-production. The actual use of the 3D, on the other hand, much like the town depicted in the film, constantly teeters between well-done understatement (the snow and ash in the opening scenes, the shifts from the normal world and the darkness) and no-holds-barred face-flying gimmickry (pretty much every scene with any sort of action). If you're going to see the movie at all, it'd probably be best if you saw it in 3D, whether in theaters or the inevitable Blu-Ray 3D release (if you actually own the equipment). A lot of the action scenes, during the more hectic parts, rely unashamedly on throwing a lot of stuff at the viewer's face, sometimes shifting to the main character's point-of-view to shove knives, gore, rusty *insert-object-here*s front-and-center, heading STRAIGHT FOR YOU BECAUSE THIS IS 1970 AND THIS IS TOTALLY SCARY. That's not to say that there aren't some gratuitous 3D scenes done well, such as on one point where a side-character gets his fingers chopped off and the now-offal goes flying in spectacularly gory, 3D fashion. But the majority of the action-oriented 3D is gratuitous, and would most likely screw the movie over completely if viewed in good, old-fashioned 2D.

As far as the whole atmosphere and grotesque-ness of Silent Hill and its shadow-self go, the movie certainly captures it in spades. Heather's reality-shifting experiences early on do a great job of capturing the mood of WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WHY IS EVERYTHING RUSTY HOLY SHIT THAT GUY HAS NO FACE IS THAT A HUMAN BODY BEING SLICED AHHHH. The majority of the second-half of the movie takes place in the corrupted side of Silent Hill, so the atmosphere and aesthetics of the environments and monsters is given plenty of time to shine. Almost too much, it seems, as for all of its attention to the gore and horrific aspects of the movie, every time an interesting plot element comes up, it's run through quickly to get to the next showcase of gore. The gore, by the way, is perfectly gory and the grotesqueries of the monsters come through loud and clear. This is, by no means, a movie for the faint of heart.

Speaking of the plot, it's definitely passable and makes sense for those who have played the games, although it may prove a bit too convoluted for those not familiar with the franchise. Instead of introducing new characters altogether, the two existing characters from the first movie simply change their identities, this time to Heather Mason (Silent Hill 3) and Harry Mason (Silent Hill 1, Shattered Memories). One of the major complaints of the original was that it was dragged out and took too long to really get started. While Revelation has its whole setup, which fleshes out the main characters, this is significantly decreased from the first one, and it gets to the horror in due time. For me, one of the biggest issues of the original movie is that, rather than the town and its monsters shifting to each person and being a representation of that person's personal demons, yada yada yada, everything is just meshed together and generalized into simply being a part of the darkness that Alessa created; Pyramid Head is no longer a personification of James' guilt or sexual addiction, but now is simply Alessa's protector, and so on. This continues in the sequel, with one particularly uncharacteristic act being performed at the climax, but for the most part, it has the structure of the game down pat, though with some liberties being taken, of course.

In closing, although liberties are taken, and the 3D is quite obnoxious, you could certainly do worse than Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. It's certainly better than that *other* video-game-based-survival-horror movie that released not too long ago, and if this film is any implication, the next movie in the series that's set up during the last minute of the film may hold great potential, given the right amount of work and slightly less three-dimensional wankery. If you're a Silent Hill fan, definitely give Revelation a watch. Just make sure you have a strong stomach and a high tolerance of gimmicky 3D.

No comments:

Post a Comment