‘Silent Hill: Revelation’ Review

Silent Hill: Revelations

““Silent Hill: Revelations” by relying so much on the exposition from the original film, suffers.”

The first thing that you’re probably asking is:  Why is he reviewing “Silent Hill: Revelations?”  Didn’t that come out last year?

It did, though in my defense I intended to review it when it first appeared in iTunes a few months ago, though due to ‘technical difficulties’ of an electronic nature, I was unable to.

The original “Silent Hill” was directed by Christophe Gans, and while it may not have been as creepy as the Konami video game that inspired it, it was entertaining enough that someone believed that it warranted a sequel (an interesting decision you figure in that it earned $97 million dollars on a $50 million dollar budget, not quite double its production costs).  That sequel, “Silent Hill: Revelations” was directed by Michael J. Bassett (“Deathwatch” and “Wilderness,” both of which are available on Netflix and well worth catching) which keeps the franchise firmly in European hands (Gans is French while Bassett is British).

‘Revelations’ is an oddly effective film, though all things considered, it shouldn’t be.  Bassett doesn’t appear quite as comfortable dealing with such esoteric subject matter as Gans, which is probably why characters seem to launch into exposition at just about every occasion, wasting time with pointless backstory.

The film was originally made in 3D, which only reinforces my belief that 3D films are a gimmick that needs to run its course.

When the movie isn’t taking place in Silent Hill, it’s pretty uninteresting, though luckily the bulk of its time is spent there.

And speaking of Silent Hill, the mythology of the sequel makes no sense that I can discern. Both films revolve around the town, where we’ve learned in the first film – and again in the second – that a mysterious order sacrifices a young girl, whom instead of dying becomes a demon(!) who traps the inhabitants of Silent Hill in a dimension where – when the sky isn’t raining ash like snow – buildings, streets and everything else begins to decay, like a time-elapsed film of rotting fruit, whenever a siren blows.

Beyond that, the new film introduces an antagonist, Claudia Wolf (Carrie Anne-Moss), who’s also the sister of Christabella (Alice Krige) from the first film, who lacks the consistency and the logic her sister brought to the first film.

Though things get really interesting in the last half-hour, with a fight between Pyramidhead and the cenobite-looking creature that had been popping up periodically throughout the film.  The outcome, while never in doubt, is pretty interesting to watch.

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