On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by terrifying nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather (Adelaide Clemens) discovers she's not who she thinks she is The revelation leads her deeper into a dark and powerful world that threatens to trap her in the nightmare of Silent Hill forever.
Based on a popular video game the first Silent Hill movie was released almost ten years ago; this most recent offering follows the family of the previous main character, Rose, as they return to Silent Hill, a doomed town cursed by the sprit of a revengeful child.
The narrative is fairly straight forward, Sharon (Adelaide Clemens), after miraculously being returned home from Silent Hill after being trapped there in the first film, and her father are on the run from a secret religious society who were initially responsible for the sacrificial murder of the towns only illegitimate child, Alessa. The cult eventually catches up with Sharon on the eve of her eighteenth birthday and, in an attempt to convince her to return to the abandoned town, kidnap her father. With the help of her surprisingly convenient new acquaintance Vincent (Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington ) Sharon makes her way to Silent Hill in order to rescue her Dad.
Unlike many modern horror movies Silent Hill: Revelation attempts to shock and scare without indulging in the over use of blood and gore; and in fact the film is far creepier for it. There are one or two incidents of violence and death but the heroine spends more of her time running than fighting. Having not played the games I couldn’t tell you if this is a directorial choice or simply a reflection of the game play but conversations with those who have played the game have praised the film for its accuracy and consistency.
The horror elements of the film are anchored in an industrial, almost steam punk, darkness; set in an underground city and an abandoned coal mine the film relies on the suggestion of an evil presence over the presentation of violent encounters with a monster. The monsters that are encountered are suitably unusual, consisting of mannequins and robots, who creak, groan, grate and vibrate with the noises of dying machinery; which make a pleasant change from the faceless slasher psychopath that has become so popular in contemporary horror.
The story is a little glazed over in one or two places; particularly the sudden and not entirely explained return of Sharon from Silent Hill at the beginning of the movie; but this doesn’t necessarily work to the film’s detriment, but rather allows the main story to stay on track without any unnecessary diversions. Again, having not played the games I can not say whether the second game – as this movie is based on the third game in the series – bridges this gap and explains this phenomenon, but I do feel that movie goers could have done with a short or online feature to fill the space.
All in all Silent Hill: Revelation was a good, but not great, fantasy-horror with lots of potential but perhaps lacked the strength at the helm to fulfil it; one couldn’t help but wonder what a more prolific director could have done with the piece.