Rating: 2 stars out of 5
I can't quite remember the first ‘Silent Hill’ film. Was it a dream? I think Sean Bean was in it.
After consulting some notes in a dog-eared book, it turns out there was, after all, a film in 2006 written by ‘Pulp Fiction’ scriptwriter Roger Avary and directed by Christophe Gans. Sean Bean took on the paternal role in that installment, but played second fiddle to Radha Mitchell, who was the mother trying to save her daughter, Sharon, from the occupants of ‘Silent Hill’.
In this sequel, Sharon (Adelaide Clemens) is on the run with dad Christopher (Sean Bean). She assumes a new identity and moves from town to town, avoiding the folks bent on bringing her back to Silent Hill. However, being on the run doesn’t stop the hallucinations that continue to haunt her, particularly when they’re populated by the butt-faced creatures of Silent Hill.
At her new school, she meets Vincent, portrayed by ‘Game of Thrones’ hunk Kit Harrington. As the plot goes, if they don’t go back to Silent Hill, Silent Hill will come to them. What’s more, Sharon learns she's the offspring of a girl who brought about Silent Hill's doom.
Based on the horror video game of which I'm well-acquainted with, I have to say that this lacklustre effort is not going to go down well with fans of the game. This latest flick, written and directed by Michael J. Bassett, offloads too much information, resulting in the plot being too confusing for its own good.
The 3D effects are not particularly original. Ash falls like snow in numerous sequences, and various sharp implements fly at the viewer, but there's nothing new about any of it.
Still, some really cool creatures were created for the film, like the bizarre spider-like monster made up of mannequins who can turn humans into plastic. Quite a few monsters from the first film are back, but the creatures are often unexplained and we have no idea why they behave or look the way they do. Are the nurses that only move when they hear sound, a commentary on the lack of decent medical care? Why does “Pyramid Head” look like he has an Imperial Destroyer stuck to his neck? Are the “Vagina Heads” former boys who spanked their monkey too often?
On the whole, the sequences attempt to be nightmarish, but often stop short of being random moments of bizarre beings growling at the female protagonist. For its genre, there is a surprising lack of gore; though it is heavily implied by gobs of blood and rust-like stains colouring the scenes.
The biggest guessing game in the film is whether Sean Bean, who bears the dubious honour of being the actor that invariably always dies at the end, manages to survive right up till the end of the film. Besides that, don't hold your breath. This sequel is a huge drop from the first, and leaves you wondering if this video game adaptation was just a hallucination.
Travis Wong is a film loving geek who got his start from frequenting video shops in JB. He frequented movie theaters more often than school, and received his cinematic epiphany when he watched 'Taxi Driver'. While not driving a cab, he haunts DVD shops, and he currently has the largest remaining collection of VHS tapes and Laserdiscs in the country.