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YMMV: Silent Hill

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: The cult of the games worships several dark gods, and uses the trappings of mainstream religions as a cover. Meanwhile, the cult in the movie is straight-up, puritanical Christian (though the script says they're Manichaeists; a hint is how God is mentioned constantly, but Christ never is).
    • ...Which is changed anyway in the second film when the cult is portrayed closer to the games as a pagan "Order of Valitel" seeking to rebirth their decidedly non-Christian God. The puritanical cult may be a (still-crazy) front, may be an offshoot or different sect, or maybe we were just supposed to forget about them being that way.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is James a monster who killed his wife because he didn't feel like taking care of her any more, an innocent man tortured by guilt, or a complex tragic character who was the instrument of Mary's assisted suicide? Or, perhaps, James is just a normal man who did a horrible thing.
      • Mary, for that matter, seems less a dedicated Sick Girl whose trust was betrayed than a tormented Death Seeker. As her health and beauty decline, she alienates and badgers James, using his obligation to care for her as a knife to drive into him until he relents to put her out of her misery. It's possible he's trying to perceive it that way to assuage his guilt, but it doesn't seem to work at all.
    • In Silent Hill 3, Vincent offers one in game when he reacts with mock terror upon being asked about monsters in Silent Hill: "They look like monsters to you?"
    • There's a fan theory that runs that Henry is in fact responsible for the murders throughout the fourth game. See the Wild Mass Guessing page for details.
      • Henry's dull wit and emotional detachment may be signs of sociopathy, or the natural symptoms of sleep deprivation, starvation, and dehydration.
    • Is Travis really the Butcher?
    • Did Alex come back from the Army or the nuthouse?
    • Depending on how you answer Dr. K's questions and how you play as Harry, you can give the player character of Shattered Memories a different set of characteristics and motivations every time you play through.
      • The game itself is rife with ACIs. Dahlia becomes Harry's lover and later claims to be his wife, and Kaufmann is Cheryl's therapist. Lisa and Cybil are both largely the same, although their circumstances differ from SH1.
  • Broken Base:
    • One of the biggest in the series is between fans who prefer the games that focus on the protagonists' personal demons (the second game, Homecoming, Downpour) versus fans who feel that the series is best when it's focusing on the cult (the first game, the third game, Origins). It's a wide enough gulf that some fans have suggested that there are really two fanbases to the series.
    • Related to the above, there's The Real Silent Hill Experience, a well-known fan-made video analysis of the entire franchise, which is very controversial among both old and new fans. Basically, TRSHE was created as an attempt to prove that everything post-Silent Hill 4 simply cannot be canon, using only information provided in the games and quotes from the original developers, while also coming down decidedly on the latter side in the above argument. Whether or not they succeeded is entirely up to the viewer.
    • There were a lot of arguments over whether or not Pyramid Head should have been put into Homecoming.
    • Both of the films get this, the first one over whether or not it's a good enough adaptation of the first game, and the second one over whether being closer to the games excuses all the continuity problems with the first and other script issues.
  • Complete Monster: Christabella, the manipulative leader of a local religious cult from the film adaptation who believes in finding and burning those who are considered to be witches. After Christabella's sister gave birth to a daughter out of wedlock, Christabella had the child condemned as a witch. Alessa was bullied and abused by her peers daily, while the members of the cult and her aunt not only allowed it, but encouraged it. When Alessa was nine years old, Christabella convinced Dahlia that she needed to be "purified", calling her "filth" and saying her innocence must be restored. Christabella then had Alessa laid over a bed of burning coals to be burned alive as a witch. When one of the chains holding Alessa in place had broken, Christabella and her followers fled from the church. When Christabella discovers that Rose's adoptive daughter, Sharon, is identical to Alessa, she has her followers attempt to kidnap Rose and Cybil. Rose escapes, but Christabella orders her men to beat Cybil as she lays on the ground bleeding. Christabella then goes to the apartment of her now mad sister, Dahlia, where she finds Sharon and kidnaps her. At the church, Christabella has Cybil burned alive as a witch, and attempts to do the same to Sharon when Rose arrives.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Barring Christabella, most of the Silent Hill comics by Scott Ciencin make the characters so flawed and unlikable and their inability to escape the town so apparent that you just can't care for them.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The nurses in the second and third games, especially on Hard difficulty and higher. They have long attack range and some in the third game carry guns, attack in groups so the rest will jump on you when you move in to stomp a downed nurse, and tend to respawn right in your face after you come out of a room. Worse, in SH2, James also has to protect Maria from them, or else it's Game Over.
    • The first game has the infamous Grey Children. They appear in groups in the dark corridors of the school, sometimes right in your face when you enter, and gang up on you, with one grabbing you while the others slice and dice. Then you tend to get grabbed by another after getting free and the cycle repeats. And towards the end of the game, there's the Shadow Children variant, which are transparent and harder to see.
    • The literal spiders in SH2 can be demonic on Hard difficulty and if you're low on health. See, for example, the basement corridor in "Born From A Wish". Get bitten by one spider too many, cue Critical Existence Failure.
    • Slurpers. They lunge at you and knock you down, then when you are getting back up, they may ram you again. Lather, rinse, repeat, throw controller.
    • The Doormen in the hotel. Due to the near-total darkness and very narrow hallways, it's hard to see how far away they are or dodge them, resulting in James being head-raped repeatedly.
    • Carrions. No matter how far away they are, they'll always get the first hit in and dole out a huge amount of pain thanks to a lightning-fast and incredibly accurate lunge. How does roadkill move so quickly?!
    • Scrapers in SH3, especially if you're low on ammo and/or health. In the narrow corridors, they tend to block your path, including access to spare ammo.
    • Rawshocks, which makes sense, given that they are preventing Harry from realizing the truth.
    • Insane Cancers in the third game. Large mounds of hell that block your paths and force you to fight them. It takes an insane amount of resources to knock them down, and then once you think they're dead and go to kick them, they get right back up and take out a chunk of your health. They're also a lot faster than they look - from a distance, they can suddenly just sprint at you. The fact that these things can take eight shotgun blasts to the face and still come back laughing is far scarier than what they're meant to represent. At least you can block their attacks to minimize damage... but still.
    • Needlers. Able to scale walls and ceilings, move very rapidly, block most of Alex's attacks, and seek shelter when close to death.
    • Siams. Incredibly strong? Check. Incredibly fast? Check. Able to soak up tons of damage? Check.
    • Smogs. Incredibly annoying with their ability to blow noxious fumes at Alex, with insane tracking skills, and an annoying headbutt attack at close range that consistently knocks Alex flat on his butt.
    • Weeping Bats. Strong, fast and often cling to ceilings — and their descent from said ceilings is a nasty unblockable attack.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Several of the male antagonists, in some portions of the fandom. Pyramid Head and Walter tend to get the most of it, though. Vincent, Sewell, and Richard have also had it to a lesser extent.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Pyramid Head went from Silent Hill 2's iconic Implacable Man to the series mascot.
  • Epileptic Trees: Enough to cover the entire globe and then some. Wild Mass Guessing doesn't begin to cover them.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Abstract Daddy/The Doorman
    • Lying Figure/Patient Demon
    • Mannequins/Pelvis Monsters
    • Red Pyramid/Pyramid Head/Triangle Man
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Rule 34 means that the fanbase reads quite a bit of subtext into certain character interactions.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The Air Screamers in the first game and the Pendulums in the third. The latter often get in the way while traversing narrow pathways or stairs, take copious amounts of ammo to kill, and make a Nightmare Fuel-ing screeching sound.
    • And the Invincible Minor Minion Victims in part 4, which can follow you through walls. The Hummers too, which look like a cross between a literal bat and a mosquito.
    • Numb Bodies in Silent Hill 3, which would populate some rooms and keep bumping you. Yes, that's their attack. Bumping. GET OUT OF THE WAY!!
  • Hell Is That Noise: The radio especially, but every noise in that game had the potential to be Nightmare Fuel or Paranoia Fuel. The darker ambient soundtracks add to the disjointed atmosphere as well. In fact, the franchise even has its own page for instances of this trope.
    • Everytime I hear those...sounds in the courtyard of the school in the first game my heart starts pounding.
    • The movie has this in spades: The banshee-shrieking of the burned children; the gurgling, labored breathing of the armless man; the tormented yells of Colin the janitor; the quiet pained whimpers and gasps that the bubble head nurses make, coupled with the wet popping and tearing of their joints whenever they move; and the infamous scraping sound of the Great Knife... watch the movie on your computer with your headphones in and see if the sound effects don't put up the hairs on the back of your neck.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Those air screamers? Every once in a while, if you loop back, you see it walking right behind you, stalking you.
  • In Name Only: Besides the setting and some rather ham-handed references, all the comics written by Scott Ciencin have very little in common with the games.
  • Internet Backlash: Try to find any positive opinions regarding the recasting of 2 and 3's voices for the "HD Collection".
  • Iron Woobie: Alessa. She endured seven years in utter agony and could have simply broke and called Cheryl back until she came, but she wanted Cheryl/herself to experience being loved by a parent. It was only after hearing that Dahlia was still planning on birthing the god that she decided to stop her plans for good and prevented the whole world from becoming like the Otherworld by trapping herself in that dimension — if not for Harry's and Dahlia's interference.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Attempted with Christabella in the comics. She was killed in a horrific way, but most readers hate her anyway. Sadly, at the end of Dead/Alive, where it's implied that everyone winds up where they belong, she's still an evil demoness in Silent Hill, implying that she is beyond redemption.
  • Les Yay: Rose and Cybil have their own fanbase because of this. Made even more hilarious by the Bubble headed nurses being a sign of repressed sexuality.
  • Memetic Molester: Pyramid Head. "Good heavens, look at the time!" It's rape o'clock. And to complete this, monsters run away if they so much as hear the Great Knife scraping across the floor in the dark. Considering James can use the Great Knife, this comes in handy for avoiding confrontation.
  • Mis-blamed: When the Silent Hill HD Collection was released, it came with a significant number of technical bugs and deviations from the originals, and the developers were roundly bashed by the fanbase for "sullying the legacy of the originals". About three months later, however, it became apparent that the Porting Disaster wasn't the porting team's fault at all: Konami had gone and lost the code to the final version of both games.
    • It should be noted, however, that source code is not required to produce an HD version of a game; all you need is a retail copy, and a team of programmers savvy in the PS2 language. This is how Ico/Shadow of the Colossus HD collection was created.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The radio is useful for alerting you to the presence of nearby monsters. Problem is, this is Silent Hill. Monsters are everywhere, thus the radio never shuts up and gives your ears a break.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
    • Much of the voice acting and dialogue from the first game, particularly Harry's performance. The voice acting and dialogue does noticeably improve starting with Silent Hill 2 (and gets better from there, with the possible exception of Origins), but this trope still pops up from time to time.
    • Dahlia Gillespie gives us the immortal line, "It was foretold by gyromancy!". Go ahead, Wikipedia "gyromancy".
    • If you wear the dog suit that you can earn as a reward, the entirety of Origins can be turned into this.
    • Ditto Silent Hill 3 if you use the Magical Girl outfit. Add in the cheat that has Douglas in his boxers and very little else for extra fun.
    • From the movie... Cybil: "They used to say this place was haunted." Rose: [awkwardly long pause] "I think they were right..."
    • So much of the second movie. Almost all of the dialogue, for starters, plus the overzealous Juggalo-esque makeup on Alessa and the epic hug battle of doom.
  • Narm Charm: The UFO Endings which purposely channel old school sci-fi B movies for comedic value.
    • The voice acting and dialogue from the first game. Most likely due to the actors recording their lines independently from each other, as was the standard back then.
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: How a lot of fans feel about the series since the disbanding of Team Silent.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • What's that lurking in the distance? What's with this radio? Will this thing kill me if I touch it? Should I shoot this monster to death or run and save my ammunition? Who keeps leaving these Health Drinks in the middle of nowhere?
    • There's a room in the mall in 3, where there's a sign that says you need to turn off the lights because the room becomes very noticeable if you don't. Even while watching a friend play the game, when they go to turn off the lights, it's terrifying because of previous knowledge of Silent Hill games. Nothing actually happens either way, which really makes it Paranoia Fuel.
    • In Silent Hill 2, while wandering around in the abandoned apartments, you hear a noise coming from the north in a room you visited a few minutes before. When you go back into the previously empty room, a man you haven't seen before is sitting dead in the chair in front of the TV, which has been turned on to static and has blood all over it. And all the corpses that James runs into use the same character model look like him, except for one that looks like Harry Mason.
    • In Silent Hill 4, you wander through Otherworlds which are created from Walter's memories. Every person you meet in these Otherworlds dies gruesomely, and it isn't until later that you realize it's Walter completing his ritualistic murders. That's right, the Big Bad has been seeking out each victim like a predator does its prey, meaning he's also been stalking YOU through each Otherworld the whole time. It's even worse when he comes out of hiding when you revisit these areas.
  • Player Punch: The Tear Jerker moments in the various series definitely qualify.
  • Porting Disaster: The Silent Hill HD Collection, which was supposed to be remastered versions of Silent Hill 2 and 3 that could be played on HD consoles, has shown itself to be this. Handled by a studio who only had a couple of mobile/handheld games under their belt, and partly based on code from old beta versions of the original games as Konami had managed to misplace the finished versions; the output are both technical messes plagued with bugs that weren't there in the original versions of the games, rampant slowdown issues, poor in-game lighting, missing music tracks, and badly synced character voices. Especially glaring is the fact that several of the game's iconic fog effects are broken in several places, most notably in SH2 where it renders certain scenes downright laughable. A patch which at least migrated (and emphasis on migrated) some of these problems was eventually put out, but was only made available for the PS3 version.
    • The PC version of Silent Hill 4 has for some reason limited its frames per second in gameplay to 30, which wouldn't be too bad, if wasn't for the fact that that every cutscene for some insane reason is restricted to 15 frames per second, and any attempt to mod around this fact has so far proved futile.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Want to generate a Flame War among Silent Hill fans? Ask who caused the series' Dork Age: Tom Hulett, or Konami. To one half of the fanbase, Hulett, the man who took over as the director of the series after Team Silentnote  disbanded, was responsible for everything that went wrong with the series from Silent Hill Origins onward, from questionable creative decisions to changes in gameplay mechanics to the Porting Disaster that was the Silent Hill HD Collection. To the other, Hulett has been the only person keeping the series alive, and it was Konami that broke up Team Silent and passed the franchise off from studio to studio while destroying everything that made the original games great. The only thing they can agree upon is that the series went downhill after Team Silent broke up, and that someone is to blame.
  • The Scrappy: Christabella from the comics, who is utterly loathed by everyone both in and out of universe. Dosen't help that she's a complete Creator's Pet. She was so hated that the character was completely erased when a new writer took over.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In the movie, Rose's husband Christopher is supposed to be a jerk for being against going to Silent Hill and putting a hold on their credit cards. The thing is, he's absolutely right about how crazy this is. In the movie, it's publicly available knowledge that the town has massive coal fires that make it too dangerous to go to, plus the additional danger made by taking a mentally troubled child along.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The Silent Hill fandom is notoriously vocal — particularly concerning sequels that haven't yet been released. Fans complained about the supposed overemphasis on combat in Homecoming six months before it hit the shelves. Shattered Memories, on the other hand, has no combat at all — and people still complained about that. There's also a great deal of grief being voiced over the fact that the protagonist has a touch-screen cell phone to represent the menu commands.
    • Any post-Team Silent entry will get flak from fans for being too "Americanized", despite the fact that a couple of the more recent dev teams originate from Britain (Climax Studios) and the Czech Republic (Vatra Games) respectively. Even Silent Hill 4, the last Team Silent game, was polarizing due to the radical gameplay changes.
      • Still more baffling is the very accusation that the series has shifted toward "American" horror — as Word of God states, the the series was intended as an homage to American horror in the first place and draws most of its inspiration from it, hence the town's streets being named after various Western horror writers and directors.
      • Silent Hill: Book of Memories. Cue Internet Backdraft.
    • The Silent Hill HD Collection, containing HD remakes of the second and third games, have new voiceovers. Cue fan outcry.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The HD Collection. Holy shit.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Every game in the series to follow it (even Silent Hill 3 to a lesser extent), lives under the shadow of Silent Hill 2.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While some of the symbolism really didn't belong, there is very little dispute that the film's visuals are a perfect representation of what a Silent Hill movie should look like.
    • Sadly, the sequel had about a third of the budget and looks considerably worse for the wear. The Otherworld especially is very underwhelming, often just looking like... well, night time.

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