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Reviews Comments: (movie review) Not scary, but interesting, and enjoyable Silent Hill film/book review by Bonsai Forest

There's many interpretations of Silent Hill, and a lot of debates among the fans of what makes Silent Hill what it is. This movie is simply one interpretation of many, but it's one that I enjoyed.

One thing I found interesting was how the Dark World was handled. For the first time, the transformation is not instant, but we actually see everything rust and peel away in the real world, revealing the nightmare beneath - a feature that soon carried over to the games. But another element is shown for the first time as well - the different "layers" of the town of Silent Hill itself, and how different people experience them.

We see that through the character of Chris, Rose's husband. While many complained about his role being unneccessary for the story, I think it added a bit more to the movie. When Chris enters Silent Hill, all he sees is an empty town. At one point, he and Rose pass each other by, literally in the exact same room of the same building, and can't see each other, because they are essentially in different dimensions/worlds. It's a great detail.

Plus, Chris's subplot also affects the pacing, giving us breathers inbetween Rose's exploration of the Dark World. While Rose tries to find Sharon, with or without help from Cybil, Chris tries to find information on the town in the real world. It's two character-driven stories in one. Chris's story may have been more subdued and is clearly less important, but I do like what it adds.

Is it scary, though? I'm not gonna lie: not once was I tense, unlike when I played the games. Not once was I scared or unnerved, unlike when I played the games. While that says something about the power of today's video game technology to transport you into a believable world and make you experience it, it also, sadly, says something about the filmmaking. I found the plot interesting and fun, but not actually scary.

And that says another thing about how Silent Hill can be interpreted. It's more than just a multi-dimensional curse that has a world of fog and a separate world of darkness and rusted walls, all while strange monsters roaming around. Silent Hill is also unnerving, strangely symbolic at times, and manages to get under your skin. This film captures the look and basic features of Silent Hill fantastically, but not really its essence.


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