Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Nightmare Fuel / Silent Hill 4

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walter_portrait_2987.jpg
I'm AlWaYs WaTcHiNG yOu
Advertisement:
    open/close all folders 

The story has the protagonist trapped in an insane dream world, where death causes you to be Killed Off for Real. It's as creepy as it sounds.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.


    Hauntings 
  • One of the sights you may see in your room upon waking up is a picture of a decaying mugshot coming out of the church picture. It alludes to Walter Sullivan's corpse stashed right next to your bedroom.
  • Absolutely nothing compares to the sheer terror you feel when you see a child's shadow crying and pointing at you from the closet in your bedroom, and you realize that your one safe haven is no longer safe. This effect is underscored by the fact that your health no longer recharges while in the apartment.
  • The player's "trust" that they're supposed to pick up every item they can is "betrayed" by a doll that causes a haunting that H. R. Giger would dream up: grotesque-looking infants that moan and groan above your item chest, stuck inside the wall. What makes this even worse is that a nice, if somewhat creepy-looking guy (whose identity you don't know yet at that point) offers the doll to you in a friendly manner and says that it used to be Eileen's before she gave it to him. You pick up the doll thinking that it might have some importance later in the game... only to find out that nope, it's pretty much only there to give you even more nightmares.
  • There's a particular haunting that possesses the chained door in the apartment. "Hm, everything's fine... wait IS THE PEEPHOLE BLEEDING???" And if you take the Schmuck Bait and look through it? "HOLY CRAP Bleeding eyeless Henry with 21/21 carved into his throat!!" If you turn your volume way up, you can very faintly hear him saying "Please help me." The most disturbing part is that "victim Henry" sways back and forth, moving his mouth as if he's saying something, but you can't make it out through the door.
  • One of the hauntings possesses your phone. "I'm always watching you. I'm always WATCHING you" on a continuous loop. That happens not too long after you encounter Joseph in the living room ceiling, but it could also work as a reference to Walter's hidden room, or even Andrew's floating head.
  • Go through hole. Wake up. Hear meowing. Open the fridge to find what Henry calls a "lump of flesh" which fidgets about and groans. It's one of the other tenants' dead cat wrapped up in a pair of pants.
  • The TV haunting. You half expect Samara to come crawling out of the TV.
  • There's one haunting that can be very hard to find since your only clue it's there at all is the effects Henry feels when he gets near it. It's the chair right next to the Save Point: it turns bloody if you light a candle or wear a medallion near it, but otherwise gives nothing away. If you're unaware of this one, you could just wind up going back and forth looking for some invisible intruder and chipping away at your health the whole time.
  • You know shit gets real when goddamned ghosts start trying to break into your home from all rooms (yes, Henry can actually wake up with one just above his bed, immediately triggering the haunted effect as soon as you take control). Thankfully, they aren't able to make all the way through their bloody portals, but that doesn't change the fact you've still got roaring undead stuck inside your walls.
  • While not an actual haunting, one can occasionally see Andrew DeSalvo's severed head falling down from the sky through the window. It's a rare, random event, but startling regardless.

    NPCs & Monsters 
  • Seeing Eileen completely drenched in her own blood if she takes too much damage is pretty damn jarring, especially when her wounds eventually begin to encompass her face, twitch and pulse around her body. It does serve to make player more caring towards her when trying to keep the poor girl safe. To make matters worse, should nothing be done about her injuries, she'll begin to have random seizures while speaking in reverse and/or gibberish, and eventually beat herself on her cast-covered arm with whatever she's armed with. Either that or she'll start to gasp at a set interval, all while a harmful aura forms around her.
  • The Ghosts. Invincible, intangible manifestations of Walter's victims that haunt his Otherworlds in several different rooms. They will attempt to shove their hands through Henry's chest and rip out his heart if he gets near.
    • They spawn by clawing their way out of a viscous portal in the wall, with electric cables hanging off their bodies like puppet strings. The Ghosts are nicely-detailed, with wounds that reference the circumstances of their death: Peter Walls/Victim 12 was beaten up, Sharon Blake/Victim 13's clothes are damp with water, etc). Their mannerisms seem to suggest that they don't want to kill you. (well, apart from Andrew and Richard); they are being possessed by some outside force. They just hover above ground and issue inhuman moans that make them sound like they're in constant agony inside this dark realm. One of them is just an innocent old lady.
    • They can go through walls and other objects in the area, and sometimes even directly follow Henry from one room to another in what seems to be an endless chase. It's no use trying to batter them with conventional weapons: even being close to them does harm to you, as they have a negative aura which causes headaches and slowly drains your health; something that can only be halted, temporarily, by a Holy Candle being put down nearby or equipping a Saint Medallion, both of which can wear out quickly. Unlike many other monsters in the franchise, the Ghosts cannot be harmed unless Henry pins them down with a finite number of Swords of Obedience scattered around the different Worlds. There's only five you can use against TEN you'll meet during gameplay, so you should reserve them for the New-Type Ghosts.
    • Old-Type victims are spooky and annoying, but the New-Type victims have a personal axe to grind. These are the neighbors whom Henry has met throughout his journey, each slain by Walter as part of the 21 Sacraments ritual. They resurface in the Remixed Levels as enhanced versions of Old-Types. They have unique attacks and high stamina, so you'll need to wail on them with melee attacks (or a well-placed revolver round) until they succumb long enough to pin them down with a Sword.
      1. Cynthia Velasquez/Victim 16 is a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. Her entire body is covered in blood from Walter stabbing her in the Subway World. She is introduced with an eerie, reversed sobbing. Her hair can actually ensnare Henry and immobilize him for an attack by another enemy. She also likes to scurry away on the ground if you manage to fell her: low enough on the ground to evade your attacks, and fast enough to outrun Henry.
      2. Jasper Gein/Victim 17 is eternally ablaze, haunting the Forest World around the Wish House area with the candlestick he used to trace the numbers 17/21 carved into his chest. Now he uses it as a weapon against Henry. The fire makes his attacks hit a lot harder than other Ghosts, and his burning flesh looks like charcoal. He also doesn't moan so much as he gurgles and chokes.
      3. Andrew De Salvo/Victim 18 haunts the Water Prison World, his stomach now even more bloated from the water he took in while drowning. The first truly evil ghost, he sings an Ear Worm to himself relating to the 21 Sacrament scriptures, like a nursery rhyme. (Go watch a speedrun or Let's Play, it's funny how gamers tend to sing along with it.) He floats around and barrel rolls towards Henry. This is the only Ghost you have to pin down, as Andrew is still holding the keys needed to leave the Prison.
      4. Richard Braintree/Victim 19 from the Building World is the final New-Type victim. The electric chair left his body charred, and the electricity causes him to 'glitch' occasionally, twitching and randomly speeding up or slowing down as he lunges at Henry with a pipe. Richard had an evil streak even in life, so he ditches the Ghostly Glide and stalks you normally, just like Walter does.
  • Walter's horrific body (the Conjurer) which looms over you during the boss fight with him. This is his cadaver which got sucked underground after you took the apartment keys from it (note the black feathers still attached). Now it's grown to giant size, causing the skin to peel away and become transluscent. Walter's ghost seems to have inherited all of his intelligence; this thing is just a beast which writhes in agony.
  • The Patients. Particularly the one that just appears in the hallway of one of the apartments in the second run through of the apartment world. At first, the apartment appears empty and your first thought is to search it for items, and while you're doing that a 7-foot high monster casually marches towards you from the hallway in an Unflinching Walk as if it was waiting for you this whole time. If you arrive early enough and go straight into the hallway, you can actually see the nurse materialize at the end of the hall and walk straight towards you. Very unsettling.
  • Twin Victims. Particularly the way they're pointing right at you and whispering "Receiver" as soon as you get a glimpse at them. It gets worse when you find out what these things represent: Recall that Walter was first mentioned in an article in Silent Hill 2, which revealed that two of his earlier victims were children, a brother and sister. Do the math.
  • Forest World Round 2. You return to the forest and Eileen can read the previously indecipherable gravestones. So you let her read them, then suddenly you hear a deep chuckle, and then feel a gunshot. It's Walter. You run out of the gate in terror as soon as it happens, only to hear the gate creak well after Henry closes it. He's following you!
  • "Kid? That's no kid! It's the 11121 man!" Made even worse by the fact that he's being fatally electrocuted while saying it.
Advertisement:

    The Room 
  • The opening cutscene is a POV flashback to Joseph's death. The in-game text only hints at this, though, so it's In Medias Res. Just the usual Otherworld stuff: the whole apartment is caked with blood, you can't even see through the windows anymore, and the spooky face in the wall comes to life and emerges as a ghost. A preview of what awaits you in Act 2 once the hauntings begin.
  • Try dialing the phone number on the billboard outside of the bedroom. You hear some disturbing, demonic jibbering straight out of the Otherworld.
  • Robbie the Rabbit's cameo appearance in Eileen's room. You can peek into her apartment from the hole in your wall at any time. After Eileen gets butchered, Robbie faces the peephole and points at you accusingly. His mouth is now streaked with blood just like in his SH3 appearance. (Remember the weird mascots that were implied to be hiding corpses? Heather refused to examine them if prompted.) This has a double-meaning which isn't reassuring in any way: Eileen was the 20th of the 21 victims needed. Walter needs one more. Robbie pointing at you is the game's way of saying You're next.
    • When peeking into her apartment, there are also certain scenes where Eileen can be found simply sitting on her bed watching TV. Occasionally she will just stare, and even glare at the direction where the peephole is, clearly unsettled by the notion that someone (i.e. you) is spying on her.
  • At the beginning of the Apartments level, you can return to Henry's room and then peek through his front door's peephole. On top of the bloodied hand-prints on the wall that spells out how many victims had died, the bloodied words "Better check on your neighbor soon!" will appear. Checking up on Eileen's apartment through a hole will reveal her to be fine for the time being, and should you return to the front door to examine the message again? It's gone.
  • If you look out of your window before Eileen is attacked, you'll see a male figure (it's Walter) standing motionlessly in an adjacent window and pointing at her room.
  • You know that bustling apartment building across the street you can see through your window? Look at it near the end of the game. Now it's empty.
  • The way that you return to The Room from the Otherworld — like waking up from a dream — can be unnerving as if you never left and your trip to the Otherworld is All Just a Dream. It's like Henry is trapped within a Dream Within a Dream of infinite depth and nobody in the real world is able to get into his apartment to take his comatose body to the hospital. Even if his body can be rescued and put on life support, Walter Sullivan won't allow him to wake up so doctors and nurses would likely be powerless and unable to comprehend what danger Henry is in.

    Walter's Otherworlds 
  • The opening cinematic. Holy mother of jumpscares. In short; moaning ghosts, the Twin Victim enemy running towards the camera and screeching, creepy shots of places in the game, "Room of Angel" playing, and a shot of Ghost!Cynthia crawling (sped-up) towards the camera with frenetic breathing. It does an excellent job of scaring the shit out of you in preparation for starting the game.
  • Despite all the horrible, painful ways people can (and do) die in this series, few compare to Jasper laughing euphorically and screaming as he burns alive, glad to have finally met "the Devil", followed by tracing the numbers 17/21 Walter carved into his chest with a candlestick right before he dies. While we're at it, Richard's death by electrocution is much more terrifying, and he dies just as slowly as Jasper.
  • The bloody mannequin in the restroom. "Reminds me of Cynthia." To put it into perspective, you enter a portal in the restroom to return to your apartment and return to find a creepy mannequin suddenly positioned on a toilet.
  • The giant Eileen head in the hospital, with the realistic concussion eyes. The most disturbing thing about Eileen's head is the fact that you don't see it as soon as you enter the room. At first, the camera's facing Henry, and you only can hear something breathing. Then you take a step, and the camera immediately cuts to Eileen's head. It seems to have emerged from the wall, along with cobwebs dangling where the neck should be. Her eyes follow you: Even with another character in the room, they only follow Henry.
    • Note how the Eileen Head has more lacerations than the real one. Makes sense if you consider Henry's guilt for not saving her. But stuff like this is an insight into Walter's psyche as much as Henry's. (Remember Walter rummaging around the innards of a female cadaver earlier?). Really makes you wonder what's going on inside his brain.
  • Some of the murders Walter committed took place outside of the country. That's right. You could be on a whole other continent and Walter could pop up at any time and bring you into his Otherworld the moment you fall asleep. Paranoid yet? To the outside observer, it would appear you died in your sleep and many would be unaware that you're imprisoned in a nightmare world as a zombie most likely.
  • The Greedy Worms. They can be found in in the Subway, Forest and Water Prison worlds. They're unkillable, but thankfully they're also harmless, and on the occasion that you can reach them you can beat the crap out of them if you find that to be therapeutic.
  • Discovering Cynthia dying in the subway station, when "Room of Angel" plays in the background. The sheer visceral beating the poor woman had endured before being left to bleed out, while strange numbers were carved onto her chest, sets the tone of the story and what to expect from thereon.
  • The aftermath of Eileen's assault by Walter is just as jarring as Cynthia's death. Thankfully she survives, but it's very unsettling how Walter possesses no compunctions at all about brutalizing women.
  • The hospital in general:
    • You first enter the Hospital World by appearing inside an operating room where Adult Walter is working on a Patient Zombie and he spontaneously becomes aware of Henry's presence in the room. He walks over to Henry as if to intimidate him and Henry flees the room. When you return, Walter is gone as if he was a ghost but the Patient he was working comes to attack you.
    • Not just the Eileen head, but almost every other patient room is pointless except to scare you. There's the room with the (harmless) descending ceiling, the room connected to a sanitarium with a body in it, a room with a big tarp of skin held up ("On closer examination, there is a chunk of meat stuck in the middle of it"), the room with the wheelchair that disappears, and the room with the broken glass cases. The fact that the layout of all 24 rooms is randomized in every playthrough doesn't help.
  • During your session of game, a shady-looking man may come to your door and stare back at you through the peephole while you look through it. You eventually find out that he is none other than Walter Sullivan.
  • Like the other games in the series, SH4's full of ambient, creepy noises guaranteed to make you lose sleep.
  • The Water Prison is easily one of the creepiest levels in the entire series. It's a place used by the cult to punish the orphans, and they would send them there even if they hadn't done anything wrong. Once there, they were subject to constant surveillance and random beatings, forced to drink water with leeches in it, and if the doors to their cells stopped working? The guards just watched as they starved to death, then quietly disposed of the corpses. It's also where you meet the Twin Victims for the first time.
  • In the Subway World, there are corpses that look less like humans and more like armless penis-people with mouths. There's even one nailed to a subway seat with an open book that has "abnormality" written across its pages. Nope nope nope.
  • The spiral Staircase that connects Walter's Otherworlds together can be best described as a museum of utterly terrifying modern art. Some of the lovely sights include caged mannequins, two corpses bowing before an armless angel statue, baby dolls and even a sheep.
  • One of the apartments is covered wall-to-wall with indecipherable writing.
  • Inside one of the apartments is a room filled with multiple 1-person bunk beds, way more beds for residents than an apartment is usually used for. It's not overtly scary relative to what you've seen so far but can have frightening implications such as the unspoken possibility that Walter Sullivan had children in their sights; that or it may have been a memory of sleeping quarters from Walter's time in The Order. The context seems left open to interpretation.
  • There's a pair of tree-roots in the Forest World that resemble human hands clawing their way out of the ground. Just in case that didn't spook you, the distant cry of what sounds like an irate minotaur has you covered.
  • At the bottom of an elevator shaft in the Building World, you can see the decayed bodies of corpses jammed in the gears.
  • Also in the Building World, walled off behind bars, is some kind of shivering, convulsing, shapeless...thing in a cage hanging from the ceiling. It doesn't attack you or symbolize anything, it's just there.
  • In the Otherworld's apartment lobby you can see a pale, androgynous corpse strung up by its breasts with a giant beaked helmet covering its head.
  • Walter's open grave can be visited in the Forest World. The coffin is empty, save for the number "11121" written in blood...and several Hummers.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report