Silent Hill (2006)
Reviewed by Feb 21st, 2007

When people speak of movies based on video games, most people cringe, and not without good reason. The logic of what makes a good video game is far removed from what makes a good film. what makes the Silent Hill video game series great is the feeling of isolation in a creepy, dark world populated mostly with monsters, and the large, weird areas the player can explore at his or her own pace. The stories also had very complex plotlines, as far as videogames go, but not necessary the kind that make great movies. Like I said, the logic is simply different.

Director Christophe Gans faces up to this challenge pretty well, and considering the competition, this may well be the best video game movie ever made. The movie relies very little on dialogue (and the dialogue that is there is best ignored), and while a plot is there, it generally takes a back seat to the visuals, which in general were very well done.

I’ve read that the monsters were real people wearing prosthetics and then “enhanced” with CGI, which I suppose works better than just CGI. The creatures aren’t explained much, and indeed many seem to be rather pointless (compared to the game monsters), but it’s basically a visual film. When it does try to explain things in an extended flashback sequence, things start to feel a bit strained. I also was unsure of the silly way the nurses moved and the changes to Pyramid Head’s physique.

Some of the characters are from the game, including Dahlia, Alessa, Cybil and Lisa (the nurse seen in flashbacks), though the main character is a woman this time, Rose, and Cheryl’s name has been inexplicably changed to Sharon. If you can ignore the somewhat convoluted storyline, the overly long running time, and a few continuity errors, this is a fairly enjoyable film to watch, especially for fans of the games.

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