Silent Hill: Revelations 3D Movie Review: Better than You'd Think!
Like Heather (who has changed her name from Sharon), Silent Hill: Revelations 3D searches for its identity and gets confused along the way. Heather and her father are on the run because the Order of Valtiel is after her. They hope to merge her with her darker half, Alessa. That in turn will allow her to serve as a mother to a dark god that will... That will what? That question never gets answered and neither do the reasons behind why the Order wants this dark god to be reborn. I know bad guys sometimes want horrible things to happen and they don't really need a reason for it. At least in the game, the Order thought this god would bring paradise, and the villainess, Claudia, was haunted by the abuse she suffered in her childhood. Any hint of that was completely missing in the movie version, robbing it of impetus and a relatable motive.
Once Heather realizes she and Alessa are part of the same half, she no longer has to be afraid of any of the horrific things happening in Silent Hill as she is calling them forth. Alessa already had her revenge in part 1, and after Heather inexplicably absorbs Alessa, Heather descends down to where Claudia is waiting. A duel follows between the Pyramid Head (Heather's guardian angel of sorts) and Claudia (played by Carrie-Ann Moss) that had glimmers of the Matrix. This might have been an interesting twist if this weren't a horror film; the heroes no longer seem vulnerable and the tension dissolves.
Silent Hill: Revelations 3D had the potential for genuine fears, a crescendo of terror woven together by the masterful sound FX of Akira Yamaoka and Jeff Danna. And as mentioned above, there was some terrifying imagery. Yes, there were confusing subplots, as with a wasted Malcolm McDowell holding the Seal of Metatron (I found out this was a reference to the Biblical archangel, though like in the original Silent Hill 3, I couldn't get the word, "Megatron", out of my head). You also have to ignore the contradictions within the story, like if the Order was trapped in Silent Hill, how did they hire a private investigator to track Heather and send people to kidnap her father (the whole point of bringing Heather back was because destroying her was the only way they could leave!)?
I think the main reason the movie falls apart is because it forgets that at the heart of every good horror story, there is a tragedy. Think of the most horrendous villains: Norman Bates, Freddy Krueger, Jason, Michael Myers, even Jigsaw from the SAW series. Almost all of them have some terrible calamity that befell them. The first Silent Hill movie, based loosely on the first two games, was a perfect example of that. Alessa was sacrificed as a witch for being born out of wedlock (and by sacrifice, I mean ritually burned). She survived, called forth a terrible darkness that covered the city in ash, and sought revenge against the cult. In Silent Hill: Revelations 3D, there aren't many revelations aside from the ones we already knew about from the first part, which Heather had to relearn.
It's the absence of inner terror that prevents the film from coalescing into something more than just a video game adaptation. Silent Hill: Revelations 3D is still a fun ride with plenty of tributes to the game series and definitely worth watching for fans. The sad part is that it could have been a truly haunting movie, the kind that isn't just a nightmare, but a reflection of the horrors within manifested in an interminable fog, stretching to oblivion.
Check out the video below for my reflections and a few scenes from the movie!
He has been working in film and games for over a decade. On his off time, he likes to travel the world. His short story collection, Watering Heaven, was just published by Signal 8 Press.
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