Silent Hill (2006)

(On DVD, August 2007) There are a lot of bad horror films out there, and a lot of bad videogame adaptations too, so I ask for forgiveness in thinking that a horror film adapted from a videogame wouldn’t be much better. But it is. While Silent Hill will not claim any top spots on any horror movie list, the result is a creepy and visually interesting film that a great deal more solid than it had any right to be. The visual polish of the three planes of Silent Hill does a lot to compensate for the silliness of the script, but there are other things that work in the film’s favour: The predominance of female characters, the way the film plays on creepiness a long time before the last-minute gore (for the record, when I thought “It looks as if someone’s going to be violated with barbed wire!”, I wasn’t actually thinking it would happen.) and the ambiguous ending may or may not please, but they certainly give to Silent Hill a polish that is quite unlike most other horror films. I’m really not so fond of the script (which relies on silliness to get to Silent Hill, betrays the gaming origins of the story by making the characters race for plot coupons and then loses its way in pseudo-religious claptrap shortly before the end), but with the dialogues turned down, Silent Hill is far better than you’d expect. The DVD includes a decent amount of behind-the-scene material, though it remains coys on the film’s ultimate interpretation.

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