I am annoyed right now, because of how I’m thinking about this movie and I want to talk about facets of it, and instead I’m being made to feel guilty for examining those facets rather than committing to a single opinion, full stop, the end. However, guilt is for Catholics and people in jail, and terrorists who haven’t been charged with crimes of course; most importantly, not for me. So, Humbug, I say. Also, I say Silent Hill.
So there’s this game, right, and they made a movie. That nearly never ends well, and not least because they mostly only make movies based on good and popular games. (It is a source of surprise to me, how much more often popular equates with good in the video game arena than in the movie or literary arenas. I wonder if I’m wrong, really. But let’s assume not, as it makes it easier for me to continue with my thoughts, here.) So, there’s automatically farther to fall, as your built-in audience will necessarily be more judgmental than otherwise.
Silent Hill the game was creepy of atmosphere and mysterious of plot, only providing drips and drabs to explain what was really going on while keeping you on edge throughout. The movie provided both the best and the worst of that, more’s the pity. Because it tried very hard to be a good movie, and I can see the good movie lurking just beneath the surface. Nevertheless, it never really surfaced.
Silent Hill the movie is the story of a woman trying to penetrate the mystery of her adopted daughter’s nightmares and accompanying sleepwalking. So she takes the girl to the place those dreams speak of, a ghost town called Silent Hill. (I know, it was a shock to me, too, the coincidence of that name with the movie’s title. But I resuspended my disbelief and soldiered on.) Only, their arrival is marred by a car accident that knocks out the woman just long enough for her daughter to vanish. After that, all that’s left is to find her, and that means unravelling the mystery behind the town and its death.
The audio and the visuals were both brilliant, evocative, and a joy to behold. Perhaps a dread to behold would be more accurate, but I like what I like, and joy is the word for me. Also, I liked the music. The plot, however… possibly forgivable gaming tropes were overshadowed by an unforgivably dense plot, and the side story of the woman’s husband that had no right to be in the script at all. The good news is this: I don’t have to concern myself with the good movie that I kept nearly seeing, because I’ve got these games that totally make up for it.