★ ★ 1/2 out of 5 buckets | Rental
Rated: R Disturbing images, brief nudity, some language and violence
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
Director: Michael J. Bassett
Writers: Michael J. Bassett
Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington. Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Roberto Campanella
SYNOPSIS: When her father disappears, Heather Mason pursues after him using a wooden box full of notes and newspaper clippings, leading her to the abandoned, plagued ash-laden town of Silent Hill - a forever burning town that has plagued her in her nightmares since childhood.
REVIEW: Soloman Kane writer and director Michael J. Bassett pauses his run on the latest Silent Hill video game, takes his fingers off the Play Station controller, and moves to the canvas chair behind the camera to return us to the creepy, foggy reality of Silent Hill.
A eighteen-year-old girl named Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens, No One Lives) and her father Harry (Sean Bean, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) move into a new town, weary of their past and struggling to make their move into their new home the last move. Heather wakes from horrible and ghastly dreams of strange distorted creatures residing in a ash-laden town named Silent Hill. Entering a new school system, it is not long before a teenage boy named Victor (Kit Harington, Game of Thrones) tries to befriend her.
When Heather starts having waking nightmares of Silent Hill and her father goes missing, they uncover old documents and notes from her father outlining the found history of the creatures and misery of Silent Hill. Desperate to save her father, Heather has Victor drive her to the forever-burning Virginia town to find him. Once there, Heather realizes that she is a critical linchpin to both adverting the evil and becoming the host for a new god for The Order to defeat Alessa and becoming part of the darkness that Alessa embodies.
Silent Hill: Revelations 3D looks cool. If you are a fan of the video game franchise developed by Konami, you will appreciate the continued adherence to the foggy, spooky atmosphere that has become the signature of the games.
The creatures, especially the unnamed Alessa guardian the writer/director inherited in the form of the hulking, sword-wielding Red Pyramid, the arachnid-styled mannequin monster, and the bevy of distorted, stained buxon nurses, just add to the depth and mythos that the game franchise has created and enthralled players with. The creatures' movements are creepy and unnerving in their staggering and jittering spasms.
The story picks up several years after Sharon escapes from the 'under' level of the world of Silent Hill, when Sharon (now Heather) approaches the eve of her eighteenth birthday. She managed to escape from their world with help from her mother and part of a metal disc talisman. In the series, Silent Hill: Revelations draws from both the third and fourth entry of the game series. The film's story makes narrative sense, but for non-fans of the video games, the dialogue that is intended to fill in the blanks for the history and myth of Silent Hill feels a little forced, stilted, and spoon-fed.
To the video game fans' delight, several creatures and physical elements - like the carnival carousel - are reflective mirrored fragments of the games they have enjoyed.
Sean Bean comes back as the father charged with keeping Sharon/Heather safe and away from Silent Hill. Radha Mitchell also returns as Heather's trapped mother Rose in a cameo, further tying the original and the sequel together as a consistent narrative from the 2006 original. Young Adelaide Clemens performs double acting duties (just like her younger version played by Jodelle Ferland in the original film entry) as both Sharon/Heather and the evil Alessa whose dark powers keep the members of The Order from escaping from the alternate levels of Silent Hill to the real world above.
Kit Harington's Vincent is at times sympathetic and heroic, and sinister and secretive. Malcolm McDowell (Easy A) makes a cameo as Vincent's asylum-bound grandfather Leonard, while The Matrix Trilogy's Carrie-Anne Moss heads up The Order as the near albino Claudia Wolf with her own agenda. And not to be left out, one cannot exclude Roberto Campanella who returns as the menacing and imposing Red Pyramid.
Most sequels do not live up to the success to the original - except for film classics like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens - and Silent Hill: Revelations 3D can now be counted in their numbers. Despite all the best intentions, love for the video game franchise that helped spawn the film series, and care for the characters, atmosphere, and mythos, Silent Hill: Revelations 3D doesn't deliver.
Just like the residents trapped in the under-reality of the still-burning coal mines of the forgotten and abandoned Virginian mountain town, this sequel suffers the endless darkness as a cinematic casualty.
The addition of 3D technology offers an immersed experience with the falling ash and swirling fog coming off the screen and into the theater, but the rest of the effects are cookie cutter - or sword-wielding - not adding much to the mix.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is a creepy and anguished film that bleeds straight from the unique surreal atmosphere of the game to the silver of the screen. But like the deteriorating structures under the world of this tortured Virginia town, this effort doesn't hold up for long.
Chuck Ingersoll is the editor and movie reviewing contributor for Hot Butter Reviews. You can find hundreds of reviews at www.HotButterReviews.com.