Review: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

Title: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

Director: Michael J. Bassett

Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Sean Bean, Kit Harington, Carrie-Ann Moss

The most notable feature of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is that in the wake of its release, the same critics who panned its 2006 predecessor Silent Hill have completely readjusted their perspectives on just how bad a video game adaptation (even from a vaunted series like this one) can be.

The story follows father-daughter duo Heather and Harry, played by Adelaide Clemens and Sean Bean respectively, as they live on the run from evil forces that are tirelessly trying to draw them back to cursed town Silent Hill in order to execute a predictably convoluted cult ceremony.

Since the majority of Bean’s screen time is spent warning Heather off going to Silent Hill under any circumstances, she obviously finds herself well en route within the day, accompanied by the blatantly suspect Vincent (Kit Harington) whose eagerness to follow her into hell is disproportionate to the likelihood he’ll get lucky with someone displaying so overwrought an Electra complex.

Exposition dominates the film’s dialogue in an attempt to delineate the overcomplicated plot that ritually sacrifices coherence in order to make vague nods to fans of the game and to facilitate an extensive employment of CGI monsters and cheap 3D scares (body parts! clowns!). In terms of delivering the suspense and atmosphere that Silent Hill is famed for, director Michael J. Bassett gives away just how ambitiously he plans to horrify the audience by throwing in a lazy toaster jump-scare in the first five minutes.

However, in keeping with the previous film, Revelations’ production design is striking and aptly grotesque, and complimented by faultless cinematography and an eerie soundtrack composed by Akira Yamaoka. It hints at a creative vision ultimately thwarted by the lacklustre individuals charged with bringing it to life. Clemens gives the best performance in the film, managing to look scared and sad in all the right places. Bean and Harington seem to have given their collective best to the season of Game of Thrones they shared; their performances (and accents) are cringeworthy. The ubiquitous villains are even less memorable, displaying as much motivation and emotion as the set pieces, despite the premise of the film resting entirely on their religious zeal.

Certainly the most engaging aspect of Silent Hill is its use of 3D. The visual immersion in Heather’s nightmare is served well by the increased depth of field, and the instances in which ash and fire engulf the audience are memorable. Kind of.

In a Nutshell: Horrifying, for all the wrong reasons.