Saturday, April 22, 2006

Silent Hill: A review

Silent Hill
A review by Mike Amari

I won’t bore those of you who haven’t played the games with a brief history. Go here instead.

The good news for those of us who have played the games, I’ll get this out of the way.
This is everything you could have ever hoped for in a Silent Hill movie. And so much more. Every moment, every camera angle, every little detail all point to one thing, that this film is purely and truly part of the Silent Hill Mythos.

But is it a good horror movie you may ask o’ faithful reader. And to that I answer oh dear lord yes.

This is the way horror is supposed to be. Uncomfortable angles, unflinching situations and unbelievable visual effects all remind us of the promise that the horror genre once hinted toward and has resolutely forgotten. Blood is not just tossed at the audience, body parts are not severed without an immense sense of gravity. Recent movies like Hostel throw scene after scene of gore at the viewer without much effect because it’s all handled matter of fact, gore for gore’s sake and causes us to forget why it should bother us. It is not matter of fact, it is not normal, it is a phenomenally awful thing and all of that shock and amazement is in full force in Silent Hill. One scene in particular with Pyramid Head (that’s right fellow fan boys, Pyramid Head) will catch you completely off guard, which is what horror should do.

Most importantly though is that we finally have a true horror movie with a highly intelligent, multi-faceted story running throughout the movie. Silent Hill the games have a convoluted and rich mythology. The screenplay hits all of the important bits in a most lucid and organic manner without ever leaving you in the dark. Even fans of the games will be led off track with a few twists, but ultimately winds up in the same place where the games leave you. My love of this film was cemented when, after the final scene, the frosted haired, muscle bound mook two rows ahead of me said ‘I’m confused”

Which leads to the biggest hurdle this movie faces: it is not a mainstream horror movie. This is horror as it is meant to be: uncomfortable and challenging and all together engrossing (see also last years criminally under rated Stay)

See it early, see it often.

Till next time, keep it cool boppers.

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