Silent Hill: Revelation

Silent Hill: Revelation is currently available on instant Netflix.

One-Line Review: The only Revelation is just how bad this film is.

Silent Hill: RevelationSilent Hill: Revelation (2012) – Rated R

“Haunted by shocking nightmares and unsettled by her father’s disappearance just before her 18th birthday, Heather goes on the hunt for him — and discovers a disturbing truth about her own identity in this suspenseful sequel to the hit horror flick.”

Never having played the Silent Hill franchise, I am unable to speak to how faithful the movies are. Christophe Gans, who made the excellent French thriller, Brotherhood of the Wolf, was tapped to direct Silent Hill (2006). He, together with writer Roger Avary, turned out a savvy, surreal horror movie that, while it often lacked sense, offered some seriously creepy visuals and some spooky thrills.

Roger Avary was supposed to write Silent Hill: Revelation as well but went to jail for vehicular manslaughter. The project sat in limbo for a while until the studio hired Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane) to write and direct. As you can see from the poster, Silent Hill: Revelation plays up the 3D angle (which is of course missing from Netflix).

The 3D aspect is in your face throughout the film, making Silent Hill: Revelation more of a gimmick than a movie. Perhaps this worked better at the theater in 3D but on a home screen, it looks really cheap and shoddy.

The special effects are completely balanced. For every creepy nurse or pyramid-head, there is a poor effect that takes you out of the picture. Ideas that were great on paper, mostly the ones involving mannequins, are carried out ineptly. imdb states that most of the effects were practical with only a little CGI. My guess would be that the ineptness/cheapness stems from the CGI side and the 3D effects.

Performances are just okay. Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harrington are the leads but Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean return from the first film and are joined by genre veterans Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss. Unfortunately the bigger names appear only briefly (particularly Radha Mitchell) and have little impact. It was amusing to watch Sean Bean meet his normal fate almost immediately (albeit in a dream sequence).

Even the scenes that work here, such as the nurse sequence, leave you thinking that it could have been handled better. It’s often said of actors that they are just there collecting a paycheck but here that appears to be true of the director.