Silent Hill (2006) | Movie Review
Silent Hill is a 2006 psychological horror mystery film. The film is rated R and it is two hours and 5 minutes long.
Silent Hill 2006 horror film is directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary, Gans, and Nicolas Boukhrief. The film is an adaptation of Konami’s 1999 video game Silent Hill.
It stars Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, and Jodelle Ferland.
Now let’s talk more about this movie and see if we can put it on our list this Halloween.
Silent Hill Review
Today we’re going to be talking about a video game adaptation, an adaptation of one of my favorite games ever Silent Hill.
The film came out in 2006, and it was directed by Christophe Gans, starred Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, and Sean Bean.
And told the story of a family who adopted a young girl. And this young girl is obsessed with a place called Silent Hill. And the opening scene, she nearly kills herself in her sleep while she mutters the name Silent Hill.
It’s a town nearby, and so she decides to take her daughter there to figure out if there’s a way she can find some answers. And after she wipes out on the road, she wakes up her daughter’s gone, and she’s trapped in Silent Hill, and it’s not what you call a welcoming town.
I felt like talking about Silent Hill this Halloween for a few reasons, one of the biggest ones being that I misjudged this movie.
The first time I saw it, I didn’t really like it. But I don’t really remember having a huge reason for not liking the movie.
I got it on DVD from Netflix. It was one of the first Netflix movies that I ever requested when I got my Netflix account back in the day.
And if you watch my review of Silent Hill Revelation, this movie’s sequel. At the beginning of that review, I mentioned that I didn’t really think the original was all that great and I went back and I rewatched the movie and my opinion has changed.
This is by no means a great film, nor is it a flawless movie. But as a video game adaptation of Silent Hill, you can tell it was helmed by somebody who really cared about the property.
In fact, it took the director, Christophe Gans many years to get the rights to this movie. He eventually was able to obtain them by filming an interview with himself, talking about how passionate he was for the game. As well as paying for some scenes to be shot that showcased what he would like to do with the movie.
He eventually submitted that to Konami and got the rights after that. So the guy actually really cares. And if you have played the game, which I have, you can tell there’s a lot of tributes to it in this movie.
One of the biggest being the music choices. All of the music in this movie is from the game. There’s just been some subtle remixing done.
From the standpoint of visual effects and production design, this is one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever made.
The Town of Silent Hill looks exactly like it does in the game, and it’s just as terrifying as it is in the game.
The notion that at any point in time the town can change go from this ashfilled desolate wasteland to a horrifying hell filled with creatures that will rip you apart.
And you can tell the director really cared. He wasn’t just trying to make this movie for money. He gave a shit about this property and Silent Hill fans in general. And that’s the best part of the film I would say.
The fact that it really does feel like it fits in within that universe. And so in some ways, you benefit extremely from having played this game, which is a bit of a problem for some who haven’t.
Like if you read Roger Ebert’s review, I’m going to bring him up again. I talked about him in my Hellraiser review. Love the guy such a great inspiration to me, but he really hated this movie.
He talked a lot about how he didn’t really get it. He had his concerns about video games being arts, which I’ve always strongly disagreed with. But similar to Hellraiser, you can read his review and you understand his points.
And so if you haven’t played the game, I can completely understand why this movie wouldn’t be for you. Especially since I have, and I still didn’t really love it all that much. The first time.
For some reason, the film stayed with me, though. I thought more and more about the movie because there was more under the surface than initially gleaned when I watched it.
And the more I thought about the movie, the more I came to appreciate it. And that’s because the movie doesn’t hold your hand for a long time. You really don’t know what’s going on.
Crazy things happen right before your eyes. If you’ve played the game, you can understand if you haven’t or it’s been a long time since you have.
The movie doesn’t explain everything to you at first. We’ll talk about that in a second. But for a long portion of this movie, it’s a mystery which I love.
I love when a director or a writer has the courage to say, hey, stick with me for a while here because I’m going to show you some fucked up shit, and it’s not going to make sense for a long time, eventually you’ll get it, though.
And with a movie like that, you kind of have to have an exposition dump at some point. This movie has a few. It’s done in a very unique way.
Our lead character, played by Radha Mitchell, has a vision and you see these terrifying, horrible things happening to these characters along with narration.
And it’s all explained to you very quickly there. And so I struggle to understand why people didn’t really get the movie. Because it’s really clearly explained.
Which for me, was a little unfortunate. It’s one of my least favorite aspects of the movie. I liked the mystery elements, and I understood most of where they were going with things I didn’t need it to be that clearly explained to me, but I also understand from a studio perspective, the people who made this film.
They know that a large majority of the audience kind of likes their hand to be held sometimes. Unfortunately, that’s true. In the case of this movie, it’s one of its biggest faults.
Another issue I have with the movie is the husband’s storyline. The film is 125 minutes long. It’s actually pretty long for a video game movie.
And much of that runtime is eaten up by the husband trying to figure out where his family is and these scenes are boring.
They don’t feel like they belong in the movie. They feel very tacked on surprise, surprise, they kind of are. The original draft for the movie basically had only female characters.
And apparently, the studio said, hey, there’s no men in this movie. What the fuck?
The husband’s character was just going to be the beginning of the film and the end of the film, and he ended up getting a more beefed-up presence in the movie.
And you can tell they didn’t really want to do that much with that storyline, and it feels like it’s a procedural like we have to show the husband doing these things because it makes sense. The husband would be looking for them. It’s just not interesting. Just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it has to be in the movie.
Gratefully, since the character is played by Sean Bean, you automatically feel more invested in this character because Sean Bean is a really good actor. And he’s able to make you feel quite a bit of sympathy for him.
But on the page, it’s not really that interesting, and I always want them to get back to Silent Hill. Gracefully, there’s quite a bit in Silent Hill.
Radha Mitchell is really good and I do not see her enough in movies. I would like to see more of her. She’s terrific in this movie. So is Laurie Holden as the cop that follows her there and gets trapped with her.
Where this movie shines is in its disturbing imagery. It’s very creepy visuals and a stunning production design. The backstory involving this town is sometimes handled in a less than thrilling fashion, but once you understand what’s going on.
It actually is quite disturbing, and it has a compelling way of exploring what can happen to a town when they listen to a voice that they think is a voice of reason but is really a voice of evil.
So I’m going to give Silent Hill a B.
Despite some of its flaws, this is one of the better video game adaptations, and over the years I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more.
I’m curious what you guys think of Silent Hill because some people fucking hate this movie, and I don’t quite understand that. I think it’s done pretty well, especially if you’re a fan of the game.
The first time I played this game, I was so scared. You have to understand, like in 98 or 99 whenever it was this game came out, this was like top tier horrifying shit.
You play it now. It might not be as scary, but I vividly remember sitting in my room in my old apartment, just watching that screen, being so horrified by everything I was looking at. And this movie did a pretty good job of being faithful to it.
Guys thank you so much as always for reading the review of Silent Hill’s 2006 horror movie. See you next time.
Silent Hill Trailer
Check out the trailer of Silent Hill a 2006 psychological horror mystery film. The film follows Rose, who takes her adopted daughter, Sharon, to the town of Silent Hill, for which Sharon cries while sleepwalking. Arriving at Silent Hill, Rose is involved in a car accident and awakens to find Sharon missing. While searching for her daughter, she fights a local cult and begins to uncover Sharon’s connection to the town’s dark past.