Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Silent Hill: Revelation - The scoop and digest

In one of my very early posts, I stated that Silent Hill was the best video game to film adaptation ever conceived and I still stand by that.

I also said it wasn't the greatest film but you can only judge a book by its contents and on that score, it’s given an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Considering the overall success of the franchise, it’s quite surprising that there has been a six year gap before the release of the silver screen sequel.

Okay, the HD horror shows which have graced the PS3 and/or 360 were nothing to write home about but in film, sequels are usually churned out a lot quicker.

Alice and co will know all about this...

Silent Hill 3 is the game behind this movie, with bits and bobs from the otherworld thrown in for good measure.

So does Michael J. Bassett’s Revelation follow in the original’s footsteps of recreating Konami’s nightmarish vision, or just simply a nightmare to watch?

Plot details and/or spoilers will become clear when the darkness falls.

Those entering and leaving reality include:

Adelaide Clemens – Heather/Sharon Mason
Sean Bean – Harry/Christopher Mason
Kit Harington – Vincent
Carrie-Anne Moss – Claudia
Malcolm McDowell – Leonard
Radha Mitchell – Rose
Martin Donovan – Douglas
Deborah Kara Unger - Dahlia

It begins with a nightmare sequence with the imminently introduced Heather pottering around Lakeside Amusement Park meeting Robbie the Rabbit, an ignited carousel, tortured seats, Pyramid Head and Alessa.

She awakes from this unpleasant dream with her father in close attendance but shortly after, a denizen murders him so it’s a dream within a dream.

Okay, we're finally awake and learn that Heather and father Harry frequently change their identities to hide from the Order.

To stay true to the video game, I will refer to her as Heather and he as Harry.

Heather observes a vagrant and suddenly he has an even more unpleasant visage than the one he already has…

After this short fright which nearly causes a car accident, a scruffy suit revealed as Douglas seems very interested in her identity but promptly avoids the situation, rather than disclosing her particulars.

What a sensible girl.

He is a private investigator who has been hired by the Order to track her down.

During the best days of your life which isn't Midwich Elementary, she meets Vincent who becomes immediately interested in her.

She becomes alone in the corridor and a seemingly real vision of a monster appears jerking towards her…

It turns out benign though as we return to normality and Vincent appears again.

Does he want her for a bit of hanky panky or does she serve a greater purpose?

Well, you’re not stupid…

Sometime near the beginning, Harry gabs to Rose via a mirror who is still stuck in limbo.

It’s a very brief cameo for Radha and is almost like the appearance of Reese in the extended take of T2.

After seeing that scruffy suit again who is making the air look more untidy than a child’s bedroom, she alerts her daddy.

Harry tells her to meet him at the mall and she manages to keep her side of the bargain but Harry is taken by unseen malevolence.

Blissfully unaware of her father’s abduction, she waits patiently near a birthday party with a clown and eager cake chompers.

Clowns are horrible, wicked and creepy in benevolent form right?

Anyway, coulrophobia is about to reach a whole new level.

She observes balloons with ‘Happy Birthday Heather’ but shortly after; the word ‘Heather’ is replaced by ‘Alessa’ and it's apparent that those who are ravenous are now munching on something bloody nasty.

Yummy yummy!

It’s time to scoot as the otherworld is clearly upon us.

Another room reveals a sadist depriving flesh from a strung up unfortunate and tosses his meat for the chef to prepare the next meal in hell.

I’m unsure if this was supposed to be The Butcher who made his debut and only appearance in prequel Silent Hill Origins.

It does seem unlikely because in pixels he was a monster akin to Pyramid Head but here, just a regular albeit twisted human.

Whatever, we’ll advance like a greyhound out of the traps.

That pesky PI is in hot pursuit and eventually chats with Ms Mason but a nasty old monster attacks and slices his chubby digits.

They escape in an elevator but that monster returns and he won’t be bothering Heather again...

Reverting back to regular surroundings, she emerges from the building and the cops reveal the corpse of Douglas.  After bumping in to Vincent, they flee from the law.

After the getting to know one another bullshit, our girl arrives home and is horrified to find ‘Come to Silent Hill’ with an emblem splattered on the wall.

Hearing a shriek, Vincent is invited in and they begin to search her father’s Silent Hill memorabilia that includes books containing sketches of apparitions and the Seal of Metatron.

Grrr, the other half’s missing...

Taking this incomplete souvenir with her, they arrive at Jacks Inn and guess what?  Our man Vincent is on the other side.

He’s the son of crazy Claudia who runs the Order in Silent Hill and has been sent to bring her back ‘home’.  

However, the monkey ignores the organ grinder’s request as he sees the goodness of Alessa within.

She’s not without blame as we see reality disintegrate to reveal the otherworld and urges her to pay Claudia’s father Leonard a visit in an asylum.

He is abducted by a beastie and Heather is knocked sparko.

When she comes to, we see the effects of the otherworld disappearing and all is tranquil.

She gathers up her belongings and with oestrogen flowing, it’s time to leave Room 106 and take the short walk to Silent Hill (at last).

They have taken her father.
She will hunt them.
She will find them.
And she will kill them.

Stepping out into the ash happy town and observing traitors, Dahlia is on hand for some girlie talk.

They somehow resist chatting about hair, shoes, handbags and countless other female essentials.

Besotted Vincent weren't bullshitting about your importance girl.

See ladies, you should listen to us men (sometimes).

Anybody would think Alessa is pivotal to this god forsaken place.

With the curtain of darkness falling, Heather takes cover.

Meanwhile, we see that Harry has been chained to some kind of irregular throne and Claudia isn’t too happy with her beloved son.

Along with some other fairly remote shit, I’m pretty sure this happens next.

Heather finds herself in a room surrounded by tatty mannequins and encounters a girl on a slab.

Before she can really do anything, a substance from toe to head begins solidification and she’s powerless to prevent her from becoming the next object to model ladies’ fashion.

She does find and free another unknown female from a cocoon and they attempt to escape an ominous sound scuttling in the background.

Don’t worry, this resists ripping off Aliens.

It’s a screaming, walking, multi-headed squawking, living doll.

They make haste but the rescuer is powerless to come to the rescue again as one of the heads splits open to show a bit too much mouth.

We are now in the bowels of Brookhaven Asylum.  Yes, not Hospital.

Why they felt the need to change it?


She finally locates Leonard who has been chained up by his daughter as she assumed he was at one with darkness.

The amulet’s purpose is to reveal all things true and after handing it to him, the gun to the head isn't really an insurance policy as he drives it inside him as that’s where the other half is hidden.

After his transformation from human to it, she takes the completed Seal back by thrusting her hand within evil and reclaiming the amulet.

Yeah, a monster going down without a fight is pretty pathetic yes?

Some loonies pull at Heather but seminal bad guy Pyramid Head appears to protect her and their interference costs arms rather than legs.

Vincent has been carted off at Mother’s order on a gurney by cultist guards and bobble heads are here to dish out some claret.

They pay the price for carrying out orders and with the help of Heather; they evade the attractive and varicose vein free medical orderlies.

The guards are known as brethren who are devout servants of the Order.  They wear masks to prevent being corrupted by the darkness.

The destination is the sanctuary but there’s enough time to visit the Lakeside and strangely, there’s not an arrow in sight.

Amongst the special effects, the brethren taste corruption and it’s time for a showdown with Alessa on a burning carousel.

Well not really, it’s more like which feisty female is able to dominate who...

The outcome of this virtual non-event is unsurprisingly obvious and you can also feel yourself needing to save the game via Metatron, sorry film, as the end boss looms.

Sorry, you can't get away from certain aspects feeling like you're controlling actions via a joypad.

She takes sanctuary with Claudia, Harry and Vincent.

With Alessa gone, Claudia tells all that Heather will incubate and give birth to their god.

Enough of this boulderdash and piffle, just become a monster already by touching the Seal.

It soon becomes apparent we've seen her a few times before...

Before she can slice and dice Heather, the main man with a sword larger than Ron Jeremy’s steps up and participates (pauses), in a sword fight.

It seems there can be only one as Claudia loses her head.

The victorious trio trudge out of the now ash phobic town and Harry chooses to stay to locate Rose.

Heather and Vincent sitting in a tree... oh never mind, hitch a lift with trucker Travis Grady and they drive off to an unknown future.

Before the credits roll, we see police cars and a prison bus head towards the accursed town and those ubiquitous particles begin to fall once more.

So how did I think it fared?

I’ll let the negative roll before its learned friend.

Well it’s great up until Leonard is introduced and then proceedings start to worsen.

Mr. Wolf in the game was a far better initiative and adversary.

Also, there is no horror in Silent Hill (it also take too long to get there).

Yes that’s right; it’s all before Heather reaches it.  That is a senseless and perverse gamble which doesn’t pay off.

Why is the nightmare sequence at the beginning in Lakeside much creepier than the revisit and confrontation between the embrace of Alessa and Heather?

Surely it would have made more sense to swap things round.

To mop up this dirty puddle, the prosecution saves the worst until last.

The fucking stupid end fight cannot be defended and must be condemned.

Did they really think that making a mockery of an iconic villain would reap praise?

I mean c’mon, Pyramid Head involved in a Highlander style fight?

Now it’s over to my learned friend.

Like the original, the spirit and atmosphere of the game is expertly captured.

This ranges from the otherworld transformation, monsters, claustrophobic setting and impressive surroundings.

Despite some foreseeable differences, the way it follows SH3 is commendable but I do believe that killing off Harry would have added some extra melancholy.

The special effects show some cash was spent and the CGI laden mannequin may not to be everybody’s taste but I liked it.

Of the horror, the shopping mall boasts some fairly disgusting and unpleasant imagery.

Clemens as Heather certainly looks the part as her pixel equivalent and isn’t disgraced as a thespian either.

I didn't have really much time for the others.

I've never been a fan of the baked bean and many will sense that McDowell will just take any work that comes his way.

His hey day has long since gone.

The bestiary is far more impressive than its nearest competitor (Resident Evil) on the silver screen.  Whether you prefer this or biological mayhem is divided.

It also includes the briefest vision of a Lying figure, Robbie the Rabbit, a new Lobotomy experiment and Claudia as the boss.

Robbie the Rabbit is used exactly like his debut in Silent Hill 3 as a Lakeside mascot.

Silent Hill purists will know he was actually an enemy in Silent Hill: The Arcade.  He did of course continue to make cameo appearances throughout the series.

The mannequin enemy can be tied in a number of ways.

Mama and Scarlet in The Arcade and Homecoming were both portrayed as similar doll like creatures respectively.

You can even extend its mouth to the Split Head.

The titles basically threaten the use of 3D to be a good idea as the flakes are really in your face with claret and other objects making their mark.

It’s no Dredd but it’s good.

The contribution from composer Akira Yamaoka continue to be more gratefully received than an early Christmas present.

The ending is satisfying and keeps the option open as to which direction the inevitable third will take.

First thing’s last, the next must be based either on Origins or Downpour, with element(s) from a future or past game also included.

I just hope it’s not 2018 before the darkness emerges as I’m not getting any younger...

I can even satisfy Easter Egg junkies because if you watch the credits roll until the end, you’ll be treated to an extra scene with our man Pyramid Head stumbling down a corridor.

It’s pointless, it’s brief and means nothing but is worth hanging around for.

I’ll sign off with this thought.

As I've mentioned Origins, consider the name of Travis Grady.

Is this an unbelievable and unintended connection of chars featured in the 1989 martial arts drama Best of the Best?

The late Chris Penn was Travis and Eric Roberts portrayed Grady as Christian and Surname respectively.

That’s a notion crazier than Silent Hill itself.

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