|Image copyright Lionsgate films and Konami entertainment|
I should preface this review with noting that I am a huge fan of the Silent Hill game series. I think that I played the first 3 games so often that the scare factor was gone, and I was just playing it for the aesthetic and atmospheric qualities. Those Silent Hill games were the epitome of atmospheric game play, and managed to provide a type of game that was genuinely frightening. Flash forward to the first Silent Hill movie. A movie that managed to get a lot of the atmospheric elements down, but failed severely when it came to petty things like "story" or "consistency of accents".
Now, Sean Bean is back, and the random accent of the moment feature has returned. Is he English? Is he one of many indistinct American dialects? Who knows! Not to be upstaged by the incredible Mr. Bean, Adelaide Clemens joins in, with indistinct accents, that for her character at least might be somewhat justifiable. I wouldn't harp on these things, but if you are so intent on having an Australian woman or a British man play Americans, you should at least get them to SOUND like they aren't trying desperately to cover up the fact that they aren't American and failing.
What I will give the movie credit for, in a major way, is the set pieces. Some of the "Silent Hill" scenes had a creepy vibe that hearkened back to the games I loved. In fact, a large portion of the opening sequence is very closely pulled from the third game, which this movie is loosely based on. The character of Heather Mason, is captured nearly spot on, and in some scenes she almost looks like she just walked out of the game. Aesthetically this movie was great.
Sadly, all the amazing visuals, can do nothing to salvage the incomprehensible mess of a story. The plot seems to loosely follow the plot of the third game, with a bunch of unnecessary bullshit thrown in to fluff things up. This movie managed to take a lot of the good bits from the game, and just throw them out the window, gloss over the crap that was left with some poorly executed dialog, and weak story.
Recomendation: Steer far away from this. While the visuals are fun, and the atmosphere is nice, once again, the rest of the package has gone bad. Play the game instead.
Is this theater-worthy: No. This film is obviously made with the 3D aspect in mind, but even that would not be enough to make me tell people to seek this out in the theater.
Final Thoughts: While I will continue to seek out a passable video game-based movie, this is not it. It is a noble effort, light years ahead of the offerings of Uwe Boll, but still not a movie that is worth the time that it takes to watch it.
Frank's Final Score: 4 out of 10