SILENT HILL REVELATION is getting its ass handed to itself online by mainstream critics and the key horror sites on the virtual block. Shit, even our very own Eric W destroyed it via his review. So yeah, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself having a good time with it, which at this point in my life, is the main thing I look for when I go to the movies: to be entertained! This bad boy was a direct sequel to the original SILENT HILL which came out 6 years ago and it did itself a huge disservice by not showing us a visual recap of the first film before launching into its own story. I personally hadn't seen Part 1 since its initial release, so for a while there I was lost with this one, trying to remember the events and characters that led up to where I was now. Unless you know Part 1 by heart, I recommend watching it before going to tap this sequel, it will result in a much smoother experience methinks.
But once I managed to dig deep into my memories within that one brain cell and recall some of the original, I found my footing with this one's storyline and all was well in this warm corner of hell! The best way I can describe SILENT HILL REVELATION (which by the way is based on the third game SILENT HILL 3) is to compare it to taking a stroll through an amusement park haunted house! I got the same feeling from it! The spooky mood was cranked on to high, lots of ghastly surprises were tossed my way, the production designs were eye popping, varied beasties showed up to liven the party (Pyramid head was in the house!) and yeah I jumped out of my seat a couple of times from the boo scares nades that were dropped. Moreover a couple of suspense charged bits got me good (the Nurses... brrr) and the random moments of high gore greased me right as well. This follow up was definitely more violent than the original and it wore its R rating on its blood soaked sleeve. Respect! Kudos to writer/director Michael J. Bassett for what he pulled off here with a scaled down budget (20 Mil), specially when compared to what they had to play with on the first film (50 Mil). He showed an assured hand behind the lens, delivered some visceral chases/battles scenes and all kinds of macabre sweet imagery! A bad dream come to life!
Acting wise, the cast did what they could with what they were given. Newcomer Adelaide Clemens managed to rise above the ho-hum dialogue and do a bang on job as Heather. The camera loved her and she had to hit a lot of varied notes and did so with gusto. She was also a dead ringer for the character of Heather in the game, you couldn't have asked for better casting! Clemens was well supported by the likes of Deborah Kara Unger, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss (who really had a blast here), Kit Harington (uneven) and the great Sean Bean in small roles. Yup, the film belonged to Clemens, the sinister visuals and the countless monsters first! Add to all that candy some gnarly 3D moments, like the “pop out” kills or the ash snow falling through that thick fog, a furious pace that rarely stopped for a crotch scratch, lots of references to the games (or so my bud told me, am no connoisseur), some decent CGI (that spider creature looked better on the big screen than in the trailer) and yet another haunting score that hit the spot (by game music composer Akira Yamaoka, aided by Jeff Danna from the first film) and you get a flawed but still enthralling little horror-coaster ride! Well to me anyways!
On the flip-side the dialogue was basically exposition, exposition and more exposition. It got annoying now and again but hey, at least it helped me understand what the f*ck was going on. Then we had the narrative progression and the character development being rushed. Granted I was rarely bored but nothing was truly explored here, just skimmed over hence lessening the stakes of the happenings. With a more in depth script (or less editing room over-cooking perhaps, I have a feeling lots wound up on the cutting room floor, like this scene) this one could've maybe been GREAT instead of just fun horror fluff. Who knows! But all in all, I felt my money was well spent and came out happy. All that matters to me! Will you feel the same? The f*ck I know! I do seem to be in the minority with this one. Do what you will! It's your world, I'm just killing in it! Definitely a rental IMO! Cue in “Promise” from the Silent Hill soundtrack!