Title: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Directed By: Michael J. Bassett
Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan
A shirtless guy gets shot, he falls to the ground, the main character presumes him dead yet he’s clearly still breathing. No, he doesn’t get up for that cliché one last scare, the film just moves on. And that’s one of the lesser ways in which “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” asks the viewer to suspend his or her belief.
Six years after the events of the first film, Sharon is all grown up and goes by the name Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens). She and her dad, Harry (Sean Bean), have been on the run ever since escaping Silent Hill, but with no memory of her past, Heather is unaware of what she’s truly running from. However, on the eve of her 18th birthday, Heather comes home to find Harry missing and the message “Come to Silent Hill” written on the wall in a bloody scrawl. With the help of a guy from school named Vincent (Kit Harington), Heather heeds the call and returns to the town of ash, creepy nurses, mannequin monsters and bloody bunnies.
“Silent Hill: Revelation” didn’t sound all that bad until that last sentence, did it? The 2006 film wasn’t the worst of the worst, but most certainly didn’t warrant a sequel, yet “Revelation” still had potential. Silent Hill is a cinematic town, packed with tons of curious creatures and vivid design elements as well as an ever-falling ash that’s ideal for 3D. But sadly, whether you’re a fan of the source material or not, the “Silent Hill: Revelation” narrative is so expositional and nonsensical, it drags all other portions of the production down with it.
The film’s first distracting snag is that Clemens doesn’t look or act 18, one of many believability issues. Then there’s the fact that Heather’s world changes from everyday life to a Silent Hill nightmare in an instant, with no provocation. The whole Silent Hill concept is out of this world, but it is possible to make an audience believe with even just a few universe rules. However, in Silent Hill, anything goes. Lights flicker incessantly for no reason, there are monsters of all shapes, sizes and forms, and hugs are inexplicably deadly.
Making the scenario even more ludicrous are the performances. I’m hesitant to blame the actors as Bean, Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Radha Mitchell and Malcolm McDowell can all act, but it never feels like they believe what they’re saying, and understandably so. At one point, Harington’s character risks his life so Heather can make a run for it, yet she opts to stay where she is and gets caught. McDowell’s Leonard randomly tosses the game changing Seal of Megatron into the equation. (And no, that’s not what it’s really called, but it’s certainly what it sounds like.) It’s never quite clear whether Rose is still in Silent Hill or not. The Pyramid Head doubles as an executioner and a carousel operator. And the characters’ motives? Good luck making sense of those.
Then there’s the issue of this movie being for the average moviegoer or for fans of the game. Odds are it won’t please anyone, but Bassett’s nods to the game are so apparent, they’ll further alienate those unfamiliar with the source material. “Silent Hill: Revelation” is packed with rabbits. Why? You’ll only know if you play the games. Then we get this scene in a motel room. The color palette is dark and quite gray yet apparently it’s a good opportunity to slip in this bright red high heel shoe and sit it on the bed’s headboard, right smack in the middle of the frame. A game nod to some, flat out strange to the rest.
Hopes were never high for “Silent Hill: Revelation,” and they didn’t have to be. The film didn’t have to be of award-winning caliber to please fans, it merely had to make due on the monsters and environment within the confines of even just a marginally sensible narrative. Trouble is, this movie’s got relationships budding at inopportune moments and within a ludicrous timespan, the Seal of Megatron, and a character completely defying the whole purpose of the movie. Nothing about “Silent Hill: Revelation” is praiseworthy, but with such an absurd script, even the somewhat successful elements are rendered ridiculous.