by Rob DiCristino
If you’ve been following our site at all over the past few #ScaryMovieMonths, you’ll know that I love Silent Hill, both the original Konami game series and Christophe Gans’ 2006 film adaptation. Despite never being a particularly enthusiastic gamer, I’ve always been enamoured by the survival horror genre. I love the macabre grandeur of Alone in the Dark and the needlessly-intricate puzzles of Resident Evil. I love the attention given to inventory management and the satisfaction that comes with opening every locked door in a spooky mansion or mastering the right attacks to defeat a monstrous, Lovecraftian antagonist. Most of all, though, I love the soul-crushing loneliness of Silent Hill. Its protagonists aren’t chiseled, machine gun-toting commandos with superhuman tolerances for pain. They’re just people. Parents and children. The protagonist of Silent Hill 2 — perhaps the scariest game ever made — is just a normal man whose crushing guilt over his wife’s death spawns a hellish world of Freudian nightmares. It’s good stuff.
The film’s modest box office success led to a sequel, 2012’s Silent Hill: Revelation. Written and directed by M. J. Bassett (Solomon Kane) and sporting maybe the blandest of all possible one-word subtitles, Revelation attempts to both sequelize Gans’ Silent Hill and adapt Konami’s Silent Hill 3. It’s a tricky proposition, as the first film alters the original game’s continuity in ways that render Silent Hill 3’s plot both meaningless and impossible. Bassett’s solution? Do it, anyway! A quick exposition dump — in which Radha Mitchell is held at gunpoint and forced to reprise her role — undoes Gans’ ambiguous ending and re-introduces Chris and a teenaged Sharon (Bean and Adelaide Clemens) as a family on the run from forces unknown. Sharon (now going by the name Heather) knows to ignore the dreams calling her to Silent Hill, but when her father disappears and a shady detective (Martin Donovan) warns her of impending danger, Heather and hunky classmate Vincent (Kit Harrington) head there to search for clues.