SILENT HILL: REVELATION Blu-ray Review
Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett
2012, Region B, 91 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
Blu-ray released on 18th March 2013
Adelaide Clemens as Heather
Kit Harington as Vincent
Carrie-Anne Moss as Claudia Wolf
Sean Bean as Harry
Radha Mitchell as Rose Da Silva
Malcolm McDowell as Leonard
Ever have one of those dreams that's filled with weird images, has no structure, things happen for no apparent reason, and you wake up feeling confused about the whole thing? Well that's Silent Hill: Revelation, except you don't get the added benefit of 90 minutes of shut-eye.
Heather (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) are a pair that spends their time moving from place to place and never settling for very long. Heather is plagued by bizarre nightmares and even more bizarre periods where she crosses into mind-bending alternate realities filled with hideous creatures. The boogeymen of Silent Hill are constantly on their tails. Heather doesn't really fully appreciate this until her father goes missing and an ominous message, written in blood on her living room wall, instructs her to come to Silent Hill. If only Bean could have been there to dispense some Boromir-style advice: One does not simply walk into Silent Hill. Unfortunately for the viewer, she does.
While Clemens and Bean do a respectable job of being the father and daughter combo (for the short time before he gets abducted, at least), the garbled plot and storyline that surrounds them is a complete failure. One of the ways in which a lot of horror movies work is to take a place of safety and have it invaded by some form of antagonist. Normally there are boundaries though; rules for the antagonist to play by before they can breach the cocoon of defence. In the Silent Hill movies there's no perimeter to cross. Because The nasties live in an alternative reality, they can cross over at any time, rendering any kind of suspense moot because there's nowhere that can be assumed safe. You can pretty much guarantee that any time Heather finds herself alone, or walks into a secluded area, lights will start to flicker and weird shit will go down. And when she gets to Silent Hill that's just Weird Shit Central, so forget about any kind of tension there.
In its favour, all of the monsters except for one (it's obvious which one if you see the film) were created with practical effects, but the filmmakers took this minor plus as an excuse to CGI the hell out of the entire rest of the film. One of the noticeable things about the Evil Dead remake was its complete avoidance of CGI, and while you don't necessarily sit there thinking "Hmm, cool practical effects", it always hits the viewer smack in the face when there's been a computer behind the gag. That said, the twitching, faceless nurses that react to sound are some of the best monsters in the film and quite unnerving to watch.
If you're a die-hard fan of the video game series, then Silent Hill: Revelation may make some sense to you. In the extra features, director Michael J. Bassett talks about how he wanted to converge the stories from the video games and the first film to make one final story. Well sorry, Michael, if that was your intention, you certainly didn't realise it. To have a film that doesn't work on any level unless you're dialled in to a bunch of video games is a failure.
The only revelation from this mess is that Michael J. Bassett has no idea how to make a film.
Video and Audio:
It looks pretty enough, it is Blu-ray after all, and the English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sounds great, but no amount of A/V goodness is enough to rescue the film.
You get a differing set of features depending on which disc you purchase. And considering there's a DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray available, that means a triple-dip if you really want to get your hands on all the extras.
- The Creatures of Silent Hill (DVD)
- The Cast (DVD)
- Making Silent Hill in 3D (DVD)
- Universal Attraction: A Halloween Horror Night (DVD / Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- Trailer (DVD / Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary with Michael J. Bassett (DVD / Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- Audio Commentary with Director Michael J. Bassett (DVD / Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- Introduction by Director Michael J. Basset (Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- Making Of (Blu-ray / 3D Blu-ray)
- A Look Inside Silent Hill (3D Blu-ray)
*Note: The screenshots on this page are publicity stills and not a reflection of the Blu-ray image.*