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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.45%
Worth A Look: 23.86%
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Pretty Crappy25%
Sucks: 7.39%

11 reviews, 110 user ratings

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Silent Hill
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by Doug Bentin

3 stars

This, among other and equally discombobulated things, is what The New York Times had to say about “Silent Hill”: “From first frame to last, not a second of the film has a grip on reality.”

Forgive me for sounding so 1990s, but “Duh.” It’s not supposed to be real. If you see anything in it that looks real to you, I think I’ll just back slowly to the door and get out of here before you slip the rails entirely.

Radha Mitchell (“Melinda & Melinda”) stars as Rose Da Silva, a woman with a failed marriage and a 10-year old daughter, Sharon, who sleepwalks into dangerous places and mumbles about a town called Silent Hill. Medication has failed and Rose doesn’t trust therapy so she decides to take Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) to Silent Hill, in Tennessee, to try to find out what’s going on. Seems as if Sharon was an orphan who came from the Volunteer State. Ex-husband Chris (Sean Bean, “National Treasure”) fearfully follows.

We learn that Silent Hill is a ghost town, abandoned quickly when underground coal fires—still burning—went uncontrollable over 20 years ago. Rose and Sharon become separated, but Rose acquires a highway patrolwoman named Cybil (Laurie Holden, “Fantastic Four”). They want to rescue Sharon, find out why she keeps sleep-talking about this place, and get out before the inhuman, sub-human, and dead-human inhabitants of the town do whatever it is they intend to do.

Meanwhile, Chris and the cop accompanying him (Kim Coates, “Assault on Precinct 13”) are trying to find and save Rose, Sharon and Cybil.

Roger Avary’s script is short on character development because people in nightmares are stereotypes, and if ever a movie attempted to visualize nightmares, it’s this one. Director Christophe Gans (“Brotherhood of the Wolf”), director of photography Dan Laustsen and production designer Carol Spier, have created a multi-layer dreamscape. The town of Silent Hill exists on several planes of existence at once. Depending on who you are and where you’re located, the town is smoky or clear, ruined or still intact; it’s night or day, merely creepy or undeniably haunted—and all at the same time.

Gans is terrific at setting a scene in long shot, and then holding the shot to allow a sense of impending dread to build. Your eyes shoot around the frame, searching for that one element that is going to provide the next shock. And then Gans moves on, leaving you hanging in suspense.

“Silent Hill” will be unsatisfying to anyone who demands to know what is going on, at least by the final reel. The film offers something of a clear-cut narrative to anyone who needs one—although the ending may have you scratching your head—but it isn’t a movie about narrative. It’s about surreal images, impressions, and what you bring with you to the screening. It’s about that movie in your mind, the scary one with the non-linear story and the illogical jump cuts between places that couldn’t really exist.

And it’s the one about people you don’t know and are afraid of meeting. They’re out there, you know. Or should I say, they’re in there.

“Silent Hill” is the best horror film released this year, which isn’t to say that it isn’t confounding at times, with a narrative that is never less than perplexing and often non-existent. I can imagine the script is nothing but a single page that reads “Mother and daughter go to a ghost town and get separated. Creepy, scary, ghastly, horrible stuff happens to mom as she searches for her daughter. Director Christophe Gans, director of photography Dan Laustsen and production designer Carol Spier will know what to do. The End.”

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14326&reviewer=405
originally posted: 05/08/06 17:03:10
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User Comments

3/13/17 morris campbell beautiful but boring 1 stars
10/06/11 Kevin Breece beautiful movie. probably the best game-to-movie adaptation i have seen. 5 stars
6/14/11 Allen Stays true to the franchise, right down to the "What the HELL just happened?" at the end. 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles Awesome 5 stars
10/01/10 bored mom This film lacks the first two games' truly subtle, carefully thought-out sensibilities. 3 stars
8/19/09 Jo Not played the games but movie was good. Especially now i get the ending! roll on movie 2!! 4 stars
12/01/08 Jojo i thought it was bad ass, but i love the games 4 stars
11/27/08 Jon C. My Full Review (fix spaces) www0.epinions.com /review/mvie_mu-1156476/content_228082421380 4 stars
10/09/08 Andyyyy its ok as a movie, nothing to the game, the plot is %$#!ed up, explains nothin 3 stars
8/26/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/13/08 Pyrix An interesting horror piece, certainly better than most game-to-movie adaptations 4 stars
5/10/08 Ryan If you don't understand the ending use common sense, the haze outside her house, 4 stars
4/25/08 Karrie Millheim Scared me big time! Horror lovers are gonna love this one 5 stars
3/16/08 Tosh its quite good as an horror movie, more amusing than scary. loved the open end. 4 stars
4/17/07 shyguy Great casting of Dahlia and Cybil, but a REALLY stupid plot 2 stars
3/19/07 Anthony G Best video game to movie adaptation ever made, still not THAT great overall. 4 stars
3/08/07 cokehead wasn't scarry, just weird. what a piece of shit. 2 stars
3/08/07 johnnyfog I liked Cybil. But otherwise, pointless 2 stars
2/27/07 Beau Greatly made, superb performances but a dull plot and it got silly towards the end 3 stars
2/04/07 Mark Helling not great, but its so extremely well made u wont care. not very scary, but has its moments 4 stars
2/01/07 Abs Preety good movie.Music set the scary tone for the whole film,but last 20min was a letdown 4 stars
1/10/07 Jake This movie pretty much just didn't do anything but such 2 stars
1/09/07 del Roger Avary fucked this up BAD. 3 stars
10/23/06 Indrid Cold Good screen translation, but still the movie doesn't even approach the game's brilliance. 3 stars
10/23/06 AJ Muller mood and visuals make it work; operates on 'nightmare logic' and is quite effective at it 5 stars
10/22/06 nie nie it so reflect the game. better than resident evil. i love it (wit some exception) 4 stars
10/17/06 GC Watch it for the visuals..nothing more..and not scary...plot dumb/characters lame 3 stars
10/17/06 Marvin Schulte It's a punch in the face of every single fan of the games. 1 stars
10/16/06 John Best game to movie ever! But you should play the game before seeing the movie. it helps. 5 stars
10/09/06 Homuncolos U shouldnt judge a movie on if its scary, since who would get scared just from a movie? 5 stars
10/08/06 Jim If you play the games, you'll love it; if not, you'll be just as baffled as my wife was. 5 stars
10/06/06 Clive Was A Good Film But I Havent Played The Game...This May Be Why I was Confused At The Ending 4 stars
10/04/06 pete.chesworth great game but glad I did not pay to see the movie. 2 stars
9/30/06 Randy if you didnt understand the movie your an idiot. get some common sence and watch it again. 4 stars
9/29/06 Bob Smith T 4 stars
9/23/06 Nicole This movie was exellent , but I did'nt understand the ending. 4 stars
9/18/06 daveyt I enjoyed it, liked the ending, visuals were great. Not exactly a classic, but not that bad 4 stars
9/16/06 hector if you didnt PLAY THE GAME you wont UNDERSTAND IT so you wont like 5 stars
9/14/06 Sophie Beats most Hollywood horrors! 5 stars
9/12/06 Ian pickering Mint film but the cop is a dick 5 stars
9/10/06 Cindy Brown didn't make much sense, yet I couldn't stop watching it 3 stars
9/06/06 Albert not true to the game, and about one tenth as scary,save your money,buy the game`s. 1 stars
9/05/06 HGTV fanatic great scary monsters, ending sucked, is they dead or just in a different dimesnion? 4 stars
9/02/06 HILARY I wasn't impressed. i got bored. i was confused at the end. it didnt scare me. lol.. 3 stars
9/01/06 ES Boring, gets interesting, gets retarded and then leaves you wondering what the ending means 2 stars
8/28/06 Casper I liked it - creatures were creepy, town was well-conceived, Rahda made this film work 4 stars
8/27/06 cindy interesting movie 4 stars
8/26/06 dorena ware whew, glad it was over. 3 stars
8/25/06 wanda mahoney it was very good movie, i like the eneding 5 stars
8/25/06 Richard Jojola This movie was awesome 5 stars
8/25/06 purplerose decent if you have played the games! 4 stars
8/25/06 Charles bundy I thought the film was teriffic, non-staop horror! 5 stars
8/24/06 Phillip Akers Very Grat movie best transofor mation of a game into a movie and most of all the gore 5 stars
8/24/06 LP The movie is suck but I even sucker wasting $4.90 at a local video store 1 stars
8/23/06 matt twisted, grotesque and sick as fuck 5 stars
8/16/06 Ian K. The best game-movie adaption known with brill visuals and sounds to draw you in 5 stars
8/01/06 dan a strange but rather good film 4 stars
7/28/06 Daniel This is one of the best movies I have seen in months. Play the game if you wanna enjoy it! 5 stars
6/29/06 Gretchen Seitz Starts off promisingly, but turns into psychobabble. 1 stars
6/24/06 Elix ONLY and ONLY for anyone who have played Silent hill 1,2 or 3 4 stars
6/11/06 Mike First movie I've EVER walked out on! So ridiculous and STUPID. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!!! 1 stars
6/04/06 Huismijt Nice little movie! Go see it if you're a fan of the series. Don't take it so seriously!! 3 stars
5/29/06 Anthony G As a video game to movie adaptation it was great! As a normal movie? Not so much... 5 stars
5/19/06 rosebud cybill is the new lesbian icon 5 stars
5/17/06 Alfred Guy Good creatures, but uneven as a whole. 3 stars
5/15/06 Ashley I loved the movie, I just didn't like the end. It left too much open ended. 4 stars
5/15/06 allie most horrible movie i've seen since blair witch project! 1 stars
5/09/06 San Lamar go see it! 5 stars
5/08/06 Tranquil Made for fans of the series, good visuals and recreation of some aspects. 4 stars
5/08/06 ryan good movie tells how the girl and wife got to be lost there and the before to when the husf 5 stars
5/06/06 Charlene Javier A bummer for fans of the game... 2 stars
5/05/06 Chris Buchanan Fan of the games. Fan of the movie. It's not your typical game-based movie: It doesn't suck 5 stars
5/05/06 matthew flynn a little too ove explained in some areas and under in others 4 stars
5/03/06 mandisa robinson the movie was good 4 stars
5/03/06 David I've seen scarier things at a five year old's birthday party, what a waste of two hours.... 1 stars
5/01/06 Mase Like watchign someone else play a barely comprhensible video game. Avoid!! 1 stars
5/01/06 Brandi Robertson The movie is hard to follow, drawn out, weird, and too long. 3 stars
5/01/06 chris f very tense and scary movie exellent!!! 5 stars
5/01/06 Patrick B Hey Im from W. Va and we have very few towns that look like "close to hell" 3 stars
5/01/06 Josh Standlee Scary as Hell! I won't be able to sleep right for at least a week! 5 stars
4/29/06 Sergey Konyshev I was so lost at the end, please explain how the wife and husband are in different worlds? 2 stars
4/28/06 Laz Moreland Scary and awesome! 5 stars
4/27/06 jimmy saville the longest, most boring film ever. Id ask for a refund if I could 1 stars
4/27/06 Jen Wilson Not good- would never reccomend this movie to anyone 1 stars
4/27/06 Farron Watson Some of the most disturbing imagery I've ever seen. Agony as a visual art form. 4 stars
4/26/06 Jon A laudable addition to the Silent Hill name, but not without flaws. They should make SH2! 4 stars
4/25/06 Vikki Tries too hard, but appropriately frightening! 4 stars
4/24/06 Troy G Changed cult from the game from summoner of deamon to opposition of the deamon. 4 stars
4/24/06 Anthony G They did pyramid head very well, created a great vibe, ending was lacking. 4 stars
4/24/06 elliot comparing this stylish film to plan 9 proves some of the critics here are idiots. 5 stars
4/24/06 victoria schall answer a question on Silent Hill 3 stars
4/24/06 Josh Haberman A Silent Hill Fan must see! 4 stars
4/24/06 BrianWilly Scary and gory fun. 5 stars
4/23/06 :) FINALLY!..A game movie that doesn't suck! 5 stars
4/23/06 Greyjack Cool visuals, but needed more Pyramid Head. 3 stars
4/23/06 MorallySound The movie makes sense if you dig through all the layers of ploy. Use your brain. 5 stars
4/22/06 matt Not quite what I was expecting, but pretty cool 4 stars
4/22/06 Adrian It's pretty. Really pretty. But mindless as well. 4 stars
4/22/06 The Talking Elbow Appreciated quite well as art. 5 stars
4/22/06 mike awesome 5 stars
4/22/06 Eevil Wolfie Visuals are nightmarish when they are there but the story seems to drag unnessisarily. 3 stars
4/22/06 bizenya it blew my fucking mind. 5 stars
4/22/06 Ole Man Bourbon It was pretty fun, but also kind of like a film version of a run-on sentence. 3 stars
4/21/06 Toilet Bowl Well-made, intelligent, scary - might not be for everyone 5 stars
4/21/06 ducka The best videogame adaptation ever 5 stars
4/21/06 KingNeutron I enjoyed it, even tho I never played the game. Genuinely scary in parts. 4 stars
4/21/06 Bunuel People confused by surrealism need not apply. 4 stars
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  21-Apr-2006 (R)
  DVD: 22-Aug-2006



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Christophe Gans

Written by
  Roger Avary

  Radha Mitchell
  Sean Bean
  Laurie Holden
  Deborah Kara Unger
  Kim Coates
  Tanya Allen

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