Every once in a while a movie comes along that sets a new benchmark for it's genre. The script is elegant, the acting inspired, the effects seamless, and, if it's in the horror genre, it scares the bejeebers out of you, and burns its images into your head.
If that's what you're looking for, then I'm sorry to say Silent Hill is not for you.
I went to the preview of it at my local theatre last night, and came out of it... irritated. As the partner-in-crime put it, this movie was 1-hour bad acting, 1-hour extended stop motion Tool video.
I can't even really fault the actors for the way their roles played out - they definitely drew the short straws when it came to dialogue, judging from how generously the script borrowed from The Classic Book of Horror Cliches and its partner, The Classic Book of Lines Meant to Make The Audience Feel Safe So You Can Spring Something Really Nasty On Them.
It was so bad that the whole audience broke out into spontaneous hoots, laughters and giggles when Rose (played by Radha Mitchell), one of the main characters, stops paying attention to the scary in order to tell her best bud in terror that they ought not to worry, "it'll be all right". As the partner muttered under his breathe, you may as well ask Best Bud to wear the red shirt and be done with it. You knew she was done for. The audience did this at another 3 points in the movie, and occasionally heckled when the dialogue got too precious or too coy.
Which brings me to the story itself; that of Rose (Radha Mitchell) & Chris (Sean Bean, sadly underutilized) and their adopted daughter Sharon. Sharon seems to be a little on the disturbed side, what with her habit of sleepwalking, drawing creepy pictures which she can't remember drawing, and oh yes - talking about a place they've never been to. Mother and daughter end up going to Silent Hill, the place daughter mentions while sleepwalking, and that's where the
I think the visual effects team ought to get serious kudos,as most of the creatures in the movie are not computer creations, but created by good old latex and makeup. Well done visual effects people, well done! And you - yes you, the music people - take a bow. The soundtrack rocked and was perfectly suited.
But overall? Disappointing. Too bad, this could've been as good as the games it's based on.