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Why Not Just Stay Silent?


Why Not Just Stay Silent?

Film Review
Matthew Razak
April 28, 2006

Silent Hill
Running Time: 127 min.
Directed by Christophe Gans.
Written by Roger Avary, Nicolas Boukhrief.
Starring Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean.


Christophe Gans, the director of "Silent Hill," and the movies writers seemed to forget they were making a movie based on a video game and not an actual video game. For most of this over two-hour long movie, I kept expecting a "use" icon to pop up on the bottom of the screen, or an inventory box to open as one of the heroines found an item or clue leading them to the next level — or in the case of the movie, another creepy building.

The film makers have created a video game without the one thing that makes video games an amazing medium: interactivety. If one was controlling these characters, finding the clues, solving the puzzles and killing or running from bad guys then the experience might be scary and interesting but without the interactivety there is nothing keeping the viewer attached to the find a clue and follow it plot line.

It's too bad, because near the end when the film really starts picking up on the gore and violence, it gets kind of interesting. But there are 90 minutes before that to sit through where the only real excitement comes from some nifty CGI effects and a Johnny Cash song playing in the background of one scene.

Those 90 minutes tell the story of Rose Da Silva and her daughter, Sharon, who has been having nightmares about a town called Silent Hill. So she takes her daughter there and on the way gets into an accident; when she wakes up, her daughter is gone and she is trapped in Silent Hill where it is always foggy — because ash falls from coal fires burning deep underground. In a video game, that would of been a great excuse to not render too far into the background, but in this film only makes some shots look creepy.

A leather-clad police officer, played by Laurie Holden, also joins her on the quest, half-hindering and half-helping throughout the movie. There might have been an interesting relationship between, the two but they are separated so many times that nothing more than a frat boy's daydream of female fraternization can ever really develop.

Meanwhile Rose's husband, played by Sean Bean, is stuck in the real world trying to find out what has happened to his wife and daughter. He is kept at bay by an unfriendly cop and must do research into who his daughter really is. Other than having someone who can actually act in the film and setting up a potential sequel, the Sean Bean scenes are completely and totally removable.

The dialogue is worse than that of the original Resident Evil video game (ask your kids), and is delivered at some points so poorly that it will make you laugh.

Luckily, in the last 20 minutes or so everyone, stops talking and starts dying. Here is where the movie actually becomes a movie, blood starts flying and some interesting moral questions actually get raised. In a video game, you would of had some fun playing through the previous 90 minutes and the big ending would of been the pay off.

Here, it just isn't worth it, unless you enjoy watching other people play through a video game.

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=65078&paper=69&cat=115
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