Silent Hill – the movie
For the first time in ages, I am actually excited about an upcoming film release. For once, it appears that a game to movie film will actually a) be faithful to the games, and b) have a decent plot.
Silent Hill The Movie is being released by Sony Pictures and stars Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden and Sean Bean. The cast list looks pretty short, in keeping with the games. From the trailer I watched, the town is foggy and claustrophobic and the whole thing should have audiences on the edge of their seats. Just like the game (are we seeing a pattern here?)
Now, I can fully accept that a number of you are sitting there wondering what the hell I am banging on about. You poor misguided fools. Silent Hill is game one of four and was originally released for the Playstation One by Konami. It has been compared to Resident Evil, but beyond them both being Survival Horror games, I fail to see the connection. I think Silent Hill is far better than Resident Evil, but then I’m not a fan of RE so I would say that.
The first episode was followed by Silent Hill 2, released for Playstation 2 and PC. Then, in a strange twist of fate, Konami released Silent Hill 2:Restless Dreams (which was SH2 with a short playable episode tacked on the beginning) for the Xbox. Obviously, the Playstation community was a little miffed about this, we wanted the extra episode too, because we were the ones who were fans from the beginning. Konami rectified this and fun was had by all.
2 was followed by, erm, Silent Hill 3 for PC and PS2 and this, in turn, was followed by Silent Hill 4: The Room. To make things more fun, SH1 and SH3 are part of the same storyline and 2 and 4 are stand alones. SH 4 was not as well received as the other 3 – many of the elements that made the games so popular were not there.
Synopsis of SH1:
Harry Mason and his daughter Cheryl are driving to their favorite vacation spot. Late that night, a figure suddenly appears from out of the darkness. Harry turns the wheel in panic, and the car careens off the road, knocking Harry unconscious. Awakening sometime later to find Cheryl is missing. Stumbling out of the wreckage, he heads towards the small town of Silent Hill.
Synopsis of SH2:
James Sunderlands life is shattered when his young wife Mary suffers a tragic death. Three years later, a mysterious letter arrives from Mary, beckoning him to return to their sanctuary of memories, the dark realm of Silent Hill. Now James must go back to that special place to uncover the truth, unaware that the answers he seeks may require the ultimate sacrifice.
Synopsis of SH3:
Silent Hill 3 continues the series trademark brand of psychological horror and terrifying gameplay. As a teenage girl named Heather, players must explore and unravel the mysterious connection between the god-forsaken town and her inner fears. With enhanced graphical detail, a more complex storyline, and even more grotesque monsters than the previous games, Silent Hill 3 promises to be the best horror adventure ever.
Synopsis of SH4:
Henry Townshend finds himself trapped in his apartment that has been cursed by a deeply rooted evil. Only by exploring mysterious portals leading to disturbing alternate worlds will Henry begin to uncover the truth. However, in true Silent Hill fashion, mysterious new characters, horrendous creatures, and the undead will use any means necessary to impede his progress. Silent Hill 4: The Room features a terrifying experience that fans and newcomers will never forget.
These really do not do the games justice, by the way. I had seen a number of reviews which stated that SH1 had the reviewers pausing the game because they were getting too scared to continue. Pshaw, I thought, how scary can a video game be? Very scary, as I soon found out.
Few more links for you:
Silent Hill guides – Gamefaqs
Silent Hill Heaven – sadly defunct
Letter from Silent Hill – mostly about SH2
Silent Hill | Genesis – work is still being done on this site
It is very hard to convey the feeling given off by the games and it would seem that the film itself will duplicate that. It may be that there is a limited audience, but I doubt it – as well as fans of the games, horror fans and Sean Bean fans will go to see this and will spread word of the quality. I am looking forward to this film (yes, I am a fanboy). More importantly, it should better than the Resident Evil series and will raise the bar for conversions of this kind.