Gamer’s POV Silent Hill Movie Review-ish

I’m not a blogger who likes to blog about the latest trends or hits; but when it’s a movie based on a video game — a video game I’ve played and enjoyed for years at that — nothing could silent me. Hehe, pardon my bad pun.

Silent Hill the movie wasn’t released in Hong Kong until the day before, so naturally I went to the movies with Bro first thing after work that night. We actually made it on time for it (and even had time to be subjected to the torture of slimming product ads before it started), seeing how we didn’t usually get to see the first 10-15 minutes of other films. My first impression of the movie actually had nothing to do with the production itself. Just look at this.

Silent Hill movie tickets
Silent Hill movie tickets

What the hell is up with the Chinese title, “鬼魅山房”? The direct translation of Silent Hill wasn’t powerful enough, so they justify themselves in making up a name that isn’t accurate to the movie or the game, huh? Well, Bro and I already mocked at it enough, so let’s move on to the movie.

It started with the music theme of the first Silent Hill game, audience stirred. Cool, fellow gamers around. Until a few more scenes later, the movie was still forcing music from the games into it at, in my opinion, inappropriate time (or inappropriate choice of clips. Either one). It was as if they were trying too hard to emphasise how they were a movie based on the games. “Hark! Loyal gamers! We’re the Silent Hill movie! We use all the music from the games!” I read later that they did so because they wanted to use the same music tracks at similar scenes of the game. Darlings, what works for a game doesn’t necessarily work for a movie!

While I love it that they kept a few characters and monsters from the game, and understand that they couldn’t just use the exact same story, I didn’t like how they twisted it. It’s similar in a sense (presence of a cult, a few locations, the disfigured corpses, etc.), but the main storyline! Cybil turned a tomboy; Lisa turned into a nameless nurse who didn’t appear until quite the end; Dahlia got split into two characters — “good” Dahlia and Christabella; there was also only one Pyramid Head Red Pyramid who didn’t seem to serve any purpose other than scare factor in the movie compared to the one in the game.

There are some little things I love about the movie, though. For example, I think how Cybil said “what the fuck” instead of “what the hell” was really in-character and appropriate, because that kind of situation deserved something much stronger than a WTH. The “foggy” Silent Hill to alternate Silent Hill transfer was well done as well.

But all in all, with the amount of blood, gore, violence, cleavages and girl power in the movie adapted from a game, what’s not to love about it?

Heh. I almost screamed at a certain guy sitting somewhere behind me. The song “You’re Not Here” played at the credits, and he commented that the song sounded vaguely familiar. Vaguely familiar only?! It was the Silent Hill 3 theme song! Blasphemer! We must burn him! … If only I wasn’t busy singing along. lol

P.S. I still don’t understand how this movie could be rated Category IIB and not a III.

P.P.S. Bro’s comment on the movie (in Chinese).

5 thoughts on “Gamer’s POV Silent Hill Movie Review-ish”

  1. Excellent review there, Vickie, without giving away too much details (thankyou). I checked out your bro’s comments as well – gotta get more opinions from fellow gamers… :-)

    No games moved me and freaked me out at the same time like the SH series. I love the soundtracks.

    Can’t wait to see the movie myself.

  2. …I don’t read chinese, what was so bad about the translation of the movie’s title?

    1. Well, direct translation from Babel Fish says “Ghosts and Demons Shan Fang”, a human translation would be “Haunted Hill House”.

      The “house” bit in the title is just not right. They really should have stuck with Silent Hill. :S

  3. Great review Vickie. And gorgeous site too.

    I’m new to the site but I’ve subscribed via rss so I’ll be back. Gotta love BE.

    I agree with you about the movie’s music. Particularly the SH3 theme a the end. But I have to admit that I was loving the use of the ambient music throughout the movie in corresponding scenes from the game. It was one of those nice touches that really show how rabid a fan Christopher Gans is of the series.

    Interesting sidenote: I read that Gans had to beg the people at Konami to let him make the movie, he so wanted to make an adaptation of it.

    I wrote my own review of the movie here.

  4. Hi everybody!

    Silent Hill has never been about action or running around shooting things; doing that would effectively destroy what made Silent Hill so darn creepy and great. In many ways, RE4 proved that you can’t have it both ways; the game simply didn’t have the atmosphere of the previous games and the gameplay got incredibly repetitive. In my humble opinion, I think the major reason for RE4’s drastic changes was because Capcom was in a financial slump at the time due to a string of high-profile flops and needed something that would appeal to Joe Average more than their fanbase. Not to mention Mikami’s less-than-intelligent prospect of releasing the remake of Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero only on the GameCube also contributed to the misguided notion that people were getting tired of the series when, the low sales of those two games can be attributed to being on a third-place machine.

    I know that Silent Hill 0rigins is using an over-the-shoulder perspective, but I’m banking on it purely as a design choice considering the game is being released on a handheld. I still doubt that Konami would be silly enough to blantantly rip-off RE4 when each and every Silent Hill game has sold quite well on its own. I doubt money would be an issue since they also create the Metal Gear games, which is practically a liscense to print money.

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