Monday, 23 November 2009

Silent Hill The Film

The DVD has been sitting on my shelves for sometime, I have only briefly played a demo of the first video game (long time ago!) and had not heard much about the film and knew little about the franchise. From having watched the Resident Evil films, I was expecting Silent Hill to be a good old rubber monster fest which was what I was in the mood for this Saturday gone.

However, was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a cracking horror story in the film. Yes, its by no means the most original of stories, but sometimes all you need is a small American deserted town that had some over zealous religous nuts who have dammed themselves into purgatory, a good dollop of evil and demonic rules and the nightmare world of a little child. 

Onto the cast, I was surprised to see Sean Bean in this film who had a some what supporting role. The character really doesn't do much but is needed to help fill some gaps for the story - It does make me wonder if there is a longer version of the film in existence. I think Christophe Gans, the director has done a pretty fine job of packing in a lot of story elements into the two hours, but one criticism is, a couple of things feel rushed and have bits been skipped in the edit room I wonder ?

Of the rest of the cast, Jodelle Ferland does a fine act of being a creepy and demonic kid (aren't they all anyway?)  and Radha Mitchell does a fine job of carrying the film as the main protagonist. The real star (except for the monsters) is Laurie Holden as the "kick arse" Motorcycle cop.  This is definitely an actress who deserves more big screen time.

The limelight for the monsters is unashamedly stolen by the evil nurses. The picture does not do them justice, but truth be told I cannot be arsed  to walk over to the shelve, pick up the DVD, put it in my macbook , remind myself how to take screen caps on a mac and then resize it for the blog. Watch the film instead!  They are genuinely creepy and well choreographed as are the rest of the monsters in the film. I did feel that the Pyramid character could of been used a bit more, which again gets me wondering if there is a longer cut.

Someone behind the scenes who most definitely deserves a mention is Carole Spier, the production designer who has done a fantastic job on the film. Watching the making of (which is very good as a making of') she does not at all look like your normal production designer, who (this is from experience I might add) are normally to be found on the cheise lounge along with the art director eating grapes and drinking wine whilst occasionally waving their riding crop to order some beautiful young thing with whimsical instructions (we need a tree) which eventually gets filtered down to the crew - who then do all the work!.  She seems really hands on and passionate, which shows in the design and especially the consistency of within the film. It would be hard to argue that Silent Hil is not a very gorgeous looking film and one that makes you ponder for a second , where you would take it for a date.

All in all, Its not quite a rubber monster movie, nor is it a dark and intense horror.  Instead it has its place on the gentle green park inbetween which you and I  know has been built on an ancient indian burial ground.

Will I be rushing out to watch the sequel next year ? probably not. Will I be keeping an eye out for the sequel in the DVD bargan bin - yes , and if a longer director cut comes out I will be keeping and eye out for that too.

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