movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

silence is not golden

I have never played the video game. I was not a fan of BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. Why did I bother to see SILENT HILL in the first place? The answer is simple… based on the trailer I thought it looked creepy.

Well… I should have stayed at home. This movie fails on almost every level. Let me first talk about the script. Written by Academy Award winner Roger Avery (PULP FICTION), it is just a mess. The characters are pathetic; their motivations are murky at best. The dialogue is pathetic. Best of all, this movie really makes no sense. While watching SILENT HILL, I felt like I was playing a video game. There is really no point to anything that happens as we go along this “journey” except to get us to new and more fucked up creatures that have no real point either. When our lead characters are about to die, you know what happens? The sun comes up and the vicious monsters just disintegrate into thin air. I never felt like there was anything at stake, because I had absolutely no idea what was going on for most of the movie. There is a whole plot in the film involving Sean Bean that could be literally lifted out and the only thing that you would notice is that the movie would be 40 minutes shorter. I am told that the movie might make more sense if you have played the game… I am sorry, but that is not a good excuse. If that is what they were going for, just leave it on Playstation.

Now for the acting. I have liked actors like Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell in the past, but in SILENT HILL they are laughably bad. Literally. More often than not, the entire theater was laughing at the acting and the situations that they were thrust in to. There is one performance that stands out as the worst in the movie though. That is the role of the female police officer, Cybil (Laurie Holden). From the moment that we see her dressed in her all leather police uniform (silly), she makes no sense. Why is she stalking our lead characters? The dialogue that comes out of her mouth is some of the worst that I have heard. I wish that I could recall the worst of the lines, but WOW, are they bad. This is one of the most stale performances I have ever seen.

Director Christophe Gans showed some skill with his use of the camera back in his last film (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF), so I was curious to see what he would do with the creepy SILENT HILL. What I got was laughably bad. It is as if he is trying to show off with every single shot in the movie. There are countless shots of sweeping scope, that zoom overhead, trying desperately to capture a kind of style. Almost every shot either starts low and booms up way above head, or booms down. To say that SILENT HILL is over directed would be like saying Michael Bay likes to edit. This interjection of style eliminates all sense of mood and any creepiness that might have been there had he just shot it like a movie and not like a director’s reel.

Another thing that really bothered me was the awful use of CGI throughout the movie. It was if 80% of the shots in the movie were done against a green screen. Not only that, but they were also done poorly. This always takes me out of a movie and SILENT HILL was no exception. There were a couple uses of CGI that I liked, but the over use and reliance is what killed me. It shows that Gans is really an amateur, playing in a pro world.

Was there anything that I did like in the movie? Some of the creature designs were pretty cool and the make-up was well done. Putting aside that there is no reason for these creatures, they look pretty cool for the most part. The best sequence on the entire movie is one in which we meet a pack of creepy nurses that move in an awkward unison and carry sharp, rusted metal. They respond to light and remain sill in the darkness. It is a cool idea and for the most part, is well done. There… I found one moment that I liked. Happy?

SILENT HILL is an example of why video games should not be made into movies just because the game was popular. It is also an example of why the screenplay is really important when making a movie. A bunch of creepy shit and fucked up creatures with out a script does not make for a good movie. It makes for a mess to watch and a waste of two hours of my life.

4 Comments:

Blogger Cutshaw said...

One Word...Yikes.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Skid said...

Good to know. I'm even going to take that one off the Netflix list.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silent Hill was a great movie, dont let this guy fool you.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Silent Hill 2006 said...

It is great film. Loved this movie. I watched it 19 times now; call me obsessed but I think it rocked. It really makes me want to play the games.

11:21 PM  

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