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Silent Hill - horror/sci-fi DVD review
Silent Hill rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates
Director: Christopher Gans   Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD release: 22 Aug. 2006   Runtime: 125 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1), 6 production diaries

I had high expectations going into this movie. The trailer was exciting, showing the appropriate eerie creepiness one expects. But the end product is nothing more than an amalgamation of the four entries of the video game upon which it is based. Having not played any of those games, my thoughts were simple: an intelligent, dark, visually haunting horror film minus the usual cast of teenagers getting sliced and diced. If there was ever going to be a video game to film adaptation that should have been great, this was it. Emphasis on was. Never could one be more clueless on how to explain a plot of movie than this, but here is some info: Sharon, the daughter of Rose (Radha Mitchell), has taken to sleepwalking. In the opening scenes, Sharon is on a cliff screaming about Silent Hill when Rose and her husband, Christopher (Sean Bean), save her from peril. This makes Rose take off to Silent Hill, followed by leather-clad policewoman Cybil Bennet (Laurie Holden).

Once Rose arrives, the CGI scares are pulled out the hat along with so much expository dialogue you could go nuts trying to untangle everything. This effort to please the hardcore lovers of the game comes off as a dreadful exercise in how not to tell a story - to anyone, game lover or not.

Those who do love the games will probably enjoy the movie regardless; blind passion can do that to you. Why, you might ask, would someone like this? That's an easy one. While the acting (the actresses themselves are well-positioned as eye candy) could be categorized as "ehh, not to shabby" and the directing categorized as "good enough," the cinematography is a ten! The ash-falling-from-the-sky spooky atmosphere of the town is vividly captured in the movie. For those who don't ask for too much in terms of plot/story or just want pure escapist entertainment, the visually stunning parts of this movie will capture your imagination. It delivers something fairly interesting every five minutes or so, no thanks to Roger Avary's script or Christophe Gans' directing. No, if there is any credit to given out, it's to the set decorator, the cinematographer, and the special effects team.

Overall, Silent Hill is a ho-hum game adaptation that could be worth checking out if you're a hardcore fan, but only if you're a hardcore. The average person will find more entertainment in the games themselves.
reviewed by Bobby Blades
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