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Focus on the Frightful: Revelations About Silent Hill: Revelations

(See what I did there?)

So. If you’ve spent any amount of time around me or our Worst Of movie lists you’ll know my utter disdain for Silent Hill: Revelations. Silent Hill, as an adaptation was decent and far better than most video game adaptations. However, the sequel was such a letdown.

So. Imagine my surprise when watching it last night with my son (The illustrious Tiny Tentacle who is now not so tiny anymore and a full grown adult human. Sigh. Where was I?) that while we were savaging it we found that there were a few things that weren’t utterly terrible. I decided to try to watch with an open mind and not as the salty little gremlin that I am. And mostly succeeded.

I am still legitimately angry about Dahlia’s character and that her response to her daughter being assaulted is literally “It’ll be ok, sweetie” and then handing her over to the cult and then being all shocked. You get no sympathy from me, ma’am. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I am also angry that Alessa is treated as a villain in the movie that seems to be demonically possessed and Heather is the ‘good’ half while Alessa is the ‘evil’ half. In the game the Otherworld is created by Alessa’s pain and torment through the seven years they kept her alive and she fought to keep half of her soul from being drawn home (not the ‘good’ half but just the other half) manifesting using the town’s inherent power. She’s not evil.

Because every teen geared movie (ignoring the fact that this movie came out in 2012 and most of the fans of it were born in the nineties or *cough* the eighties *cough*) needs a love interest they decided to make the character of Vincent, the game’s representation of the predatory male figure, the love interest. It was… a choice.

TT and I were hashing that one out and we came to the conclusion that, since Douglas’ character does not serve the same purpose as he does in the game (that of the father figure after Harry’s death) he would have made more sense aged down to be closer to Heather’s age. And it would have avoided the whole “Claudia is Vincent’s mother and Heather/Alessa’s aunt and they’re first cousins” thing.

Even though the plot in the first Silent Hill movie was boiled down to a kind of boring ‘burn the witch’ plot I can kind of see why they did. The plot of the first game is a bit convoluted with the cult, impregnating a god into a person, a subplot about drugs, and other various incidents. Silent Hill: Revelations couldn’t even keep that straight. They waffle back and forth between the ‘Alessa is a demon/witch that must be killed to lift the darkness” but then randomly inserted the “god fetus’ plot in a couple of lines. If you were watching it not knowing the context of the games I could see that being utterly confusing.

Another thing that just does not make sense is Claudia as the Missionary. I’ll even ignore just how ridiculous the premise is in general. But The Missionary murdering Douglas does not even make sense within the movie’s own logic. In the movie’s own rules, you cannot leave Silent Hill unless elaborate and painful rituals are performed. Thus, Claudia should not have been able to leave at all. And the only reason she turns into The Missionary is because of the Seal of Metatron. So The Missionary should not even exist at the beginning of the movie.

In The Hug Kills All Evil scene (see above for my thoughts on Alessa being ‘evil’ in the first place) TT thought of a way they could have done it so much better and would have made for a bit more tension. They could hug it out but make it unclear which half won. Or alter her appearance oh so slightly to make people wonder. And then at the end it could be revealed that she was neither good nor evil but whole, once again and more powerful. Instead of good triumphing over evil it could acknowledge that a fractured soul has been healed. But, no, they had to bake it down to the easiest common trope they could.

They couldn’t have used a little bit of the CGI budget to blend her black lipstick a little better?

Ok. I have ranted enough, I suppose. Now for a few things that I thought they did really well. The sets are very well done. The actors they got for the parts (barring Vincent) are very, very close to the game characters. The costuming is perfect for Heather. They did go strap crazy with Claudia and the cult costumes, though. I wouldn’t want to have to buckle the gazillion belts on her dress.

There are also a ton of tiny little details that are put in there solely for the fans. Such as the red shoe on the headboard of Jack’s Inn (referencing a puzzle item in the amusement park), the shirt that Heather is wearing in that same motel scene (an unlockable outfit), and a lot more minute ones that don’t feel like they were thrown in. TT and I’s ‘conspiracy’ theory is that there was an actual fan working on set that snuck in whatever they could.

And I do actually like the… epilogue? I suppose you would call it. After Harry fucks off back into town to search for his wife (leaving Heather with the dude she’s known a whole day and a half, no job and no real home to return to) Heather and Vincent hitch a ride with Travis Grady, the protagonist of Silent Hill: Origins. As they leave town in his truck they pass by a prison bus heading into Silent Hill, a nod to Silent Hill: Downpour (review coming soon for that). They might not make a lot of sense (especially Travis’ cameo) but dammit, I’ll take my fan service and go.

See you next week! But I can promise no more Silent Hill 1, 2, or 3 for awhile. Thank you for reading and listening to my ramblings about my favorite game series. It’s a shame that Konami is letting Silent Hill decay and drift into silence and darkness. Maybe someday we’ll get some news about that quiet little town in the future.

Published inFocus on the Frightful

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