Friday, October 26, 2012

Will Silent Hill: Revelation 3D be Remebered? A Movie Review

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*full disclosure: an early theatrical screening of this film was provided by Alliance Films.

**story lines are revealed here.

Director/writer: Michael J. Bassett.

Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan, Deborah Kara Unger, and Roberto Campanella.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is the second film based on a game from Konami. It has been six years since there has been a Silent Hill movie. In this time, the central writer has been changed from the Silent Hill (2006) zealout Roger Avary (Beowulf) to Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane). The story has been affected with this transition. While a continuation of the first film, Bassett's rushed script is light on subplots and heavy on a mildly interesting heroic storyline. Visuals and elements of the occult are strongly present, but there is little tension in this sequel. This is a a solid popcorn flick that will only mildly test an audiences' attention.

Characters remain the same from the original, but Sharon is now named Heather, a pseudoname. She is played by another actress as well, Adelaide Clemens. Heather and her past are central to the film's story. The big reveal in this picture involves Heather's parentage; she is an orphan and a child of a demon! Thus, is she a demon as well? This is a question that this reviewer asked himself. Audiences might be less concerned.

Centrally, this film plays out much like a heroic journey with Heather venturing into a hellish world to save her adoptive father (Sean Bean). She must face her biological mother, Alessa, and a host of occultist monsters to reunite with him. Her mother, Rose, (Radha Mitchell) still exists in this universe. However Heather is not concerned for her welfare. She is more interested in her new love interest, Leonard (Kit Harrington). So, how interesting is the film's story?

The depth of this picture is taken only so far as the occult can take it. The occult deals with many elements of magic and mystery. The setting, Silent Hill, is just such a mysterious location. The signs pointing to this ash fallen town are littered with bloody images and murder. Heather is only mildly afraid of these signs as she ventures into a chaotic world that is hellish in nature. There are many visual elements that signify the presence of the occult including pentagrams and demonic pendants. And, one of the gods in Silent Hill is also of this arcane, but fictional world.

Centrally, this is a story of a heroine and her journey. Heather is motivated to rescue her father regardless of the dangers. The mystical setting of Silent Hill does not dissuade Heather's path despite many allusions or clues to this world's dangerous nature. A private investigator is mashed up by a demon from this world. Nightmares hound Heather at every turn. All of the visual evidence suggests that the town of Silent Hill is full of danger and murder; yet, Heather ventures courageously onwards because of her familial connection. Therefore, the protagonist is admirable and perhaps, a little naive. Heather overcomes the many challenges in her way including: pyramid headed demons, nurse-like monsters and an asylum of crazed inmates. This is quite the accomplishment for such a young (demonic?) woman. A host of antagonists prevent her from facing her mother, Alessa, in an anti-climactic battle only briefly.

Although the film's central story is simple, the visuals in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D will hold many viewer's attention. Heather's visions change more from a dream state into a nightmare world as the film progresses. These nightmare visuals are full of vivisection, murder and darkened settings. These locations also create for the film's demonic world. Each scene, that is shown in the world of Silent Hill, extracts blood reds, austere orange hues and stark white backgrounds. The visual landscape is truly a sight to see. The viewer is welcomed into a world that is truly frightening and hellish. Unfortunately, the story for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D does not hold the tension necessary to create memorable thrills. A dream within a dream sequence is one of only a few elements that creates for an exciting jump scare. The story is unable to match the visual excellence.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is an entertaining feature, but it is not an evocative one. This title adds to the original, but Heather's story is only slightly expanded upon. She rids herself of her mother in a typical Electra Complex style and she goes about life as if nothing happened afterwards. Perhaps, viewers are also meant to go about their lives as if nothing happened after watching this visually stunning, yet nearly plotless feature.

Overall: 7.25 out of 10 (sparse subplots, not very complex, rushed storyline?, interesting characters, nice transition from a dream world into a nightmarish one, the ending is slightly ridiculous - why would Heather feel apathy towards her mother's rescue?)

*rated R for violence and disturbing images, some language and brief nudity

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