Review

Silent Hill: A Game Beyond Reality, A Movie Beyond Your Imagination

I'd like to say first that the movie is not for everyone. Phrases like "Bullshit!", "I didn't like it!" say mostly those who didn't get the meaning. And the matter is not about whether you played the game or not, but in the true will to comprehend the essence of the movie.

Adaptation

Adaptation - so loudly said. Despite all the persuasions of the moviemakers that the movie is a game adaptation, it's not. It can be even called an inspirational movie. "Silent Hill" have to be seen rather as an independent creative, as those same comics. This is the most important thing to understand before watching. Only in this way you can get rid of prejudice, entering the cinema.

Plot

Do not believe annonces media that assure you that "Rose is not willing to accept that her daughter Sharon is dying of the deadly disease" - it is a lie from the first letter and until the last dot. Everything is much more complicated.

Sharon suffers somnambulism, and it becomes worse. In her nightmares she keeps repeating the name of the town - Silent Hill. Sharon is adopted daughter, and parents don't know the cause of her illness. Perhaps this is her hometown? Rose decides to go there together with her daughter in the hope that she will remember something and the nightmares will stop. On the way to Silent Hill they get into the accident. After awaking Rose finds out that Sharon has gone. All around is covered with mist. The misty Silent Hill will never let them go...

Misty Town

Silent Hill in the movie appeared in several dimensions. One is the "misty" town - a place of someone's lost memories. Unlike real Silent Hill, the misty one is cut off from the outside world. The life here seems to stop to appear like it is always November 1974 when the town was burned along with its residents. At first glance it seems that the abandonment and destruction is a consequence of the city fire. But it's not the case. And you'll find out this later...

Dark Town

"Dark" or alternate Silent Hill is another face of the town. Darkness falls regardless of time of day or any other external causes. Because dark and misty Silent Hill, let's say, is another world. The world created by human hatred to absorb the people themselves. They have not died as it may be thought. They got into this world alive becoming hostages to their fears, their hatred.

Darkness transforms town in the rusty-metal world. The world of Alessa.
From the end of the film could lead to the conclusion that Rose and Sharon crashed to death on the way to Silent Hill so forever gone in the otherworld. This is mistaken opinion because their bodies weren't found in either car, nor in the town.

Cult

The cult of Silent Hill is not an ordinary religious movement based on dogma. This is an independent religion with its saints and its history. It has quite a strong influence in the town; Silent Hill was founded precisely by cult members. The Order tried to defend their faith by any means, including condemning unwanted people to death. The execution has always been demonstrative, while the victim accused of witchcraft and has been burning.

The stories of the cult can be found in the painting "The first burning" in Grand Hotel (the burning of Jennifer Carroll) and in the painting in the church.

Faith

The main idea of this movie like the game is faith. It doesn't matter what people believe in, the most important thing is the power of belief. Eventually the ultimate truth doesn't exist, but everyone has its own truth. Despite their delusion, the cult's faith protected people from the Darkness and even Alessa whose hatred absorbed the town could not penetrate the abode of the Order...

Also the Aim is the integral part of Silent Hill. A person who has Aim can go through any obstacles. Alessa's aim was revenge which kept her alive after the fire... Rose's aim is to find her daughter, and no Darkness can't stop her...

Characters

Unlike other Silent Hill elements with symbolic significance, the movie characters designed to show the real person in the unreal world. Each of them has its own history, its own "darkness in the heart" and the reasons to act in a certain way.

Alessa Gillespie - nine-years old girl who was burnt by the cult in 1974. Her pain and hatred gave life to another Silent Hill, an alternate reality which absorbed the town. She like the other residents will forever remain in the alternative world. Alessa's physical body is bound to the bed in an isolation ward. Her soul (or it may be called an astral projection) split into two personalities - Dark Alessa, the "Demon", and light one.

Sharon Da Silva - adopted daughter of Rose and Christopher. The light side of Alessa. Taking in account the age of Sharon we may assume that physically Alessa died nine years ago.

Rose Da Silva - Sharon's adoptive mother. She's ready for everything for her daughter. Her aim - to find Sharon - helps her to go through any tests.

Christopher Da Silva - Sharon's adoptive father. Together with officer Gucci he went to search for Rose and Sharon, but he couldn't see nobody as he's in real Silent Hill.

Cybil Bennet - policewoman from the neighbor town of Brahams. A "die hard" in real life, she can't find an explanation for what's happening in the misty town. Two years ago she saved a boy thrown by a maniac into an open mine vent. She stayed with him for three days before the rescue team could arrive. A policewoman by vocation.

Dahlia Gillespie - mother of Alessa Gillespie. She was deceived by the cult and as the result her daughter was burnt. She couldn't do nothing and when she brought help it was too late. Dahlia couldn't forgive herself and never saw Alessa afterwards. When Darkness falls over the town, only Dahlia could stay outside the church. "Mother is God in the eyes of a child" and God is immortal in the world created by this child. Even if His guilt is no less serious than the fault of ordinary people.

Christabella - the head of the Silent Hill cult. Unlike the Order fanatic followers, Christabella is also an outstanding leader who can manage the crowd. Any dissent is suppressed with ostentatious brutality, but by other cult members' hands. Christabella takes up a weapon only twice: she torches a fire with Cybil and strikes Rose with a dagger. The first case shows her domination over others (the cult members arranged the campfire but she's the one who started it!). The second one shows that Christabella felt that she's loosing control over the people and she's left with nothing else but to eliminate Rose physically by herself.

Anna - a girl from the cult who came outside the church in search of food for her mother (Eleanor). She's raised with fanatical belief of the Order, that's why she believes Dahlia is cursed, and aims to throw stones at her at every opportunity. =)
Officer Thomas Gucci - policeman, one of the first arrived at the place of fire. He removed still alive Alessa out, having received burns on both hands.

Lisa (Red Nurse) - a nurse who was caring for Alessa at Brookhaven Hospital. She's also trapped in the world of Alessa.

Colin - janitor in the Midwich School. From the memories of Alessa we may presume that he raped the girl for what he was condemned to eternal suffering in her world.

Margaret - mother superior from the girls orphanage where Sharon was abandoned.

Members of the cult have got into Alessa's world, but retained their human appearance. They're convinced that the End of the world has come and only their faith saves them. They leave church in search of food while wearing miner suits and taking birds in cages with them (birds sense the fall of Darkness). They were chasing Rose in the School. One of them was crucified in the alley. Their common clothes are grey (probably because of the ashes).

Creatures

There are no monsters in Silent Hill at all. As there are no clearly bad or completely good characters. Those who are used to be called "monsters" are people who were punished for their sins - creatures of alternate Silent Hill.

- Gray Child. Grays attack Rose in the alley. Symbolize Alessa's fear of her classmates.
- Lying Figure. Attacks Cybil. Symbolizes Alessa's agony.
- Janitor - janitor Colin doomed to eternal suffering in the alternative world. In the girls' bathroom Rose could hear a child's cry from the cabin. It's the memory of Alessa about her injure. In the cabin Rose finds a crucified man who comes alive with the fall of Darkness...
- Cockroach. Cockroaches attack cult's members and eat them alive. No miner suit can protect from them. These are also people punished for their sins.
- Nurse - reminds of Alessa lying in the Hospital. Nurses confront Rose at Brookhaven Hospital.
- Red Pyramid. Pyramid Head - a creature with a metal pyramid on his head equipped with a Great Knife. His appearance and symbolism repeats appearance of the executioners of the ancient times.
- Alessa - 40-years old Alessa Gillespie. Position of her body looks like crucifixion.

Locations

Locations of Silent Hill are no less important, and interesting part of the movie. Navigation around the town is shown in such a fascinating way you can't notice sometimes as one location is changing by another.

- Alley - here the first time Rose is overcome by the Darkness. Chasing a phantom of a little girl looking like her daughter Rose runs into a dead end where she's been attacked by Grays.
- Bowling Club. After the attack of Grays Rose recovers in the bowling club. It may seem that it was just a dream... but where's her cloak?
- Midwich School. Perhaps Sharon liked school very much so that Rose thought she might be here in the first place. Alessa's school memories are painful: her persecutions continued there as well. Her mother couldn't help her either....
- Grand Hotel. There is a secret room 111 hidden by the painting "The first burning" in the hotel. The room leads into the burnt-over cult's place. By the fact that the whole room was given to the cult we can conclude that the hotel belonged to the Order as well.
- Church - the last refuge of people in the alternate world. Their faith as well as convictions of Alessa din't let the Darkness to get inside.
- Brookhaven Hospital - the hospital where burnt Alessa Gillespie was brought to. Despite her burns, incompatible with life, the girl managed to stay alive for a long time. She lived for revenge.

Dialogues

As it was already mentioned, a lot of things in the movie including dialogues may seem incomprehensible, or even foolish at first sight. But if you'll try to understand, everything is not like this. Of course, the impression seriously worsens by the dubbing. Any redubbing, any interference in the original develop is loss not only of style, emotion, but very often the original meaning of words. That's why it's always recommended to watch movies in their original dubbing subtitled.

Ending

Have the heroes leave the town? When Sharon was faced with Dark Alessa they reunited in the original purpose and joined their memories. Alessa has never left her hometown - that's why the roads from Silent Hill were cut off. However, now the subconsciousness of Alesse became wider because of the memories of her light side, and the road to the town materialized once again.

Even after homecoming Sharon and Rose didn't find anyone. Only mist is all around. They remained in Silent Hill forever.

Verdict

The best screening of the computer game to date. As the game Silent Hill movie provokes mixed and sometimes contradictory feelings. What is, in my opinion, the main advantage of the movie.

Did you know that...

- According to the movie Silent Hill is located in Toluca district, West Virginia (next to Washington on the map). In fact, there is no such district in reality as well as there is no town called Silent Hill.
- In the beginning of the move we can see the inscription: "Do you not know that we will judge angels? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" The symbolism of the phrase is the folloing: "will judge angels" - here Sharon's meant as the light side of Alessa (angel); "saint will judge the world" - martyr Alessa will deal with sinners.
- There are four dimensions in the movie - two temporal (Silent Hill today, flashback Silent Hill (30 years ago)) and two spatial (misty and alternate town).
- Rose's car is Jeep Liberty.
- Cybil's badge says "BRAHMS" although the road sign were clearly visible as "BRAHAMS".
Rose's dress changes its color from brown to pale gray and then to bloody red. It's not a goof - it was intended this way.
- Cybil's pistol is SIG-Sauger P226.
- Pyramid Head has not a skirt but an apron of human skin. This becomes evident from set photos and documentary feature.
- Pyramid Head and Janitor both were played by one person. Roberto Campanella also was the choreographer for all creatures in the movie.
- Inscription in Latin above the painting in the church says: "DOMINE DEUS OMNIPOTENS IN CUIUS MANU OMNIS VICTORIA CONSISTIT".
- Janitor is the only original creature not taken from the games.
- All creatures except cockroaches were played by actors so that spectators could feel not only their realistic appearance but also their suffering.
- There is almost no hidden ads in the movie - most of the props are self-made. Even trash cans haven't the logos of the garbage disposal companies, but the writing "HELP KEEP YOUR CITY CLEAN - Silent Hill Beautification Association".
- The world premiere was occurred on 21 April 2006. Quite a symbolic date for Silent Hill fans: 21 - number of Walter Sullivan's victims (Silent Hill 4: The Room), 4 - number of death in Japan. The game has many allusions to this (or example, the fourth floor in Alchemilla Hospital in original Silent Hill).

by st-MK
Translation: knwlss, st-MK