Silent Hill: Revelation (NOT) 3D
Review By: Joe

In the wake of Hurricane Doomlady, I have gone to see the supposed film Silent Hill: Revelation, which I think the official full title of is Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and everyone knows it bodes well for a film narratively when a qualifier like "3D" is tacked onto the end, like those fun films back in the day that were called things like Scary Death House w/ Rubber Rats that Fall on You from The Ceiling or, more recently, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Anyway, I fucked up and did not even see the movie in 3D because it was too hard to do. As it was, I had to drive across a sea of waterlogged homeless and my tires got gunked up good. I would've had to drive through Dead Pet Valley also to go to a 3D version and that would've been further bad for my sweet ride so, without the 3D, I probably missed all the movie's subtext.

The first Silent Hill film is not very good and, upon subsequent viewings, seems to only get worse, but it is interesting in its badness because it is quite probably the most faithful video game movie adaptation out there and, as a result, it has a very odd, slow burning structure (though this gets completely destroyed about halfway through) and there are brief moments it comes close to some of the beauty/horror that the games achieve (though this gets thoroughly decimated whenever someone opens their mouths and says a line from the script). It's not a good film, but I recommend it because it is an interesting experiment.

I recommend Silent Hill: Elevation U2 because it is not a film. It is a series of things that happen in consecutive order that are only marginally tangentially related. It's a bunch of suckers trundling about a series of locations, witnessing a series of sights that are meant to be scary but never are, reciting lines that technically achieve the admittedly intimidating feat of having to connect each "scene" to the next, as with, for example, a new, lost high school student asking another, "Do you know where Math is?"

To echo my friend, Nicholas Katzban, who unwisely accompanied me to the thing: it's not a movie. Rather, it's something that looks like it got put together by someone who had explained to them what a movie was. Scenes introduce new information or even new characters that are dispensed with mere minutes later, and are then never mentioned or thought about again. On the other hand, stuff we saw early in the film and thought little of comes back later and we are evidently meant to accept it as important now simply by virtue of it being back again (as was the case with Backstreet).

Any time the protagonist (who very early in the film is already named Heather, Sharon, and Alessa and therefore might as well be Nobody) teams up with another human being, the film becomes Q&A Time with Nobody as she or they ask loads of questions about the film's plot and then the opposing character dutifully answers them, though nothing of lasting pertinence is ever revealed.

At a few random points, someone remembered that films are meant to reflect human experience so people spout things about never giving up and the importance of... stuff... and we are ultimately left with life lessons that achieve the same level of effectiveness as homeopathy. The most consistent thing throughout is that the acting is uniformly bad, even from veterans like Malcolm McDowell who is all chained up in the movie and might have actually, in his senility, wandered onto the set, was recognized as essentially famous, and so was restrained and forced to recite madness.

Scares are almost all of the jump variety, again, almost completely betraying the nature of the horror of the original game series, not to mention failing to make anybody jump (thus achieving the antithesis of Kris Kross). At best, the horrific visuals are tasteless and gross, also, amazingly, in ways the good games of the series never were. At worst, you're watching a giant 3D mannequin monster ball crawling around and shrieking adorably in your face. Aww.


Yeeeek

Like the worst video game movies (and this honestly may now literally be the worst video game movie), SHRFU3D lifts character names and, broadly speaking, plot points from the game series and one is left questioning why they even bothered considering the important aspects -- tone, progression, behavior of the lifted characters -- completely and totally jars with the source material. Like everything else in the "movie," imagery from the games is included in a box-checking kind of way -- here is a scene with mannequins, here is a part with the sexy boob-nurses -- and then never referenced again. The infamous Pyramid Head is brought into the "plot" in a way that completely castrates the original character and renders him thoroughly unmenacing. The very last moments also sloppily plant seeds for sequels that would potentially pilfer plotlines from three different games of the series (only one of which is any good) as though they just wanted to set them all up to cover their bases, because who knows what kind of budget they're gonna get next time?

The movie is genuinely laughable and should be laughed at. It is worth seeing to the extent that I cannot remember another piece of media that I read or watched or heard and felt like, after experiencing all of it, I hadn't experienced a thing. Each stupid bit resolves itself and is so disconnected to every other stupid self-resolving bit that, as Nick described it, it almost achieves neutrality. It is a fucking zero sum experience.

Near the end of thing, we're suddenly asked to watch a ridiculous fight scene between two monstrositshits and it becomes clear the thing doesn't really know if it's a horror movie or an action movie or a kung-fucktastrophe and we care about none of it because we haven't -- not in the dialogue, the imagery, nor the tone -- found anything to care about at any point before it.

Vapid Hill: Not One Revelation FuckD is written and directed by an idiot, full of sound and grossness, signifying nothing.


[Nicholas Katzban's Tumblr is here(!!!): http://importantthingsyouown.tumblr.com]


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