So far, on this list of video game flicks, the one that stands out as best overall (at least for yours truly) has been 'Silent Hill'. There's a certain dark, horrific beauty to it that I couldn't help but admire. And while it may or may not be reminiscent of the game for fans, it totally works on its own as a simple, mind-bending horror movie. In other words, you really didn't need the game to enjoy it - all the stuff that needed to be there was there; not the least of which was a brilliantly eerie soundtrack (perfect for Halloween).
But now we take a look at the film's sequel; a somewhat convoluted mess that I almost feel like I should watch again before reviewing it, because it was kind of confusing, but I don't want to, so here we are with a somewhat half-assed attempt. So, some years after the events of the first film, Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) and his adopted daughter, Sharon (Adelaide Clemens) find themselves on the run, assuming different identities; prominently, in this film, Harry and Heather Mason (I will keep calling them Chris and Sharon for purposes of recognition). Now for those catching up, we know Chris and Sharon from the first film, and as far as we know before going into this, they remain somewhere in Silent Hill - so IS this the real Sharon?
While Sharon is convinced that their running has to do with Chris being in trouble with the cops, Chris knows better that it's actually a cult from Silent Hill known simply as "The Order". Now, the standard 'Silent Hill' story tends to involve someone venturing, or being taken into the dark world of Silent Hill, and another venturing in after them. In this case, the Order kidnaps Chris, and Sharon heads in to find him with the help of one, Vincent Cooper (Kit Harington). Maybe it's just my ADD at work, but pretty much around the time the Silent Hill stuff starts to go down, that's where things started to confuse me. This was a film that I found to be a jigsaw puzzle pieced together wrong. It consisted of all the right pieces, but it get to be too much for a plot that should be about as basic as the first.
If you're in the mood for a lot of disturbing imagery that borders on torture porn, however, this could be pretty ripe for the picking for you. That's one thing I'd say the movie did really well - the atmosphere of the first film is still ever present, and that includes the soundtrack that I so praise. So as far as the mood goes, in my humble opinion, the film nails it. There's also some pretty great usage of practical effects to add some of that real "meat" to things. All in all, the film is successfully creepy, and uses various stars to its advantage like Carrie-Anne Moss and Malcolm McDowell. Who do they play? No spoilers, but if you need to know, here's this. The film unfolds with some mystery and intrigue, but I personally had a tough time with it.
While certain aspects of the film are done really quite well, other things are either confusing or even sort of redundant. I mean, we have a character going into Silent Hill looking for another character while the story tells some kind of horrific history in the town, for some reason always involving a little girl. And I think that's where the film really drops the ball; it's sort of more of the same, and the cool, gruesome, horrific imagery just isn't enough to save it. In my mind, I'd say stick to the first one, as it just plain works as its own horror movie complete with a twist ending. This, while I wouldn't consider it trash, is a bit more or a spectacle than a good story. Who knows, it could make for a guilty pleasure for the Halloween season.