Saturday, April 22, 2006

The dead seek out sin

Silence has been broken.

I saw the 10:30 showing of Silent Hill last night. Me, my jumbo popcorn and sugar water, and a theatre full of the most hellish noises you can imagine. Once I duct-taped the teenagers' mouths shut, though, you could hear the movie just fine.

So, then, what did I think? Obviously I'm biased for my enthusiasm about the game, but I'll be as objective as I can.

...

Okay, fuck objective. This movie was incredible. Aside from being the first truly well-done game-to-movie that wasn't all rendered (FF:TSW reigns supreme in the 3DCG category), this movie gave me all the scares I was hoping for, and actually managed to carry a decent plot. Unfortunately, that plot was watered down a bit from the game, and Gans took some liberties with characters, but it stood on its own just fine.

And I got to see Pyramid Head on the big screen. How freaking cool is THAT?

However, a caution to my readers: it should go without saying for any horror movie, but it really goes double for this one. DO NOT see this movie if you have problems with gore. It has it in spades. Among other things, there are scenes of scalpel mutilation, flaying by Pyramid Head's bare hand, burning alive, and the most graphic barbed-wire scene I have ever seen in my life. I ate it up, but I know a few others who, if disturbed by the final fight in "V for Vendetta," (yes, Lady J, I am looking at you :-P), would quite likely pass out more than once during SH. Probably 5 times during the final church scene alone.

Little things:
-The alleyway scene from the beginning of SH1 was recreated BEAUTIFULLY. Even the camera-tilt at the corner was picture-perfect. And the mumblers were truly chilling.
-Hearing Akira Yamaoka's "music" (a.k.a. noise horror) arranged for the big screen was one giant fan-gasm. Half the fun was trying to pick out all the songs and remember which game they were from, when they played, etc.
-It was nice to see the "tough guy" character actually respond properly in the face of reality-defying terror. Cybil started out a little more...erm, butch...than I remember from the game, but she was freaking out quite acutely within a half hour of being introduced to Silent Hill's otherworld. This was a wonderful change from the John-Woo-style uzi-wielding Alice from Resident Evil, who would just shoot at whatever nasties were on the screen. In slow-motion. With heavy metal playing in the background. Did I mention the RE movies sucked? But none of that crap here-even when Cybil shot at Pyramid Head, he just kept coming. True to PH style, he abruptly turned and walked away when the world began to shift back to reality, but he sure didn't mind those bullets.
-On that note, seeing Pyramid Head on the big screen was worth the price of admission. I now know that in a battle of the gigantic-blade-wielding villains, Sephiroth would be toast in about two seconds, screaming and crying tears of blood as Pyramid Head systematically disassembled his body with his bare hands.

Silent Hill was not a perfect movie, granted, but it was one hell of a ride, and one I would happily see again and again.

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