20 June 2006

Movie Review: Silent Hill

My opinions of horror movies are typically not high, mainly because they usually have terrible storylines and suffers from unexplained plot mysteries. Well, Silent Hill is not really an exception to this generalisation, but at least I find the movie treading on the border of acceptability.

Firstly, the storyline is pretty okay to me. It's not really something fresh and different; it's quite much a typical horror movie storyline. You know, those kind whereby you get a girl first screaming like a banshee, then she gathers her wits and lungs and goes on to unravel the mystery, getting out in the end, with some minor twists scattered here and there. As always with movies of this genre, there are a few unexplained parts which I could not figure out. Also, the action and storyline is very compartmentalised; action, then explain, then action again. But at least, the storyline, the most vital part, did not wreck the movie.

The effects were pretty well done. By this I mean the transitions between the various worlds (the peeling of the wallpaper, the disappearing of the floorboards etc.), because according to Wikipedia, the movie was shot with minimal CGI. For example, most of the monsters were real actors mummified in latex. However, some monsters move with maximum stupidity. I shall not spoil the movie for you, but I had a bit of trouble holding back my laughter.

As for the sound and music, I found it pretty irritating. Firstly, I'm prepared for lots of high-pitched screaming. That's guaranteed in all horror movies. But the music and sound effects of other things are also very high-pitched, putting a nasty strain on my eardrums. Man, I thought my earwax would peel off just like the wallpaper in the movie! The audio is one of the major urggghhhh of the movie.

One last thing about the movie is that it is very graphic. Especially towards the end, people will die in extremely violent deaths. It's like a real-human rendition of Happy Tree Friends. Was that necessary? Well, maybe not, but then, I can't say that the violence is excessive (for this movie) either. So I suppose that's a choice of the director. But personally, I'd prefer a milder picture.

Well, overall, if you really need to watch a movie and has watched other potentially better ones, then Silent Hill is an option. Or if you played the game and want to know how the movie fares. Else, I won't really recommend this movie.

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