Review: 'Silent Hill: Revelation' Does Nothing to Elevate the Franchise

October 26, 2012

Silent Hill: Reveleation

It takes a movie like Silent Hill: Revelation to appreciate movies like its predecessor. Silent Hill was bathed in atmosphere and even if its screenplay hit shaky ground now and again, there was always Christophe Gans' video-game-based tone and creative creature designs to fall back on. The sequel has none of that, offering a lazy narrative worthy of a straight-to-DVD title and exposition with every turn of the script's page. Not even the monsters, blase at best this time around, deliver cheap thrills, and the only atmosphere new writer/director Michael J. Bassett ends up creating is one of lameness and boredom.

That lazy narrative finds us a number of years after the events of Silent Hill. Between films, Sharon's mother has found a way to get her out of the strange town where demons mutilate human beings and a strange cult is trapped by an evil presence. Good thing she got out of there, but now Sharon and her father find themselves on the run. She's changed her name to Heather, and her father, played once again by Sean Bean, has moved her from location to location, always struggling to keep his daughter away from the Silent Hill cult. They want Heather or Sharon or whatever her name is to complete a ritual that will set them free, and now they've taken Heather's father to ensure the girl's return.

This premise reads flimsy, because it is flimsy. Bassett's screenplay takes its sweet time picking up any momentum and more often than not relies on quick flashes of creepy imagery or gigantic chunks of exposition. Everyone Heather comes in contact with has a vital piece of information for her regarding the town or its residents, and all of that information comes to the detriment of overall pacing. The first Silent Hill was over two hours long, but even that was simpler and smoother than this 95-minute movie. Bassett doesn't seem to understand how to explain things while also moving the story along or during a sequence of high intensity, so the film grinds to a shrieking halt every time it decides it wants to explain something.

Silent Hill: Revelation - Pyramid Head

The "horrific" imagery can't save Silent Hill: Revelation, either. Bassett and his team of creature designers like the globby forms who move all herky jerky and usually look like they have vaginas for faces. That's a visual seen time after time after time in this film, pretty much every time Heather has one of her visions of the town or even walks down a dark hallway. None of it comes off as terrifying or even remotely frightening, and the one, interesting creature in the film, a spider made up of mannequin parts, is undercut by painfully obvious CGI. Not even Pyramid Head, essentially the face of horror in these movies a la Pinhead or Leatherface, brings any kind of genuine suspense to the film, since he's mostly left to spin a wheel that turns a Merry-Go-Round. Bassett doesn't even seem to know how to use what's already been created for him.

As the story progresses, it becomes more and more weighed down by ridiculous twists and perplexing "revelations." At a certain point in the film all hell seems to break loose, and things just start happening for no discernible reason. Bassett, always ready with the exposition, handles the confusion by having his character spout out exactly what's going on and why. Thank you for telling me the story of Silent Hill, Silent Hill: Revelation, because I certainly didn't sit down to watch the movie or anything.

Silent Hill: Revelation - Malcolm McDowell / Adelaide Clemens

The acting is pretty much on par with your typical DVD rental, as well, with Adelaide Clemens taking the lead reigns as Heather/Sharon/demon girl. Neither she nor any of her notably known cast members (including Kit Harrington from "Game of Thrones") provide anything of interest. The most remarkable aspect about Silent Hill: Revelation's cast is that it includes Deborah Kara Unger, Malcolm McDowell (above), and Carrie-Anne Moss all apparently giving up an afternoon to film their respective parts. None of them are in the movie for more than 60 seconds each, and McDowell's role is so glaringly pointless that the man's name is surely the only reason it wasn't dropped on the editing room floor. That's not even the grossest example of meaningless plot points.

The Silent Hill video games always seemed vague enough that plopping characters into the atmospheric setting could always be the starting point of an interesting mystery narrative, but that would require filmmakers who want to devise something inventive or, God forbid, entertaining. Silent Hill: Revelation is neither, the one task it seems to accomplish being that it shows how creepy, intense, and effective the first Silent Hill movie was. That's about the opposite of what one is supposed to do with a sequel to a property such as this. Unfortunately, Michael J. Bassett wasn't up to the task of giving us an interesting or scary Silent Hill movie. At this point, we're not even sure a third chance at it is worth taking.

Jeremy's Rating: 2 out of 10

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  • CFCP
    I agree on some things you said. Claudias makeup and costume were terrible. However ur still kind of an idiot. But i respect ur opinion and u should mine.
    • I do respect your opinion, but name calling? Really? You're better than that.
  • Jake
    POSSIBLE SPOILERS: This might be stretching it, but since Silent Hill monsters are known to be symbolic of the main character's fate/inner demons, the "vagina" faces could symbolize her fate of having to be impregnated with the Order's new god. Or maybe Konami has always just always had a perverted subconscious.
    • Jericho
      the latter is spot on....
  • David Banner
    Well, it was reviewed by Jeremy kirk, so it's much better than what he claims, as always 😉
    • Alan Horan
      dude critics keep their jobs by bashing everything even if its partially good
  • this guy is an idiot, sorry but common yea the movie might of sucked, but seriously as a fan of the game shut the fuck up if you don't even know what the characters or plot are, "vagina faces" no shit, like a previous comment the characters or demons are representations of the main characters inner struggle, if you knew the game she is pregnant with the orders god, and has no choice but to give herself an abortion to rid the world of evil
  • Dave
    Really? Your gonna give this guy shit for giving Silent Hill a bad review. You didn't actually think that this complete waste of time and money would be worth it .... oh you did that sucks.
    • Alan Horan
      Money? ha! your living in the dark ages
  • elevate it from what, exactly? the utter crap it already was?
  • Lauren
    This guy has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. Guess that's just what the movie recieves when its reviewed by someone who hasn't played the games or understanded the deeper meanings of the monsters, or characters for that fact. 'Vagina faces' Sheesh. And btw, the director from the movie didn't even originally come up with the monsters himself, he took inspirations from the actual monsters in the game who were designed by Konami. And bashing the movement of the monsters because they dont 'flow'..really? All/Most of the monsters in SH (games) move with that jerky twitchy motion. If this guy was even capable of reviewing a film, he would've known the movement was inspired by the movie 'Jacob's Ladder' and how the horror subjects in that movie moved unnaturally and not human like with fast and twitchy motions. HENCE the monsters movements in the game, which are then applied to the movies.
    • "Understanded?"
    • Alan Horan
      Exactly this guy dont know shit
  • Well, I simply felt the movie had a different angle than the first. The objective was not the same, and this is what I saw there. If I had to say, the first movie was a sudden unexplained exploration in Silent Hill, which was perfect, and in the second they switched the focus to Storytelling, wrapping up the story they started in the first one. Personally, I enjoyed it for that. It is weaker than the first yes, but really not as bad as almost all critics have claimed. Hell, I can't believe those critics actually still give positive reviews of the latest Resident Evil while bashing on Revelation. Thank you for your review mister, even if I believe there is way too much hate against the movie :)
  • Jimmy Love
    I liked it! I got to sit in a d box seat for the 3d film and that was a trip. The creeps were less in this film due to story. but overall but overall I liked it for what it was more Silent Hill, since I actually liked that one too.
  • luigi
    In my opinion: most of these reviewers are just paraphrasing what other reviewers said. I personally enjoyed the movie and the director made a good justice with the sequel. He remained true to the game ploy except for the death of Harry. In short, he was not a sell out like the director of Resident Evil movie franchise. *SH and RE fan.
    • Alan Horan
      Dude its honestly if a sequel comes out and a reviewer hates it everyone will FOLLOW in line and agree cause they dont actually have their own opinion. Literally 90 percent of the ppl here say EXACTLY what the reviewer said
  • J
    I completely agree with this review. The characters were lame, the story was lame, the acting was even lamer. I really enjoyed the first movie and the video games, but this felt somewhat like a parody.
  • Tori
    Completely agree with everything said. I felt like the movie took way to long to get heather into silent hill. As someone who hasn't played the game the movie got a little confusing with all the new places of silent hill that weren't in the first movie. When heather was in silent hill i felt like the story started moving too fast. I felt like there needed to be more story and emotion when heather was confronting her other half. I can't say that i hated the movie, but it was no where near as good as the original It didn't have the same emotion and atmosphere as the original.
  • Helen
    I think you are wrong. The movie was great. The costumes were well designed and it was really creepy. If you ever actually watched the first film you would understand the monsters and the complicated plot line because yes, a lot of it was taken from the plot of the original movie and turned into a new, more fast paced experience. Just because it is action-packed and fast-paced doesn't mean it has issues. It means you do.
    • Alan Horan
      And this movie helped tie up loose ends from the first movie and explained a lot of shit that had me frustrated in the first one, like my question what HAPPENED TO ALESSA? So i think this movie is definatley worth watching
  • Edsmack
    Reviewer is right...this movie sucked ass...the first one was awesome had an interesting plot story line that didn't require me to have played the game...after swig the first installment in theaters twice (which I never do), buyin the DVD an checking the Wikipedia page for updates on the sequel...the joint was a MEGA dissapoitnmemt ... Like no total letdown
    • Alan Horan
      UMM your stupid the second movie didnt reqquire me to play the game and i still understood plot, but then again it takes a brain to figure stuf out.
  • ranjit menon
    Fuck u jeremy i liked this movie a lot so jst zip it
    • Alan Horan
      Exactly i liked the movie to just cause it wasnt the SCARIEST movie ever does not mean it sucked.
  • Mike Taylor
    No offense, and I could really take the time to gather my thoughts and explain to you why this movie was really a work of art, rather than garbage. Point one being, no, this is, by no means the greatest film of all time, nor is it close to being the scarriest movie since....wait for it... The Exorcist (Not really) - But its your overall disagreement of every single part that the movie had to offer. The simple fact of the matter is this - The movie wasn't, nor the first one, made to satisfy the appeal of your standard "Movie Buff". Both films were created and placed on the silver screen for fans. And to be quite honest, when it comes from Game to Silver Screen - This movie did its job very well. As opposed to certain titles, I.E. - Street Fighter, which you would have been better off reviewing. As your job reviewing new and upcoming films, as it seems, you should really take the time to re watch it - Hell, even play a Silent Hill game or two, and then come back and review this movie. Frankly, if there's anything that needs an adjustment of any sort, its your overall attitude. You wonder why you're receiving so much flak? Read the written article above.
  • enliven014
    Pathetic acting from Adelaide Clemens. pathetic attire and lousy acting for a horror film.
  • John Sullivan
    The movie was terrible. Everything Jeremy said, from the pacing, to the acting, to the film coming to a screeching halt to explain things, (such as the mirror scene with Rose at the beginning...ugh...), is absolutely spot on and everything I found wrong with it. Even the mannequin spider, which as he said is actually interesting and somewhat in true Silent Hill creative monster fashion, but is completely undone by how ridiculously CGI it looks. The things that should have been explained through the proper unfolding of a plot, weren't. No wonder they called it's chalk full of them, like suddenly this random stranger new kid in class that doesn't even know Heather but falls head-over heels in love with her, is one of the order, with little to know foreshadowing for the audience to put any pieces together. Honestly that entire scene made me bust out laughing. And yes, I am a huge fan of the games...they didn't even have as many vagina-faced monsters. If any of you gamers think so, you really need to go back and play all the games again, or just find a Silent Hill wiki. Plenty of different monsters, just not many with vagina-faces. The first movie was a bit weak, but indeed far stronger than this one. Jeremy I dunno why you're catching flack from people about your ability to write reviews in general, but with regards to this film, you know your shit man.
    • Alan Horan
      Ur right he definatley knows shit, he knows how to write huge piles of steaming shit.
  • Chris
    Watched this yesterday, and went into meh mode as soon as heather had some pretty boy lover. The rest of the movie was just a downhill ride
  • nikkibree
    It fucking sucked. I'm a huge fan of the games and the first movie was wonderful. But this? This movie? This one can eat shit.
  • good, review, as a huuuuge fan of the first film, i agree with everything you say about the sequel. This has done what to silent hill one, what the matrix sequels did to the matrix, but worse. Th epeople involved in this film were just lazy lazy lazy, and it shows. Not just because of the obvious Cgi (its like theyve never heard of suspension of disbelief), but because of the simple fact that they just seemed to downright copy the third game. the only original writing done was trying to join the two films together as the 3rd game has nothing to do with the plot of the first film. The thing i loved about the movie was that it was that it stood on its own two feet, and that even people that werent fans of the game could enjoy it, without having to know anything about the games. the sequel on the other hand, well, unless youve played the third game, you wont have a clue whats going on. To be honest i couldve wrote a better concept for a sequel in my sleep, and it would go something like this. Sean bean (the father) goes to silent hill by himself to find his wife and daughter, the rest prsctically writes itself. they couldve even done a brand new plot, with someone unrelated to the first movie, getting trapped in silent hill, and trying to escape, with maybe a cameo by the mother from the first film popping up to help them escape from, lets say, the girl alessa whos trying to keep them there. maybe ending with them not escaping because silent hill is hell for something bad theyd done but couldnt remember doing. and then when reminded of what theyd done, deciding to stay as a self punishment. but no, they thought it would be easier to just copy everything from the third game and bridge the two films with explanations that dont even make sense. Like the white haired 'trinity' being the sister of the cult leader from the first film. That didnt make sense, because the cult leader from the first films sister was Alessas mother. Now were suddenly supposed to accept the fact that there are three sisters, i mean what were they thinking? ''ohh, if we have Carrie Ann Moss play her, people will just think its cool that shes in it and not even notice our lame storytelling.'' idiots. the sequel was a bust. and if they ever do another one, they should do a 'Universal Soldier' where they just totally ignore revalations and pretend it doesn't exist, and make a true sequel with sean bean going to find his wife and daughter in silent hill. its so simple, but even the monkeys that made this film couldnt even think of it. theyd probably never even played the games before. I know i've rambled a bit, but there is some sense in there somewhere. thanks for a truthful review about a film which sucked. if i ever recomend watching a silent hill movie to anyone, it will be to ignore the sequel and just watch the first one, at least until they make a proper sequel like i described.
    • Jackalo
      Bs this critic needs to find a new day job. This movie was very impressive and realistic compared to the crap this critic has promoted.
      • Alan Horan
        EXACTLY, i hate how so many ppl are mad at this movie just cause they are to stupid to see that it actually follows the silent hill genre it just follows more closer to the third game installment and i think they pulled it together nicely.
  • Ivan David Dutan
    To the people who think this movie makes sense to the previous film you're a dumbass. The first movie was based on the game the only different thing was the main character and a few minor details. The second movie came out of the fucking blue out of nowhere honestly I am heavily disappointed in this film. To think I was gonna be happy to own a movie with James Sunderland looking for his wife Mary. I loved silent hill 2 but not the movie I mean the video game it's story line makes a lot more sense than this piece of shit you call a movie.
    • Christopher Voigt
      Ohm, this Movie is based on Silent Hill 3 and takes a lot of its plot with some changes to adept the already changed story from SH1 Movie. The story is realitvly close to the SH3 Game and far away from out of the blue.
      • Alan Horan
        Thank god someone smart is talking for a change, the movie was pretty good, im not guna say it was the best ever. But it wasnt a random creation pulled out of nowhere
  • Ed
    Why did they make heather seem like a pussy....




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