Silent Hill

un film de Christophe Gans

Silent Hill is just about everything one might expect from a movie based upon a video game - a style over substance exuberance fit perfectly for the rather philistine mindset of those who typically play video games - and I am sure the genre itself would not allow anything else. Silent Hill also fits in perfectly typical Christophe Gans style - as in his previous film, Le Pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf) - all guts and no glory - a visually stylized slap in the face with no real meaning or essentiality behind said slap.

The look of the film - as alluded to above - is something along the lines of an art director's wet dream come to fruition and although pretty much all the supposed creepiness inside the film - no matter how deliciously grotesque - is nothing we haven't seen in a score of previous films, Silent Hill still comes off as not all that rotten of a film - now there is high praise indeed (he chided with a sideways grin). Luscious yet lame, and if you want lame, let me tell you about the plot (or lack thereof considering its video game geek boy origins).

The movie is the tale of Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her little girl Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) who has the rather disconcerting habit of sleepwalking to the edge of a grandiose precipice (why there is no fence around this oddly situated canyon, I'm not really sure) and whispering out silent hill, silent hill, silent hill. Now of course the most logical thing to do in this situation is to take the little girl to the creepy ghost town called Silent Hill, which has been abandoned and burning for over thirty years. I am sure this is exactly what any worried parent would do in this situation. Of course once mother and daughter get to Silent Hill, the requisite creepy-assed little girl in a pretty outfit walks out onto the road and the mayhem begins. Followed by a female police officer (Laurie Holden) - incidentally dressed like that "naughty cop" one might find in the latest edition of dominatrix magazine - and her husband (Sean Bean), Rose loses Sharon amongst the ashy remains of Silent Hill and must go through video-gamed levels populated with giant machete wielding demons, fiery-armed children, surrealistically monstrous nurses and, of course, that creepy-assed little girl.

Now I am not going to pretend I know exactly what transpired here - although I am fairly sure I figured it all out - and I am not going to pretend I hated this film (nor will I pretend I liked it either), but I was at least mildly amused by the whole stupidity of it - and I did quite enjoy the ending (which, in a way, is far from what one would expect from the conformity of Hollywood). Never understanding people's fascination with video games - I realize I don't enjoy mindless entertainment, but I can never fathom why others do - I suppose I'll never truly be enthralled by things such as Silent Hill, and that is just alright with me. [04/21/06]