Richie and I were supposed to be saving watching this for a girl's night in but now we live within 600 miles of each other we don't see each other half as much as we used to. So I caved and watched it and unfortunately I roped my better half into watching it. She'd sat through the first Silent Hill film and it had such an impact on her that halfway through the film she confessed that she thought Silent Hill was Hellraiser. In a way I was wishing it was too.
This film is bad in a generic and inoffensive way delivering a double dose of cringe. One cringe for it just been a not very good film. Another cringe for it being yet another not very good movie adaptation of a video game. I've not checked the rankings recently but surely in the order of genres of film, video games adaptation must be down near the bottom of the list just below 'American TV dramas about big city people falling in love with a rural 'merican town they were sent to close down'. Because of our community's unwarranted reverence for film I'm probably not alone in hoping that one day a video game adaptation will go some way to helping the non gamer understand why we spend so much time looking at women's tits and shooting soldiers in the face instead of making it look even more like the hobby of a unsophisticated subperson.
This film is definitely not helping with this message.
You could almost guess why the film sucks so bad. Are all video game adaptations doomed to failure? If you don't reference the games enough the gamers will get pissed off. If you stick to the plot of the game too much the film is crap because you have bundle in 20, 50 or 100 hours of characters, plots, settings, big show downs and inevitable twists into 90 minutes. It's been a long time since I played Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 and in my mind they've merged into the same game so I couldn't honestly tell you how well this film mirrors the games but I don't think they did a bad job. I imagine the production crew sat down, wrote a big list of what elements make Silent Hill 2 and did a good job of covering the essentials. Unfortunately, squeezing it all into a film just result in a jumbled flavourless, colourless and nonsensical mess.
The pacing of the film is all wrong and it feels like nothing really happens in the first half at all. Spooky girls with lank dark hair and momentary flashbacks to scary worlds are so over done they're practically quotidian. I get more scared in a film when a little girl with black hair doesn't snake all over the floor and pop out of the mirror that's how worn out this imagery is.
The bit where we finally gave up holding out for any kind of saving grace is when Pyramid head reprises his role from Capcom vs Konami and fights a she-demon in an arena in one goofy action sequence. Oh wait, Pyramid head isn't a character from a Beat 'em Up at all. That's not what has made the character such a popular one amongst gamers. It's almost the complete opposite of why he(?)'s such an icon. At least if he'd unexpectedly done the 110m hurdles you could have excused it for referencing New International Track and Field.
We're tempted to ask why publishers aren't a little bit more picky with how their IP is translated into film but then again:
This is probably exactly why video games get adapted into shitty movies. This shelf of eternal hope and broken dreams I'm sad to say belongs to me. This is just half of it actually, it's double stacked. Morons like you and me keep buying the bloody things and regardless of how awful they are the movie company has already got my cash at that point. It's now not even worth my time trying to sell these on. Instead I look at them and seriously question if I didn't waste just a tiny bit of my life so far.
So that's it until the Ratchet and Clank movie came out or is it Jak and Daxter? Weren't they originally popular games ten years ago now suffering from Asscreed syndrome, whereby there's so many of them we've completely lost track. You could tell us that Ratchet and Clank 12 was coming out this year and we wouldn't know whether that was true or wildly off (Jesus Christ, the next one would actually be 12).
Here's hoping that series survives the translation, we've still got a bitter taste in our mouths from Wreck It Ralph, luring us in with promises of being the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' of video games only to turn out that the 4 cameos from established characters are exactly the bits from the trailer.