Sunday, October 28, 2012
In Theaters: SILENT HILL: REVELATION (2012)
(Canada/France - 2012)
Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett. Cast: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Deborah Kara Unger, Martin Donovan, Radha Mitchell, Peter Outerbridge, Roberto Campanella. (R, 94 mins)
Directed by Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) and written by Roger Avary (PULP FICTION, THE RULES OF ATTRACTION), the 2006 film version of the video game favorite SILENT HILL wasn't exactly a model of narrative cohesion, but it was a triumph of atmosphere and mood and has found a devoted cult following in the years since its release. It's doubtful that anyone will ever be looking back fondly on the belated sequel SILENT HILL: REVELATION. Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett (WILDERNESS, SOLOMON KANE), SILENT HILL: REVELATION is based on the SILENT HILL 3 video game, but also has to function as a sequel to the Gans film, so some characters from the game end up having their roles filled by characters from the first film, which is a reasonable liberty. I was a little rusty on the first film and revisited it the day before seeing the sequel, and even that doesn't make REVELATION's plot any more coherent. Bassett's script has the characters spouting pages and pages of exposition to get the viewer up to speed on who's who and why they're important, but you almost have to be equally familiar with the plots of the video games to figure out what's going on. The end result is a chaotic, unfocused, and boring film that relies heavily on tired genre cliches and jettisons the atmosphere and mood for dreary, ugly visuals, graphic gore, noise, and mostly uninspired 3-D.
Being a fan of the 2006 film as well as a fan of Bassett's earlier work (WILDERNESS is a gem waiting to be discovered), I had high hopes for SILENT HILL: REVELATION, but between its terrible pacing, incoherent script, abandoned plot threads, and the obvious disinterest of its slumming cast, among other major issues, it's really hard to find anything worthwhile about this depressingly dismal sequel.