I had the joy to watch the movie twice. Once in Canada with my nephew on opening night, and once on Saturday with Jer, Josh and Seffinga.
On Friday, the audiance was very thin, consisting of about 10 people, counting my nephew and I. I had the feeling that most of said audiance was just there to "See a scary movie", and were not fans of the franchise. Given this, given the fact that I've gone through most of the games (SH4: The Room is bad. Unfinishable bad.) and given the fact that I own Valtiel(DOT)Com, I felt that I was the only true fan of Silent Hill, and had every right to be there. Everyone else were just my guests. Yes, I'm that much of an entitlement, elitist bitch.
Oh yeah, review....
The opening scene was a little curious and left field, though I suppose it was possible. Jodelle Ferland did a nice job as "Sharon"/Alessa/Dark Alessa, she was childlike and not irritating, like most child actors tend to be. She's especially good at screaming, and sweying in a hypnotic state. No, I'm not being facitious.
The acting in the beginning was a bit...over the top. Having seen "Phonebooth" and disliked Radah Mitchel in it, I was leery of her as Rose, but by the end, she certainly pulled it off.
Sean Bean was pointless and useless, an excuse to explain bits of the plot with kid gloves, in the form of break-ins, and web-surfing. D'aaawww...! How cute! Boromire can use the internet! Fun fact: Bean's character was never ment to actually look for his wife and child. They added him in because of star quality. This is why his character was useless. On the other hand, the scenes where Rose and Christopher are in the same place, in the same time, in different worlds were quite interesting.
Officer Gucci was irritating, though he was once a good person, and through events, it's pretty clear how and why he became such an ass.
Cybil...I never really cared for Cybil in game..and honestly, I was happy when she was beaten, then finally fricasee'd.
And then the radio went SQUEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAKSHHHHFFFFFKSSSSHAAA!!!, and the sound effects were so shrill, that is somehow ripped from the screen, bridged the gab of nothingness between the movie and the audiance, grabbed it by the throat and phyically pulled us into Silent Hill...
Unfortunately, I found some of the other songs/background music distracting or innapropriate. On that note: Mr. Yamaoka, thank you for playing the first few notes of the Silent Hill theme. It was a lovely little tease! And THANK YOU for playing "Letter from the Lost Days" durring the car ride scene. It mirrored the Douglas/Heather scene nicely, and the actual shots were direct lifts from SH1. Nicely! The atmosphere, sets and cinamatography were all perfect! Some camera shots and scenes were directly lifted from the games. I approved highly.
I wasn't the only one who was pointing out street names, was I?
Speaking of locations...The demon was in the bowels of a building...and it didn't tell us where. And then we saw the map.
The Brookhaven Map.
I...I screamed. I'm sorry. It's fucking BROOKHAVEN! THEY WENT TO BROOKHAVEN! I'M VICARIOUSLY IN BROOKHAVEN!!
The monsters rocked! I was really concerned, seeing images and promo pieces... Especially the Mumblers, which I called "Muppet Yipyip aliens drawn by H.R. Giger", but the final product was amazing. I loved the sound they made, as if they were crying out for a mother. I wish, however, that they never leaked images of Pyramid Head. The way he made his debut into the movie was so simple. He just walked onscreen. However, he had his trademark sound trailing him. Had the images of PH not been printed, fans would have thought they heared the Great Knife, but maybe not? Coul it be? Could it fucking be?!!?
But no, we, the fans, were denied this little fannish orgasm. Damn it. Ultimately though, this was alright, because the nurses burned themselves into my minds eye, and I loved every second of there screentime. They moved in such a twisted, erotic and seductive way. Heh, Maria and Cynthia could learn a thing or two from them.
Durring the elevator going down scene, I expected to see Valtiel. I was denied such pleasure.
The Janator...I'm sorry, but I am so tempted to post him in the Silent Hill Mary Sue community. He's a creation of Gans' himself, he fucked with, quite literally, a main character in a way not established by canon, and he had this lust thing going, which he basically narked from Pyramid Head, thus making PH just look like another run of the mill monster.
Anna...was trying to be Angela, and failing. Oh, my beloved Angela... Anna's death was glorious though!
Now I'm going to comment on some other fan's irritations:
"Look...I'm burning." I liked this scene. To me, it was perfectly done. It came across to me as "Dark, godlike thing in form of little tormented girl who looks just like this possibly psychotic woman's missing, sick, and amnisiac daughter. And I'm on FIRE! Heh...just fucking with you".
Lisa: I...Have no comment. It was an interesting take on Lisa and her fate. She looked perfect. The end.
The Cult: Yes, it was all wrong. I kept hopeing Dahlia would be behind it all, somehow...Sadly, my hope was in vain. The cult, upon my second viewing and discussion with friends, kind of grew on me. Still, I preffer the fucked up God ressurection thing. And I kept wishing Christabella was Claudia.
Alessa's Revenge: Hey, it was gory and fun! It wasn't the best thing, and it sort of reeked of the final SH2 boss...but it was still gory and fun. I especially liked the part with Dahlia walking through the bits of people, and Dark Alessa dancing in Christabella's raining blood.
The Ending: Soo...what...? They're dead? They're undead? They're in purgatory or ...? Personally, I think Dark Alessa merged with Sharon and took 'Silent Hill', with them to ...where were they from? Ohio? Sure. Dark Alessa took Silent Hill to Ohio. And there she could have her mother all to herself.
The general concensus is..As a movie, Silent Hill was pretty fucking good. As a videogame to movie adaptation, it was...well..it was the gold mine. This thing is the litmus test all other videogame to movie adaptations should be mesured against.
Thank you, Gans.