Mania Review: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D -

Mania Grade: D

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  • Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Martin Donovan, Deborah Kara Unger, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell and Sean Bean
  • Written by: Michael J. Bassett
  • Directed by: Michael J. Bassett
  • Studio: Open Road
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Series:

Mania Review: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

The revelation-est Silent Hill ever!

By Rob Vaux     October 26, 2012

 It’s a common charge against video game adaptations: the audience basically watches someone else play, which they could easily be doing themselves at home without the sting of a $15 ticket. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D officially constitutes Exhibit A for this argument.  Set piece, set piece, exposition, set piece, boss fight, set piece, more exposition, boss fight, boss fight, open the door for another sequel, the end. At least when you’re playing the game you can take out your frustrations on the endless horde of demonic zombies coming at you. Here, you have to watch some dippy teenager do it for you.

The original Silent Hill adaptation remains notable only because it let Sean Bean survive to the closing credits. The overriding question for the sequel: can he repeat the feat? It’s not much to hang a whole movie on, but the odds in Vegas are lively, so place your bets. Otherwise, you’re left with an endless series of Halloween-themed screensavers, collected from horror discard piles the world over and hastily assembled into a plot. Evil clowns, Satanic amusement parks, butchers who use humans instead of pigs… all they need is a mob of creepy children and they’ve got the complete set. (Oh wait, there they are.)  Writer-director Michael J. Bassett assembles them with an eye on repetition: scare us with their very presence and never mind the fact that every scene could pretty much be swapped with every other.

It centers on Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens), the little girl from the first film now all grown up to fetching high school age. She holds the key to some great evil imprisoned in the town of Silent Hill, along with crazy cultists, fetishized bondage demons and her own evil mother/sister/twin. Her father (Bean) keeps moving her around, lest the crazy cultists hunt her down, but when he gets kidnapped, she has to come to Silent Hill to get him. Sure, she knows it’s the one place she should never, ever go under any circumstances, but a horror movie cannot live on “it’s only a dream” fake-outs forever.

The messy slabs of backstory come at us too often for the relatively simple set-up to click. It would help if the details didn’t bore us to tears: complications for the sake of complication, unfettered by anything resembling originality. The same attitude applies to the money shots. Bassett invests all his thought and energy into making his monsters look awesome, then throws them into stupid bash-and-smash scenarios that rob them of their menace.

You can smell the video game DNA in each scene, with a specific pattern the heroine must figure out to stay safe. Beyond that, the film invests absolutely nothing in interesting or clever ways to defeat the monster. The production design shows promise, but it can’t find any purpose thanks to the lack of imagination beneath it. It’s all dull, repetitive stimuli, a hellish landscape rendered ugly and depressing without a viable purpose. It can’t even do anything fun with the 3D: sad, since this is exactly the kind of effort that could benefit from a little coming-right-at-ya action. We’re left wondering how far Bean can get before Certain Death #83 hits him, and how quickly Malcolm McDowell (in a brief cameo) spent his check.

The first film clearly made enough money to justify this effort – though I defy you to name anything about it without checking – and releasing the sequel right before Halloween gives it a pole position for some quick bucks. Just don’t kid yourself that Silent Hill: Revelation 3D wants anything more than that. The good news for us is that it’s got plenty of superior competition in the multiplex and its storyline is far too weak to hope for anything better in the future. Hopefully it will vanish into the fog like its protagonists… giving us time to brace for the next horror quickie too lazy to justify its existence. 


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jedibanner 10/26/2012 7:32:40 PM

First mistake...3D

Second mistake: Sequel no one asked for

third mistake: Who cares about this movie

TheSilentKiller 10/26/2012 8:07:49 PM

 The first one was kind of haunting. Lots of us fanbois of the game were asking for a sequel.

However, I think the producers missed the point that we were asking for a good sequel.

extzero 10/26/2012 10:16:15 PM

 Was way better than paranormal craptivity 4, and you gave that a b!

whiteandnerdy75 10/26/2012 11:09:19 PM

Yeah, I'm to sure about the grades lately.  Back when 'Cabin in the Woods' got an 'A', I went to see it and agreed wholeheartedly.  Most of the movies I saw after I also agreed with until 'Taken 2'.  I thought that was at least a 'B', not a 'C'.  So that makes me think this one is a 'C', not a 'D'.  I usually stay away from stuff I see that gets real bad grades like this, but I can't help but think some flicks are getting bad raps...

chiefBrody 10/27/2012 10:08:12 AM

 The first one had a pretty bad script, dialogue and acting I thought... it's always the huge problem with video games turned into movies, it always seems to suck donkey balls. Super Mario Bros, Doom, Street Fighters, Max Payne, Tomb Raider...


russdire 10/27/2012 10:41:25 AM

 I walked out of the theater laughing and shaking my head in dissapointment, and I usually like everything thrown at me...

Mooncrow 10/28/2012 4:36:01 AM

 D is too high a grade for this one. I kind of liked the 1st one, at least for the shock vaule scenes. 
This had none of that. It was terrrible, even the 3D was poorly done.

SinisterPryde 10/28/2012 5:12:06 PM

Oooh, I'm in the minority.  I will be the first to admit that this film has problems.  A sub-plot that seems to start and then is never heard of again, and some confusing moments before entering the town and then after leaving it that make no sense.

Still I... I... enjoyed it.  I ddin't pay for the 3D (and from what I saw I was glad I didn't). I know I should hang my head in shame but I really did enjoy the movie.  I would give it (being generous) a C.  Although its closer to C-.  I know, not that far from the review but I seemed to have gotten more out of it than Rob did.

Also (spoiler alert!)




I though it was a nice nod towards Silent Hill: Origins at the end...

SinisterPryde 10/28/2012 5:13:47 PM

Final note: I think there should be a 50 year moratorium on using the sub-title "Revelation" on anything!

ultrazilla2000 10/28/2012 8:18:35 PM

You're not the only one SinisterPryde...I enjoyed it as well.  It wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't nearly as bad as some people are crying about.  Jedi, why are you saying it's first mistake was being in 3D?  Just like EVERY 3D movie, there is a 2D option, so your point is invalid.  And yes, I DID want a sequel...


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