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The Church is a location in the Silent Hill film, dedicated to the worship of a fanatical cult. Initially, neither the Otherworld nor the Fog World can penetrate into the church; however, a portal is opened into the Dark World at the end of the film.
The priestess Christabella uses the church as a way to hide from the Darkness, and it is considered a "safe" location from the ravages of the alternate realities. The church is situated on a hill with a large graveyard studded with Christian crosses in front of it. This suggests the church did not always belong to the cultists, as director Christophe Gans did not want them to be associated with any one religion, and the cultists appear to worship a female deity. Another possibility is that the church was built by the cult before it had seceded from Christianity.
The church is implied to be one of the most important buildings in the town of Silent Hill, West Virginia, due to the grip the cult holds on the town and its people. The map of the town shows that the church is located directly in the town's center.
An ornate set of wooden doors opens onto the first floor, which has a long row of candle-lit pews leading up to a circular area with a large painting of the cult's symbol. Several miners' outfits hang from the ceiling and are used by the cultists when leaving too far from the church to explore the town.
A giant painting of a woman being burned alive with the words "Domine Deus Omnipotens In Cuius Manu Omnis Victoria Consistit" dominates the far wall and reaches from the second floor down the bottom of the first. It is part of a Latin prayer, translating as "O Lord God Almighty, in your hand all victory rests." The woman in the painting is a possible ancestor of Dahlia, Christabella and Alessa, possibly suggesting that a history of unnatural powers runs within the Gillespie family.
The second floor consists of a small balcony area with an abandoned organ and two balconies. This is where Christabella confronts Rose Da Silva in regards to her faith.
As the Dark World falls outside the church, a cultist named Anna is killed by a pyramid-headed monster on the church steps, causing Rose Da Silva and Cybil Bennett to flee into the safety of the church.
The church members, led by Anna's mother Eleanor, attack the two women, backing off only after Cybil fires her gun into the air. Christabella then appears and comforts Eleanor, before leading the congregation in prayer. Several cultists (most likely the highest ranked) kneel on specific parts of the religious symbol on the floor, and they pray for the disappearance of the Darkness, which fades away after a few minutes. It appears the cultists think that their faith has made the Darkness recede, but the reality is that Alessa Gillespie simply no longer needs it now that Anna is dead and Rose is safely in the church. Rose comments that she believes Alessa led her to the church on purpose, stating, "I'm supposed to be here."
Christabella then interrogates Rose and Cybil on how they got to the church and if they believe in God. When Rose insists that she only loves her daughter and that she must find her, Christabella tells them a "demon" controls the town and agrees to take them to the demon's lair. The cultists don their mining outfits and then lead Rose and Cybil out of the church.
Later, Christabella and her followers bring Sharon Da Silva, Dahlia Gillespie, and Cybil Bennett back to the church with them. Cybil is tied to a ladder and is burned alive as a witch for helping Rose in her search for Sharon. After Cybil is killed, Sharon is then tied to a ladder, and the cultists prepare to burn her as well, but Rose appears in the doorway and confronts the congregation.
Rose tells the cultists "the truth" and approaches Christabella, who stabs her with a dagger pulled from beneath her robes. As Rose's blood drips onto the floor, a portal into the Dark World is opened. Alessa and Dark Alessa rise into the church to take revenge on the cultists for having Alessa burned alive as a witch when she was nine years old.
Rose kills one of the cultists while Alessa helps her kill another as she defends her child. Rose then unties Sharon and hides her in a corner on the balcony. As Rose implores Sharon to keep her eyes closed, Dark Alessa approaches and a reunion between the good and bad sides of Alessa's soul occurs, and Sharon faints. Rose then finds herself in a foggy version of the church and leaves with Sharon/Alessa.
- Production designer Carol Spier has stated that the bystanders' appearances in the church's painting were influenced by actual crew members, and Deborah Kara Unger was used as the model for the witch.
- The exterior of the church was based upon the Masonic Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
- It is a common misconception that the Christian God's power is what holds Alessa and Dark Alessa out of the church, however, interviews with the actress and director have shown that neither Alessa nor Dark Alessa is a demon or devil, making that theory invalid. It is possible that Alessa's own indoctrination by the cult may be what keeps her from gaining access to the church, or she may simply want the cult to see the truth of their crimes before she kills them.
- Originally, six Pyramid Heads were supposed to rise into the church and slaughter the cultists, but this was changed to Alessa using barbed wire to gain her revenge due to time and budget constraints.
- The 4 Latin words "Castus", "Fides", "Nodus", and "Unitas" on the Brethren's symbolic emblem as seen on the floor of their church supposedly means "Faith unites knotted purity". However, the words have actual meanings separately:
- Castus is a Latin adjective meaning "morally pure", "guiltless", "pure", "chaste", or "pious", while puritas means "purity". Castus is also the name of one of the 2 Roman Roman saints and martyrs.
- Fides in Latin means "trust", "faith", or "belief". Fides is also the name of the Roman goddess of trust.
- In Latin, nodus means "knot" while nodos means "knotted".
- In Latin, unitas means "unity" while uniat means "unites".
- The church inspired the Church of the Holy Way in Silent Hill: Homecoming.
For a complete list of images of the church, please visit the Church images category.
|Rose Da Silva - Christopher Da Silva - Cybil Bennett - Dahlia Gillespie - Thomas Gucci - Anna - Christabella - Sharon Da Silva - Alessa Gillespie - Dark Alessa|
|Sister Margaret - Eleanor - Colin - Lisa Garland - Jennifer Carroll|
|Armless Man - Colin - Creeper - Dark Nurse - Grey Child - Red Pyramid|
|Brahms - Brookhaven Hospital - Church - Da Silva House - Gans County - Grand Hotel - Midwich Elementary School - Nathan Drugs - Pete's Bowl-O-Rama - Sacrificial Chamber - Silent Hill, West Virginia - Smitty's - Toluca County Archives - Toluca County Mining Museum - Toluca County Orphanage - Toluca Lake|
|The Brethren - Monster - Flashlight - Manifestation - Otherworld - Fog World - Real World - Siren - Great Knife - Welcome Sign - Brethren Symbol|