|“|| Now the dream of this life must end and so too must the dreamers within it... But now is the end of days, and I am the reaper.
Dark Alessa is a character in the Silent Hill film and Silent Hill: Revelation. She is a supernatural manifestation containing the dark part of Alessa Gillespie's soul, an embodiment born from Alessa's pain and suffering. Alessa and Dark Alessa likely share the same entity and are spiritually connected and linked, and it is possible Alessa uses Dark Alessa as an avatar for herself.
Dark Alessa is the Japanese version of a devil; an entity born entirely from the darkness of the human soul. Dark Alessa can be compared to a shinigami ("death god", "death spirit" or "Japanese devil/reaper"). Dark Alessa should absolutely not be mistaken for being Lucifer/Satan, which is a very narrow Judeo-Christian westernized view and interpretation.
She is 9, 30 and 39 all at the same time. Her physical form is that of a 9-year-old girl, though her body's age is 30, as she first manifested 30 years before the events of the film. Because she comes from Alessa's soul, and Alessa is 39, Dark Alessa can also be seen as being 39 years old.
Sometime around 10 PM on November 1, 1974, a young girl named Alessa Gillespie was burned alive by a group of religious fanatics who believed her to be a witch due to her possible lack of father and possible psychic powers. The burning went awry, leaving Alessa alive, but with third degree burns over her entire body.
After being taken to Brookhaven Hospital, Alessa's rage and hatred spiraled out of control. Her hate caused her to manifest extreme psionic powers, resulting in the flowers next to her hospital bed wilting at an unnatural rate of speed. When a curious nurse looked into Alessa's burn tent, she lashed out, burning the nurse's eyes and making them bleed forever, staining her clothes.
Immediately after, Alessa's soul split in two, causing the creation of Dark Alessa. Dark Alessa approached Alessa, and promised her that she could help her to take revenge on the cult. Alessa gave in to her own dark side, and she and Dark Alessa created the Otherworld, an alternate reality infected by Alessa's rage and pain.
Dark Alessa used the Otherworld and a horde of monsters under her control to torture and kill those who had wronged Alessa, including both the cultists and Alessa's classmates, who had bullied and harassed her on a daily basis. In 1995, Alessa split her soul a second time, and created Sharon Da Silva, a doppelgänger of herself containing her good side. Dark Alessa carried the baby Sharon to the local orphanage, where she left her to be found by Sister Margaret.
Nine years later, Dark Alessa began to appear to Sharon in her sleep, causing her to sleepwalk. Dark Alessa continued to call to Sharon, intending to bring both Sharon and her mother to Silent Hill, West Virginia, the town where Dark Alessa and Alessa reside.
In a sleepwalking fugue, Sharon Da Silva walks out of her house and to a steep cliff. As her mother calls to her, Sharon looks down and sees nothing but Dark Alessa, who seems to be beckoning her to throw herself off the cliff. At the last second, Rose Da Silva grabs Sharon and throws her to the ground, stopping her from falling to her death. During this, Sharon can be heard screaming, "Silent Hill! Silent Hill!" The next day, Rose takes Sharon to Silent Hill, intent on discovering the cause of her illness. As Rose arrives on the outskirts of the town, Dark Alessa darts into the road, causing Rose to crash her car. Once she is knocked unconscious, Sharon is removed from the car, and Rose is shifted into the Fog World.
Dark Alessa appears to Rose almost immediately after she wakes up from the crash, luring her into a dark alley, where she leads her to a miner strung on a fence and a group of childlike monsters known as the Grey Children. Rose comes across Dark Alessa again at Midwich Elementary School. As before, Dark Alessa leads her to clues pertaining to Alessa's past. When the Otherworld overtakes the school, Dark Alessa appears to Rose in her natural form, with greasy hair, pale skin, and blood smeared on her mouth. Dark Alessa later leads Rose to the sacrificial chamber where Alessa was burned alive, but quickly catches fire and disappears, referencing Alessa's burning.
At the hospital, Dark Alessa tells Rose the truth because she feels that she deserves it: Dark Alessa was the one who led all of the clues throughout the town in order to test Rose's love for Sharon and see if Rose is a worthy mother to be her new mother. Dark Alessa explains Alessa's history and why Rose was brought there. She explains to Rose that she intends to kill the cultists for their crimes against Alessa, and that she needs Rose's help to finish her plan. She also adds that it's time for the cultists to suffer the consequences of their actions. Dark Alessa warns Rose that Christabella, the cult's priestess, has likely found Sharon already, and that she intends to kill her in the same way she attempted to kill Alessa. Desperate to save her child, Rose agrees to help Dark Alessa and Alessa to get their final revenge. Dark Alessa hugs Rose, allowing her body to merge into Rose's.
Rose then carries Dark Alessa into the church where the cultists are hiding from Alessa's monsters, and tells them Alessa's truth, allowing Dark Alessa to speak through her. Rose's words incite the cult, and she is stabbed by Christabella, releasing Dark Alessa and opening a portal into Alessa's world. Dark Alessa climbs out of the Otherworld and dances in the blood of Christabella as Alessa rips her apart with rusted barbed wire.
As Alessa's revenge ends, Dark Alessa finds Rose hiding in the corner of the church, shielding Sharon's eyes from the carnage. Dark Alessa approaches Sharon and locks eyes with her, causing her to faint, creating a full rebirth and merging of Alessa living in Sharon's body. The darkness ends immediately afterwards, and both Dark Alessa and Alessa disappear.
As Rose and Sharon leave the church, Sharon gives a knowing look to Alessa's mother, Dahlia Gillespie. It is implied that Sharon starts Rose's car with her mind. Back home in the Fog World, Christopher is nowhere to be found. Sharon leaves the room and her expression turns dark, indicating that Alessa's two halves have finally rejoined after 30 years, and that Sharon is now the complete Alessa.
Silent Hill: Revelation
Dark Alessa appears in Silent Hill: Revelation, taking the form of both a child and a teenager. Her child form is seen in a flashback chasing cultists and bringing the darkness of the Otherworld with her, and later appears on the carousel.
When Heather Mason, a renamed, older version of Sharon, returns to the town, Dark Alessa meets her on the carousel and then morphs into a teenaged version whose appearance and clothing match those of Heather, albeit with a darker and ruined appearance with ashen pale skin, black lips and black hair. She and Heather recombine and become a complete incarnation of Alessa, allowing Heather to take control of the Otherworld and its denizens.
Aside from changing the vast majority of Alessa's backstory, Revelation also changes parts of Dark Alessa's story:
- The merging of Alessa's soul seen at the end of the first film is ignored by Revelation, and Sharon and Dark Alessa are again shown to be separate entities in Revelation, with no explanation offered as to how or why they exist as two people.
- Dark Alessa is stated to be the cause of the Great Fire that destroyed Silent Hill, having started it with the force of her hatred, however, the first film shows that the burning itself started the fire when the pit of coals overturned and ate down through the floor of the sacrificial chamber into a coal mine vent.
- Dark Alessa's appearance is drastically altered from that seen in Silent Hill. In Silent Hill, Dark Alessa is shown with blood dripping from her eyes and mouth, black smears on her face and lips, and blue eyes. In Revelation, her face is clean and her eyes are black. Given that the ages of both Sharon and Alessa are retconned from 9 to 11 in the sequel, it is likely that Dark Alessa's physical form is supposed to be that of an 11 year old girl in Revelation, as compared to her 9 year old form in Silent Hill.
- The manner of Dark Alessa's creation is changed in the original script for Revelation, which depicts Alessa turning her eyes black during the burning and becoming Dark Alessa. This version of Revelation shows that Alessa and Dark Alessa are the same person, not two separate bodies. It is never explicitly shown whether there are two or three versions of Alessa in the final film, though Alessa's adult form is never once mentioned or shown, suggesting that this retcon may be part of the film's official canon.
- Notably, in the original script, the burning that creates Dark Alessa occurs in Alessa's own home, not a church, and it is presided over by Claudia and Leonard Wolf, with Christabella nowhere in sight.
Dark Alessa possesses a wide array of psionic abilities that allow her to affect the environment as well as herself in a variety of supernatural ways. Because Alessa was born with these powers, Dark Alessa also possesses them. She can shift her appearance at will, changing from looking identical to Alessa as a child to having a darker, more demonic appearance. She has the ability to be both tangible and intangible when she wishes, can appear and disappear at will, and also shows signs of extrasensory perception or cosmic awareness; as she is constantly aware of where Rose and the cultists are at all times. Also notable is Dark Alessa's silence when she takes the form of the regular child version of Alessa. When Dark Alessa takes on a normal appearance, she does not speak, but rather relies on rattling a fence, making jerky movements, and stomping loudly to catch Rose's attention. This likely is a reference to Alessa's inability to speak or scream after she was burned in the fire, given the heavy emphasis on Alessa's silence in both the theatrical poster and the script.
She is also shown to have possession of massive pyrokinetic abilities. She can ignite fire out of nowhere, demonstrated when she catches fire in Silent Hill, and again in Revelation when she burns Heather and sets a group of cultists on fire, manipulating the fire as if it were alive with simple hand gestures. In all instances, her use of fire is symbolic of the torment of Alessa. When she catches fire in Silent Hill, she states, "Look at me, I'm burning", a clear reference to Alessa being burned alive by the fanatics. When she burns Heather in the dream sequence of Revelation, Heather's form takes on a charred appearance, very similar to that of burned Alessa. In killing the cultists with fire, Dark Alessa is visiting the same suffering upon them that they forced onto Alessa.
Dark Alessa is a reality warper, capable of changing physical reality to suit her needs, to the extent of creating entire worlds, a god-like feat. She creates the Fog World and Otherworld as manifestations of the loneliness and anger of Alessa, and fills these worlds with horrific monsters borne of Alessa's twisted psyche. These worlds are incarnations of Alessa's tortured mind, designed to represent the cruelty of a tortured child.
She is also capable of possession, as she enters Rose's body and uses her to enter the church and incite the cultists.
Dark Alessa strongly represents the Holy Ghost, a prominent figure in Christian beliefs. Like the Holy Ghost, Dark Alessa is created by a prominent God figure (Alessa), who splits off part of themself to exist as multiple entities. Dark Alessa also acts as a mouthpiece for Alessa, the same as the Holy Ghost is said in the Bible to speak for God. When she merges with Rose in the hospital, the scene acts as a metaphor for the impregnation of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost. Further, the Holy Ghost is well recognized in the Bible as using the followers of God as a mouthpiece, possessing believers and literally speaking through them. This is seen when Dark Alessa merges into Rose and then speaks through her during the confrontation with the cultists. This symbolism is likely intentional, given director statements about the vast amounts of Christian symbolism found in the film.
It is also possible that Dark Alessa has a duel representation as the Christian devil, in light of her claim to have "many names", and the demonic nature of her deal with Alessa. Director Christophe Gans has stated that Dark Alessa is a Japanese representation of a devil, which consists of the dark side of the human soul.
|“|| Dark Alessa is sort of the bad part of Alessa, so that's why she's so scary and strange.
- "Look at me, I'm burning."
- "Did you see that Alessa was a good little girl? Even though nobody looked at her that way. Their parents told them she was bad. She didn't have a father like they did. Alessa was alone in the world. You know what can happen to little girls when they're left alone."
- "Even her mother couldn't help, even though she loved her baby. But the rest of the family didn't love Alessa, they were just like the others and made her scared."
- "They had met many times since the town was built, to restore innocence and purity. They had a special place for that."
- "You know how that feels, don't you, Rose? To lose your little girl."
- "They thought they knew how to cast out evil. But you should be careful how you fight evil. Your weapons can turn back on you."
- "Now you know why Dahlia is broken. She tried to get help, but she went too late."
- "There were good people in the town. People like you, Rose. People who like to help."
- "Alessa was so lonely and hurt and scared. They should have known better than to hurt her so badly. When you're hurt and scared for so long, the fear and pain turn to hate and the hate starts to change the world. Alessa's hate grew and grew, burning inside her. Her hate got so strong, she even hurt someone who was only curious. That's when I came. I told her it was their turn. I promised they would all fall into her darkest dream."
- "Don't be afraid. She won't hurt you. She needs your help."
- "I have many names. Right now, I'm the dark part of Alessa."
- "She's not your child. She's hers. The little girl is what's left of her goodness."
- "Now the dream of this life must end and so too must the dreamers within it. For over 30 years, they've lied to their own souls. For 30 years, they've denied their own fate. But now is the end of days, and I am the reaper."
- "All we ask for is satisfaction: revenge."
- "You chose. You chose Sharon. Christabella will find Sharon, she plans to purify her."
- "Their blind conviction repels me from their church. I cannot enter while they deny their fate."
- Contrary to popular belief, Dark Alessa's physical appearance is inspired by Italian horror cinema, not Japanese. Specifically, Melissa from Kill, Baby, Kill and the Devil in Spirits of the Dead were used as the base for her image.
- Dark Alessa was originally just an astral projection of Alessa, but she was later changed to a manifestation containing the dark side of Alessa's soul. Similarly, Sharon was changed to be a manifestation of the good side of Alessa.
- When Rose asks who she is, Dark Alessa replies that she has "many names". There are many theories for why she says this, the most prominent being that she's saying the cult calls her many things. Anna says, "We don't speak speak her name", implying that the cult is so scared to speak "Alessa Gillespie" that they must refer to Alessa using alternate names and titles (for a strong example, characters in the Harry Potter universe avoid saying "Voldemort"). It is also possible Dark Alessa may be referencing the many "names" and "titles" given to Alessa throughout the film ("witch", "sin incarnate", "filth", "abomination", "demon", "Alessa", "Dark Alessa", "Dark One", "reaper", "guise of an innocent", "wicked", etc). This should absolutely not be mistaken for Dark Alessa claiming she is Lucifer/Satan, which is a very narrow Judeo-Christian westernized view and interpretation. There are many characters who say the "I Have Many Names" trope and not all of them are intended to be Lucifer/Satan or the Christian devil.
- When Dark Alessa says, "Right now, I am the dark part of Alessa", it likely refers to her supernatural ability to shapeshift into any human form she chooses. Thus, Dark Alessa is probably neither male or female, but can choose to take a male or female form.
- Most of Dark Alessa's lines contain Biblical references.
- Dark Alessa is often confused as being a literal incarnation of the Christian devil (Lucifer/Satan). The confusion is so widespread that director Christophe Gans commented on it in the film's commentary, saying that the character is meant to be seen from a Japanese perspective (the Japanese form of a devil - the dark side of the human soul), not a Christian one. Dark Alessa can be compared to a shinigami ("death god", "death spirit" or "Japanese devil").
|“|| This is where it gets a bit confusing, I think, for those who only want to decipher it from a Judaeo-Christian conception of good and evil. In this scene you can understand that Alessa, in her martyrdom, is visited by the devil, who offers her the chance of vengeance. In fact, from what I know of Japanese folk traditions, which I believe inspired the game to a large extent, I think that what's really happening in this scene is that Alessa is visited by her double. In her pain she's been split into several Alessas. There's the real Alessa, suffering, there's the evil Alessa, her dark side, who's just visited her, and there's a good Alessa, who's made safe in the real world in the shape of Sharon, the little girl adopted by Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell.
- It is unknown why Dark Alessa can't enter the cult's church. She vaguely tells Rose, "Their blind conviction repels me from their church. I cannot enter while they deny their fate." There are two possible explanations for this:
- The alternate realms are a place of Alessa's delusions. Alessa was strongly indoctrinated by the cult when she grew up, and she believed that their faith was too strong to get past. Only when their faith was shaken - when they realized they had committed evil - could she finally enter the church and take her revenge. This is why Alessa needs Rose to tell the cultists 'the truth'.
- Alessa can enter the church anytime she wants, but she feels the cultists need to understand why she's killing them before they die. She craves both a spiritual and a physical victory over the cult, so that they don't die thinking themselves blameless martyrs.
- Dark Alessa is not listed in the film's official cast list, with Jodelle Ferland only being credited as Alessa/Sharon, however, her name appears in interviews, on the official website, and in all promotional materials. In the final version of the script, she is called "Dark Alessa", however, in the original script she was referred to as "Alessa" and "Young Alessa". Similarly, director Christophe Gans never calls her "Dark Alessa" in his commentary, repeatedly referring to her as "Alessa", and once as "the dark side Alessa".
- Dark Alessa is called "the architect of the darkness" in the film's commentary, and the scene of her scribbling at her desk in the Otherworld is meant to show that her drawings are what causes the alternate reality to shift to its Otherworld variation.
- Writer Roger Avary apologized to Jodelle Ferland's parents for any mental trauma she may have incurred from playing the role of Dark Alessa.
- Dark Alessa's teenaged appearance in Revelation is based on that of Memory of Alessa in Silent Hill 3, however, the two characters serve very different functions.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "This is where, I think, the film gets a bit complicated for those who only want to decipher it from a Judaeo-Christian conception of good and evil. In this scene you can understand that Alessa, in her martyrdom, is visited by the devil, who offers her the chance of vengeance. In fact, from what I know of Japanese folk traditions, which I believe inspired the game to a large extent, I think that what’s really happening in this scene is that Alessa is visited by her double. In her pain she’s been split into several Alessas. There’s the real Alessa, suffering, there’s the evil Alessa, her dark side, who’s just visited her, and there’s a good Alessa, who’s made safe in the real world in the shape of Sharon, the little girl adopted by Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell. I think that’s the explanation for how she becomes a multi-faceted character, with different faces and different ages. It’s something that’s in the game, which intrigues players: why Alessa exists in different guises, at different ages… Both evil guises and guises that are… “human”. I think that’s the explanation. In Far-Eastern religions, good and evil aren’t exterior to us. We contain our own good and our own evil. We are our own god and our own devil. I think this is the explanation for what’s happening here in the film. Alessa splits into several Alessas. That was a very Japanese idea." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "In this scene, Radha Mitchell is confronted with an incarnation of Alessa, who takes the appearance of a little “Italian-style” ghost, with this baroque aspect, the rotting uniform, the strange face and so on." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Here we see the first encounter between Radha Mitchell and… the Alessa character, who’s the double, the original, of her daughter, and therefore the brains behind the mystery of Silent Hill. In fact, we’re in her head. She’s drawing what we can see happening. The idea is that she wildly scribbles a drawing in the same way as she tortures the décor. It’s a massacre with crayons. So the idea, at this point, is that we not only see the décor, but its architect too." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "One moment that was important to get right was when Alessa confronts Sharon, when the dark Alessa, her evil side, meets her good side, Sharon, and the two fuse together again." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ Jodelle Ferland speaks to Bloody Disgusting
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Jodelle Ferland radio interview
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Silent Hill Movie Interview: The Director's Cut
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Silent Hill Director's Blog
- ↑ "Here we’re getting to the core of the definition of the town Silent Hill, which is that it’s a tormented, tortured place. The reality of this little town has been, in a way, tortured by a child. Like a little girl using a lighter to melt her doll. Well, the character of Alessa has done the same to the entire town, held a flame to it, in a way." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "This scene shows how mature Jodelle Ferland is. Her lines were very complicated, full of biblical references, very symbolic and so on." Gans, CHristophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ "It’s not a reference to J-Horror, it’s a reference to the little ghosts in Italian horror and fantasy, especially in Bava’s Kill Baby… Kill!, which I mentioned earlier, but also in Fellini’s sketch, Toby Dammit, in Spirits of the Dead, an important film." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Silent Hill screenplay, October 2004.
For a complete list of images of Dark Alessa, please visit the Dark Alessa images category.
Silent Hill: Revelation
|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|
|Heather Mason - Christopher Da Silva - Vincent Cooper - Claudia Wolf - Leonard Wolf - Dark Alessa - Douglas Cartland - Alessa Gillespie|
|Rose Da Silva - Dahlia Gillespie - Suki - Travis Grady - Order Soldier - Detective Santini - Mannequin Girl|
|Armless Man - Delusion - Leonard Wolf - Lobotomy - Mannequin Monster - Memory of Alessa - Missionary - Nurse - Pyramid Head - Valtiel|
|All Hallows High School - Brookhaven Asylum - Central Square Shopping Center - Jacks Inn - Sanctuary - Silent Hill, West Virginia - Lakeside Amusement Park|
|The Brethren - Halo of the Sun - Monster - Manifestation - Otherworld - Fog World - Real World - Robbie the Rabbit - Seal of Metatron - Siren - The Order - Great Knife - Welcome Sign|