I have way too much to say about this movie and there's no way I can say it all in one blog post. I'll do so in two or three parts, and this is the first.
Well, first of all, the visuals are fantastic. For the most part, the place really does LOOK like Silent Hill. Heather looks like she jumped right out of the game. But then it got cold so she put on a warmer shirt. The nurses look great too, though that scene with them and Vincent was just silly. The use of fire in the carousel scene beautifully done. And when Pyramid Head made his appearance, it really did look and sound like it would, had he been in your presence.
I generally dislike 3D as a form of enhancing the cinematic experience, but you have to agree that here, it's fantastic. When the title screen came up and the ash started falling, I actually gasped out loud with amazement. My dad and I were trying to grasp the ash in our hands. It's THAT good. Unfortunately, visuals aren't everything.
Why everything else sucks
Let's start from the top. After trying to awe you with 3D effects, we see Heather running in cheesy slow motion through an obvious dream sequence. In the game, the fact that she is dreaming is not obvious. Here, it is. She hides from the hilarious cloaked members of the Order and looks at a mascot costume of Robbie the Rabbit on the ground.
This brings me to my first nitpick.
In the games, it is completely ambiguous whether or not Robbie is sentient. This is best seen in Silent Hill 4 when Henry is looking in on Eileen. The Robbie stuffed animal is turned towards the wall. A bit later, when he looks again, Robbie is staring right at him. Ahh! Did he move to look at me himself? Or did Eileen move him...? You don't know.
Here, in the most obvious setup for a jump scare ever, we look at Robbie for a few seconds, and then he turns his head towards you with a weird orchestra sting. It's not scary. It's not even startling because it was so obvciously going to happen.
After some more stupid stuff happens, Heather wakes up. Surprise! Daddy Harry comes into her room and comforts her. THEN HE IS STABBED. Ahh. Then Heather wakes up again. Then, we get another jump scare.
With a pop tart.
Yes, they actually try to scare you with a pop tart popping out of a toaster. You couldn't just do a normal transition? Seriously?
Anyway, a bit later, we get some forced exposition from Harry and Heather because the filmmakers are not clever enough to SHOW us the backstory, as the games do, and instead rely on said forced exposition to do so.
Ultimately, Heather goes off to school and notices a hobo along the way, who turns into a monster for a moment and she screams and disrupts traffic, and doesn't even apologize. How rude. Immediately after, Douglas makes his much anticipated appearance. Kudos there, because he actually looks like Douglas from the game. Except he's supposed to be in his fifties. Yeah. Sure. Fifties.
Douglas checks to see if she's okay, and after a moment, he asks if he's seen her somewhere before. Frightened that he might know something about her and Harry's past, she denies it and rushes off to school.
At school, Heather's totally unrealistic homeroom teacher in a classroom that kind of looks like the chem room from Twilight introduces her new student Heather who is immediately disliked by her fellow students for absolutely no reason who giggle when she introduces herself because that's funny or something.
Obviously, Bassett has never been bullied in school.
She gives a stupid speech about how she's totally not interested in them, and I guess her snarky-ness is supposed to make her a likeable character or something, idk. After class, the halls empty and she is stuck all alone as she enters an Otherworldly sequence where she sees a young Alessa being tormented by her classmates through a foggy door.
And that is something that I actually REALLY like! Because instead of giving you the exposition directly, it allows you to SEE it, and determine for yourself what happened.
Unfortunately, nothing else in the movie is this subtle ever again.
So after the Otherworld sequence ends, Vincent shows up and asks her if she wants to go get a cup of coffee after school.
"Hey umm so umm like do you umm want to be umm love interests?"
Yeah, apparently Bassett decided Heather needed a love interest, which completely ruins how Heather is supposed to be a strong, independent, female character.
Oh, did I mention? Vincent's a high school student now.
Yes everyone, the creepy, sinister, malicious, smug, arrogant, bookish, slimy but ultimately "good" character from Silent Hill 3 is now an 18-year-old teen dreamboat.
Bassett. Why? Just why? If you were going to create a main supporting character for Heather, why not just make a completely different character completely? Don't just make up some teenage boy and SLAP the name Vincent on him.
No, I am not saying that film adaptations of video games need to be 100% paralleled to their source material. But there has not been ONE video game adaptation that has received a generally positive rating. I am not even exaggerating. I dare you to find one movie based on a video game that is considered to be a success in the eyes of most critics. And guess what all these movies had in common? They stray far and beyond their source material. Maybe if one movie would have stayed true to its source material, it could have been... dare I say it? Good?
Anyway, back to the story.
Ultimately, after school, Heather notices Douglas is following her and calls her father to meet her at Happy Burger. Yay. A random video game reference that will appeal to the fans but leave everyone else in the audience who is offered absolutely nothing by this movie completely indifferent.
At Happy Burger, Heather fades into a nightmarish dream sequence again where everyone starts eating gross meat in their hamburgers.
They're eating the monsters.
They do lots of closeups of the meat and how tough it is.
Yeah, I know. They're eating the monsters.
Heather runs into a room and sees a monster tied up and screaming, alive, as meat is cut out of him and placed on a grill and cooked into burgers.
YEAH, I KNOW! THEY'RE FREAKING EATING THE MONSTERS! NO CLARIFICATION NEEDED!
Heather runs away, and Douglas follows her yelling that he can help her and she runs some more, despite him being the least dangerous, only humanlike person in the entire building. Who could possible help her.
In the basement, Douglas finally catches up to Heather and tells her that he just wanted to warn her about the Order being after her. After his explanation, he is yanked up by a monster. When Heather gets out of the building, she sees Douglas's corpse being pulled away on a stretcher.
Thanks, movie. Thanks for putting Douglas in there. That just added so much to the story.
As Heather tries to make her way home, Vincent catches up to her, having been stalking her for the past few hours with Edward Cullen creepiness.
They take the bus to her block, and Vincent walks her the rest of the way. She states that she thinks he is pretty cool, despite her initial disinterest, but says that he shouldn't get involved with her before leaving.
When she gets home, she is horrified to see her house ransacked, her father missing, and the following message written in blood on her wall:
Part 2 coming soon. This movie has more suckitude than can be explained in one post.