Sunday, November 15, 2015

Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Life is very distracting, my loyal readers. It holds a great many things that often take away my time, like say my niece's birthday or me sleeping through half a day when I only intended to take a nap. But none of those things are quite as distracting as Bethesda releasing Fallout 4 when I really should be getting some work done. Yes, I won't deny it, I'm been losing a lot of time to the newest Fallout game. I'll probably even talk about it at length soon. But I managed to pry myself away from it long enough to get pulled into the bathroom repeatedly. It's my own fault, I ate chili yesterday and now I must face the consequences. The shitty consequences. Which brings us to today's movie.

I have to talk about it. The bathroom double dared me.

With all the glaring problems with the first film, from the plot to the characters, it was clear that a sequel to it would probably be about as true to the games as the Resident Evil movies are. Only this time most of us were fairly certain that rather than seeing Alice being the utter bad-ass to end all bad-asses, it'd be Pyramid Head showing up to do things that made no sense for the character. But no, rather than attempt to continue too far down the rabbit hole that was the really dark ending of the first film, we instead get an attempt to salvage not only a good actor for the sequel but also an attempt to bring the third game to life on film. That's right, this is actually Silent Hill 3: The Movie.

That's why we see so many monsters from that game, like the Closer, in this movie. And, by that, I mean we don't.
We also don't have Christophe Gans, which may not be a great sign. Sure, I hated his vision of the first movie, but the man actually is a talented director. Well, at least I think he's alright. I liked some other things he worked on. Just not Silent Hill. And I know what you're all going to say, "you only hate that movie because of the game", which would be a valid argument if that were actually true. I hate that movie not just because it's a shit adaptation but I also hate it for portraying the female leads as annoying and useless individuals who constantly bumble their way through things. I enjoy strong female leads and that movie didn't have any. What it did have was a creepy atmosphere though, the one thing that a lot of the people who defend it hold onto like Linus hold onto his blanket. And guess what? The sequel has that too! Plus a lot more stupidity and jumpscare noises!

I'm still waiting for Markiplier's Let's Play of it.
The film opens as we see our lead hiding in Silent Hill next to a creepy rabbit costume that we all know is going to look at her. Why do we know this? Because we've been programmed to not only expect the obvious jumpscare, but we will also likely not jump at it. Not, the jumpscare that will actually get everyone comes along shortly. Of course, when the thing's head moves to look at her, it also includes a loud fucking jumpscare noise, because there is no such thing as subtlety. They killed subtlety and are now urinated on its corpse in full display of subtlety's entire family, giving them the finger the entire time before finally shaking off on their feet. But none of this stuff really matters, it's all build up, as this is a dream she's having and she wakes up at home with her dad. That's when the real scare happens.

Take your time to let it sink in that this movie just used a toaster pastry to scare its audience.
Yes, the big shining moment of jumpscare euphoria has been reached. The Pop-Tart jumpscare. This is what it has come to, folks. They're trying to make us jump with a fucking Pop-Tart. Hell, I guarantee this actually did make most people jump upon their first viewing of the film. If ever there was a moment in this entire film that truly summed up what the film is as a whole, it's probably this one. So, here's the basics that you need to know. Sean Bean is back and is sort of playing the same character and he sort of has the same daughter. Sort of. You see, Rose was able to see Sharon back to the regular world somehow, begging her husband to raise their daughter and keep her safe. As part of that he has killed cult members who were pursuing them and has constructed new identities for them both. yes, they're now Harry and Heather Mason. Remind me again why he wasn't just Harry before?

Oh yeah, because Rose happened instead. That sure was necessary. Yep.
So yeah, the basic premise here is that they're both moving from place to place as Harry (who I am grateful not to call Chris anymore) is trying to protect her. The problem here though is that in the previous film he was portrayed as being rather irritated and unsympathetic in regards to his adopted daughter. Here he's now written as the ultimate protective father who will do anything to protect his beloved daughter. Basically, the difference is that Chris was basically just an unimportant guy who came off a as a bit of a dick while Harry is literally just Harry from the first game. But hey, it's great to see Sean Bean actually playing the character I wanted him to play...wait, this is an adaptation othe third game...shit. More on that later. Heather goes to school, the other kids act like twats, and Jon Snow leers at her.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I went beyond the Wall?"
He's not the only one getting all creepy with the leering either, as a detective is following her around. He's fairly important in the game. He dies less than five minutes after she meets him in here. Can you feel it? Can you feel the terrible oozing in? Let it wash over you in waves. You're drowning in it and so am I. Heather sees weird Silent Hill stuff begin happening, the detective introduces himself and tries to warn her about the cult that hired him to find her, and he dies like a throwaway character because makers of video game based films love to insult the existing fanbase.

"Hi, my name is Jill Valentine and I'm here to serve no purpose in the film based on the game I starred in."
She and her Jon Snow go to her place where she discovers that this movie is out to shock everyone by completely avoiding the death everyone and there mother expected. That's right, while in the game she returns home to find her dead father, her she just finds that he's missing and that he's been carted off to Silent Hill. Sean Bean is playing a character who dies in the original source material...but doesn't die here. That is a bit of a mindfuck. That's like casting the Three Stooges in a movie based of a humourous story only to turn that story into a romantic drama about dealing with terminal cancer. It catches you off guard in a way that only things that were never dreamed of can possibly do.

Kinda like making a Resident Evil joke in a review for a movie that literally has a scene where the Umbrella logo shows up.
Heather and Jon Snow blow off school to go to Silent Hill and, while in a seedy hotel room, he admits that he was actually sent by the cult to bring her back to Silent Hill but doesn't want to because he suddenly has an overwhelming urge to hug the shit out of her. He also has a really big gnarly carved symbol in his chest which I am fairly certain should be bleeding through his shirt, as the wound appears to still be fairly open. Seriously, how long has he been waiting for Heather? Was he just freshening that up himself or does it just stay all open and festering like that? Because ow. Anyway, the Otherworld happens right there, because why wait for her to actually get to the town that they supposedly can only get to her at when they can just encroach on reality right there.

"This hotel fucking sucks. I'm demanding a refund."
The creature that killed the detective shows up, knocks her out and steals her Jon Snow, leaving her to fend for herself. She wanders into town and meets Dahlia, who once again serves no actual purpose beyond being a method to exposit on what the audience already knows. Heather is Alessa's good side and her being there is a very bad thing. Then Heather meets a mannequin spider. It's literally a spider made out of mannequin pieces. It turns people into mannequins too. There's a girl that says she and her friend wandered into town by accident, which makes no sense as the whole point is that only people who Alessa wants to punish are supposed to be there. That's literally what the first film set-up too. The only people who were allowed into the Otherworld version of the town were pawns of Alessa to be used to kill the cult, which they apparently failed at because there are clearly still cultists running around.

It's good to see that Rose couldn't even get that right, cementing how utterly useless she really was.
So yeah, mannequin spider. It's not really scary. It's actually kinda goofy with its screaming mannequin heads and CGIness. Moving on from that, Heather learns that the cult leader's old man can help her with the weird seal she found in her dad's stuff. He also turns out to be crazy, blind, and Malcolm McDowell. She ignores the obvious warning sign of him running at her and the whole "him being chained up" bit and lets him touch it. He then turns into a large monster, absorbing the seal and making it bond with the other half inside of him. He carries her off and, while doing so, she reaches into a very obvious hole in him and just yanks it out of him, killing him pretty much immediately. Wow, that is both really convenient and really lame. From there she goes looking for her Jon Snow and runs into some grabby arms. Luckily the true hero of the movie shows up to save her.

Yes, this time Pyramid Head is all about respecting boundaries. And he's very aggressive about it.
See, here's the thing about Pyramid Head in this movie. He can't serve the purpose her served in the game, so he instead exists as a sort of protector or bodyguard for Alessa. Which means that he's all about keeping Heather safe as houses when people are getting a bit too handsy. Honestly, he was probably one his way to save her right from the moment she wandered into town and only just caught up with her. He's fairly slow. You'd be slow too if you had to lug around a giant butcher knife everywhere. After he saves her bacon, she finds Jon Snow with some cultists in a room full of busty faceless nurses who get all stabby when you move. They actually know this, so they're trying not to attract their attention, right? Nope, they just roll right in and get killed fairly quickly. Heather saves Jon Snow, they go to visit his mom (the cult leader) and save Harry, it turns out that mommy is actually the creature that killed the detective, and then Pyramid Head shows up to summarily kick her weird bony creature ass.

Yeah, this horror movie just became an action movie and Pyramid Head is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He cuts her head off, they escape with Harry, and Pyramid Head wanders off to hang out with Michael Myers as they fight off the evils of the Cult of Thorn together. Harry sends the kids off together because he wants to stay and find Rose, which is meant to imply that the next film might center around a Silent Hill 2 style plotline of a husband looking for his wife, which would explain why Rose looks like James Sunderland's wife. It just makes me wonder why Gans didn't just make a Silent Hill 2 film in the first place, honestly, because he actually has said he loves the story and character of James Sunderland. And hey, Pyramid Head was actually in that game! But whatever, Heather and Jon Snow jump into a big rig that's driven by another character from a Silent Hill game who is only here as fan-service.

"I served plot important once. But so did everything else before it got ran through the shitter."
Then a prison bus drives past, which is meant to imply the character of Murphy from Silent Hill: Downpour is about to go through his trip into the foggy...ahem..ashy town. So they actually set up two possible sequels that never got made. And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I love Sean Bean and I would love to see a Silent Hill film where he actually plays the lead. Him in the James Sunderland type role would be great. But him in the Harry Mason role could've been great too and they buggered that up, so why get my hopes up, right?

And at least he didn't have to act opposite Ms. SILEEEEEENT HIIIILLLLLLLLLLL from the first movie this time.
This movie is dumb. It's just really big and dumb and...fun. Lord help me, this movie is fun. It's incredibly stupid and really does no justice to the game it is based on, getting important characters wrong in big ways and just outright tossing others aside, but it's really fun to sit through. It's the perfect movie to just switch your brain off and watch for what it is. Seeing Pyramid Head fighting the Missionary at the end, watching the nurses stab idiots to death, seeing a guy making people burgers, it's all such merry moronic mayhem that I actually found myself enjoying on some level.

"Are you serious? Is he serious?"
No, this movie isn't good. It really isn't. It's a bad movie that gets tons of things wrong and doesn't even retain most of the creepy atmosphere the first film had, but it's a great movie to have on in the background. The sort of thing you turn to look at when the entertaining parts show up. I can't say that about all of the big stupid movies out there, but I can't say that about this one. And hey, at least it doesn't have a lot of Rose in it being a useless idiot. So there's always that. Later days, bleeders.

Those heels must be hell to walk in when you've got no face.

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