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Exploring Silent Hill – Episode 110

Finally Silent Hill is here. This was a departure from my usual format and a very difficult episode to do. (for a few reasons, one of which being the hurricane) I decided to focus on the facts of the film and did very little comedy. The Silent Hill franchise is one of my most favorite things on the planet so I wanted to give it some special treatment. Hope you enjoy.

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46 Responses to “Exploring Silent Hill – Episode 110”

  • Cristiona:

    Wow. This was amazing. Also, you’re probably the only fan of the games who liked this movie. I see nothing but NERD RAGE everywhere else; and, fucking hell, there was some serious nerd rage on it. As someone who never played the games and only had passing familiarity, I thought the movie was creepy as hell and great (if more than a little confusing). Then again, I liked Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, too.

    Holy crap, I never noticed before, but Rose is played by Fry! I thought she looked familiar.

    The razor wire was a nod to Overfiend? There was something in Overfiend besides fucking?

    Overall, this was a great episode, Cecil. I love the immature humor as much as the next viewer, but I would love to see the occasional episode like this, and not just for your Righteous Fury against idiot reviewers, but because your passion is almost inspiring. I know you love all the deformed little monsters that make up your episodes, but it’s great to hear you talk about a movie that doesn’t involve the words, “inspite of all of that…”

    • Cecil:

      Thank you! While to a certain degree I can understand the irrational blind hatred of Super Mario Bros, I don’t get the dislike of this game at all. It oozes the atmosphere of the series. I had to point out things like The Lord of the Rings and Batman, both of which changed major things and yet they didn’t get the ire that Silent Hill got from the fans. I was stunned at how people reacted to it, and floored that a movie this deep could be called dumb. (hence why I went into serious mode)

      I’d like to do more episodes like this but only once in a while. It does open up many a film I would never do, simply because I respect or love it too much. I’d only be able to do it a few times a year though because it was exhausting!

      I’m so happy that the reaction is positive. Sometimes you just don’t know. On a side note, I’m annoyed that stupid youtube put me back on a time limit because one of my videos was flagged. So now that whole audience won’t see the video unless they come here. Such a shame because here I am voicing an incredibly valid point on why this movie deserves respect but it won’t be seen there. Meanwhile, ten hours of guy getting kicked in the balls will have 80 million views. Not to mention all the nerd rage videos screaming about how everything is wrong…which as I pointed out, it isn’t.

      • Cecil:

        Yeah, while I like Phelous I disagree with him adamantly about this movie.

        Silent Hill 2 was pretty good but you could tell they just didn’t have the magic of the first. It was aimed more for a mainstream audience. Still, they did some impressive things on a much smaller budget and captured some of SH3’s set pieces quite well.

    • Cecil:

      Almost forgot to reply about the Overfiend bit. The wire moved and wrapped around things like the naughty tentacles. They also went up Cristabella’s cooter and out her mouth. That was probably the most brutal scene in the movie but a fitting end to someone who would cook a 9 year old over hot coals.

      • Cristiona:

        I only have very vague memories of Overfiend, largely because I was a teenager and I just spent most of my time going, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! HE CUT OFF HIS OWN DICK?!! SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!”

        • Cecil:

          Overfiend was the first hentai movie I ever saw. I saw it wayyyyyy too young and I think it may have warped my brain a little. I was used to anime at that point (Vampire Hunter D, Akira) so I made the assumption that this was just more stuff like that. I was so wrong. I only ever saw it once so I don’t remember much but what I do sticks out…like a giant demon fucking a building.

          • Keith:

            How’d I got this long without knowing this wonderfulness exists!?

          • Keith:

            or go this long…stupid fat fingers

          • Cristiona:

            You think that’s bad?

            In the Chicago burbs, we had a local UHF station, channel 66. My brother and I discovered that they sometimes showed anime, so we thought that was pretty cool and would watch it; that’s how I first saw Fist of the North Star. Of course, it was broadcast, so any sex or extreme violence (like a bunch of pokings making a dude’s head explode) was heavily mosiac’d. Like, the entire screen. So far so good, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

            Then they showed Wicked City.

            Yes, Wicked freaking City on broadcast television. Oh, sure, there were plenty of mosiacs, but still. I didn’t even know what hentai -was- back then! I can only assume the program director was either A) completely clueless or B) totally trolling the network.

  • john:

    Great review maybe even your best yet.

    Dena Natali (Cyborcat) who has done great retrospectives on the Silent Hill series made a video of the top 5 things she did NOT like about the Silent Hill movie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB1vKSA4fgs

    I like the movie but I had not played the original Silent Hill or had known anything about the storyline or the series so I didn’t know the monsters represented manifestations of Clarissas sub conscious or the whole other world concept so I was a little confused about the ending and when Christopher and Rose Di Salva where meeting at the same place in Silent Hill.

    I think the biggest problem with the film was splinting Harry Mason into two different characters Christopher and Rose Di Salva rather than just keeping the lead male character Harry Mason like in the game.

    • Cecil:

      Thank you!

      While I think they should have just kept Harry Mason, I will admit that it the movie did have a different emotion due to it being a mother looking for her daughter. Rose was much more vulnerable and I have a feeling if it ended up as Harry the film would have had a vibe kind of like Taken. (not exactly but you wouldn’t see Harry breakdown and cry. He would be expected to be tougher and if he did emote like that the audience would be lost)

  • MH:

    My mother was from PA and told me about Centralia as a child. Later, when I lived on the east side of PA, I recalled about Centralia and very much wanted to visit it, but that did not happen. I did watch the movie in the state with a PA native, but neither one of us cared for the movie. I think I found it unsuspenseful (because it didn’t seem like the main character was in peril of death–like she would survive the movie regardless of what dangers appeared) and boring.
    I will say something about ambiguity. I didn’t think “Momento” had an ambiguous ending, and I find using ambiguity for an ending to be more of a lazy thing to do and it feels like a gimmick. Though it isn’t the same thing, it reminds me of “he woke up and it was all a dream” ending. Imagine Rocky climbing into the ring and the camera focuses on Adrian’s expectant face, and then cutting to credits, or “Psycho” ending as Lila Crane walks up to the Bates’ house, or the “Black Christmas” remake ending right before the reveal of the killer with the heroine suddenly seeing all her friends alive and saying to each one, “I understand now”, or “I Come in Peace” cutting away immediately after the line “You go in pieces” to show a random shot from earlier in the movie and then going to credits.
    It seemed you didn’t know a way for this review to be funny, but doing throughout what you did at the end with the buttons could have been funny. I am glad the review was longer, and I am sort of eager to know what is next. I still don’t understand the image from the hint for this video. The only connection I see is the “I’m keeping quiet about this hint”. Would you explain it?

    • Cecil:

      Centralia is an amazing place. Last time I was there was in 2009. I’m planning another trip on the spring of 2013 and I’m bringing my HD camera so I can get some video. I’ll put together a nice little montage for the site. I have a friend who goes there at least once a year and he knows all the best locations. It really is like traveling to another world.

      I felt the opposite about the movie. (well, obviously lol) It was tense and unsettling and even though you knew Rose should be safe you still cringed when things were happening to her. I mean, almost every movie has a central character where bad things happen and you are worried even though you know they are going to survive. With the atmosphere and mystery revolving around the town, I just can’t see how anyone could be bored. Like I said though, sometimes you just don’t like something. I don’t like the Beatles. I know they are a legendary band that deserves a ton of respect but they are just not my cup of tea. I don’t say they suck, because that is completely wrong. Just not my kind of music.

      Open endings can be a cop out sometimes but not always. Often it really is a choice by the director to leave things to the audience’s imagination. If done well, I love it. Rifftrax did a bit a while ago, I wish I could remember where, where they explain how much certain movies would suck if they went for a closed opening instead of leaving it up to the audience. It was a brilliant piece that summed up exactly why such a thing is needed in certain movies.

      with my videos I get into a rhythm while writing and the jokes flow along with the summary. The whole thing just sort of takes shape once I decide the direction. However with this when I started writing I just couldn’t find that angle. I finally decided to focus on the serious side and then I found the flow. So instead of forcing it I just let it come naturally and this was the end result.

      The hint was very, very obscure and would only be easily picked up by fans of the series. Gotta throw a curveball in there once in while. The pictures are the Seal of Metatron and the Halo of the Sun from the Silent Hill games. (they weren’t in the first movie but both featured prominantly in the second movie…and even the trailer) The “I’m keeping quiet” was, you know, “silent”. I figured it would get people thinking more than if I just posted a picture of the “shhh” finger and a hill.

      • MH:

        The hint makes more sense now. Thank you.
        The video game that scared me badly (so much so I took a break–was playing it in my dorm room and went out to the quad) was “Clock Tower”. That was like being in a horror movie.
        Maybe if the film had the styling of Dario Argento’s early work it would have been more scary. Kind of ironic that after the film I watched one of the “Battle Royale” movies.

        • Cecil:

          Clock Tower was scary as hell! Stupid Scissorman. The reason why the original Silent Hill is so scary is that Harry isn’t some trained commando or ninja. He is just a regular guy. When he shoots his gun he often misses. He gets winded if he runs too long. He can trip over things. He’s not some genetically modified super soldier with healing powers. This makes you play the game very carefully because you know death could come around any corner.

          Amnesia is probably the only game to have come out recently that is genuinely scary.

  • AlfaEcotangoRomeo:

    Wooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww. This has been my favorite review. This is one of those good movies that are regarded as “bad”, probably just because its based on a game. I never played the game, probably never will, but this movie was amazing, i felt absorbed by the atmosphere of this movie, it was one of those movies who stuck in mi mind for weeks. Great work on the review, you nailed it.

  • Interesting review,Cecil-as someone who has never played the game or watched the movie version,I learned a lot here and this was a good change of pace(sometimes,that’s needed for certain things).

  • Tim:

    Outstanding review!!!!! Its about time someone explained this to its core because I still have friends that say “Its not like the movie!!’ Uhhhhgghh really???!!!!!! This movie was amazing. I do have one question though. In Silent Hill you found a pill (red or blue) to give to Cybil and she went crazy right????? Correct me if I’m wrong. Cecil I’m glad I subscribed to your channel. Keep the reviews coming!!!! Also you should review Tales From The Darkside The Movie ^_^

    • Cecil:

      Thank you! I just couldn’t believe the backlash from the fans over this one. I think they just wanted to nerd rage and nothing would have been good enough.

      The pills were another sub plot in the game that wouldn’t have made sense because the Dr wasn’t there. If you gave her the wrong ones she went crazy and you had to fight her.

      I’m glad you did too. Oh wow, Tales from the Darkside. I gotta dig that one up, haven’t seen it in years.

  • Josh:

    This was by far hands down my favorite review of yours. I love the humored ones but ones like this where you just give fact after fact are amazing. This just passed SMB as my favorite review.

    • Cecil:

      Thanks! I am truly humbled and happy with the reaction to this episode. It was rough but I’m glad that it was all worth it. :)

      Now I have to figure out what movie I can do this to next.

  • MaskedLunatic:

    Another fine review Cecil . I myself never played the game Silent Hill. However I enjoyed the movie . It’s sad to think that if they tried more video games will be made into good movies.

    • Cecil:

      Thanks! I genuinely believe Uwe Boll f’d things up for video game movies. So many companies are holding their properties close so they don’t end up like his disasters. Big publishers are also looking at it from the wrong direction. When they see all these movies coming out and losing money, they aren’t looking at it as if they are bad movies. They are like “no one wants video game movies”.

      All it will take is that magic combo where one game movie will hit at the right time and make super serious bank. Then you will see just about everything made, much like how we have all these superhero movies.

  • I totally agree with you on this one! I LOVED this movie! Might be for the fact I’ve never played the games, but I was never really a gamer!
    I love the style and story of this movie! I’ve heard a lot of hate but I tend to ignore it. I haven’t seen the 2nd movie yet mostly because I’ve even heard bad reviews from others who liked the 1st… I mostly blame that on the writer being in jail for vehicular man slaughter!
    Pyramid Had is one of my favorite monster designs out there!

    i do like the idea though of them making just spinoff Silent hill movies as what little I’ve learned of the game’s stories is outside the origins the town basically attracts bad people to punish them or teach them a personal lesion so you can do all sorts of original stories, but ones hopefully better than the comics they made!

    • Cecil:

      Thanks man. If you played the games there are some cool nods in there, like the whole intro. Kind of like how if you read a book and then saw the movie.

      Avary was supposed to write the sequel but yeah, he was in jail for a while. He is out now and is working on Castle Wolfenstein, which should be awesome.

      Pyramidhead is the shit. They did an amazing job of capturing his look for both movies.

      The town brings people’s nightmares to life and makes them face the things that they have done in the past. Every game is an amazing story that you have to figure out. Some of the best writing in game history. The comics were ok but didn’t quite hit as well as they should.

  • I do wonder about one thing you could’ve been a little jokey about in the movie! The barbed-wire rape at the end I know you mentioned that the scene was based on Legend of the Overfiend somethig else I’d love to see you review anime/hentai), but you didn’t go into the details ! XD

    • Cecil:

      I have some anime on the list but haven’t done them yet. It would be funny to do hentai but I’d spend half the review blurring the screen. lol

  • Vinicius:

    Great review. I also thinhk that Silen Hiil is underrated. Sorry for my basic English, I’m from Brazil, but I understood everything that you said on the video and I agree. Keep posting fine reviews like this.

  • JSciola:

    First time I saw this movie, I was tweeting about it, and when it ended I jokingly asked how I get the UFO ending. People sent me tips on getting those endings in the games.

  • Steve:

    Great review Cecil!!! It’s really nice to see Silent Hill get some respect. I hadn’t seen it in a while and your review made me pull the dvd off the shelf and give it a watch. Silent Hill is so far beyond most video game adaptations (most new movies period, for that matter). It’s one of those rare movies that can be ambiguous, ask more questions than it answers, and still be incredibly satisfying because of how it triggers the viewers imagination. In short, it makes you think, the exact opposite of what most movies go for. The look of the movie is also just incredible. I love the long overhead shots of the lone vehicle approaching Silent Hill, very reminiscent of the opening shots in The Shining.

  • Russell:

    Hey Cecil, I love this review, it’s possibly one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen, out of curiosity, I have a few questions,

    1) Have you seen the sequel of Silent Hill, yet? What did you think of it?
    2) Have you seen Phelous’s review of this movie (he does it twice to clarify things) and what do you think of his opinion compared to your’s?

    I have done my research for this film, and I haven’t seen it yet, but I do want to at least check it out later, even Phelous said the movie felt and looked the same as the games, anyway have a good time with the next review and can’t wait.

  • Foobs:

    Apart from most of them being lazy cash-ins, I think part of the reason that video game movies almost invariably fail is that the movie part adds nothing. When you adapt a book into a movie, you add visuals. When you adapt a video game into a movie, all you do is subtract interactivity. I’ve already seen Max Payne, and I was controlling him (or, at least, had the illusion of control that video games give); the opportunity to passively watch him is not one that particularly interests me. For the record, I think the Max Payne movie that should have been made was Address Unknown. I haven’t seen that and I actually would like to…

  • Steve:

    Though I am not sure I agreed with this review, I absolutely appreciate the time and thought that went into it. I will agree that visually this was STUNNING. I simply didn’t get into the characters for whatever reason. I wanted to love it, too, as the games (particularly Silent Hill 2) are brilliant and terrifying. Did they manifest the look and feel of the games? Absolutely. However, I tend to think video game movies don’t work because video games tend to be about interactivity, and movies tend to be purely observational. Playing the game was horrifying. Watching the movie just didn’t give me that same feeling. At the same time, Session 9 absolutely tore my brain up. Why THAT strange comparison? The location. Much of the power of Session 9 for me came from the Danver’s Mental Institution with the decaying structure standing in for those characters decaying mental stability. I loved that film, and tried to introduce it to anyone I could. Silent Hill has this wonderful look, and an engaging concept, but, somehow, that wasn’t enough for me. Like many of Argento’s work, which can be startling, beautiful and horrific at the time of viewing, there was a sense of style over substance when I saw this in the theater. Now, with that said, your review has made me consider that I should track this one down and take a second look at it. So, yep, great review.

    • Cecil:

      That’s all I ask with these. I’m offering an alternate viewpoint. I don’t expect to change everyone’s mind but I do hope they at least give some of these movies another shot.

      Video Games are immersive and often that is what makes them scary. In the context of a movie many things that would be scary in a game become hokey. While I did find SH2 to be much scarier than the movie, it was because of this. However, I still felt the movie did an incredible job of keeping up the level of intensity to the games.

      I have the French Blu Ray for the film which is amazing. The transfer of the film is gorgeous and shows off even more of what went into the production. Unfortunately the US Bluray got a terrible transfer…so bad in face that the DVD looks better! I highly recommend giving this movie another view, it’s in my top 100 all time films.

  • mogens:

    bucket of shit ha ha ha that was a good one

  • john:

    What was the open ending with the Thing?

    I haven’t seen it in ages but from what I remember he kills the mutant dog from the start of the film blowing it up with dynamite and R.J. MacReady and Childs left to freeze to death having no shelter left.

    • Cecil:

      The end they were out in the open but not dead. They still could have set up shelter in what was left of the compound. (which is what they did in the spiritual sequel, The Thing video game)

  • Landon:

    I remember being nitpicky about this movie when I first saw it in the theatre (then again I did the same thing with LOTR) but I do feel that it is a good horror movie over all. It certainly sets up the atmosphere very well. However, it seems that there were a lot of scenes in this particular review that I do not recall seeing in the theatre. Did you use an uncut version? In particular, I don’t recall any mentioning of Alessa being raped in the theatrical release unless it was just implied.

    While I do appreciate the explanation of the various monsters (indeed a lot of things make more sense now) I’m a bit confused about Pyramid Head. You mentioned how he represents rape in the movie (which the imagery certainly supports) as well as in the game which is where I’m confused. I thought in Silent Hill 2 that Pyramid Head was the physical manifestation of James’s guilt over how his wife died?

    • Cecil:

      Nope, this was all taken from the US DVD. When Alessa is trapped in the bathroom with the janitor, it is heavily implied that he rapes her.

      SPOILERS FOR SILENT HILL 2 (the game)

      James first encounter with Pyramid head is when he walks in and PH is raping two Mannequins. The monster is the manifestation of his need to be punished for his wife’s death.

      I haven’t played the game for a while but I planned on going back through in October.

  • Darren J Seeley:

    Just stumbled onto the blogsite and going through your list and then I spotted this. I was hoping for a poor review on the film so I can get worked up and start debating of why it’s a fairly decent film and that it is underrated. I find myself commenting anyway because I could NOT disagree with the review. A job well done, sir. My hats off to you.

    Now for the trivia lesson. I never played any of the games, but I loved the film when I first saw it. In theaters, no less. I was, however, getting bored with some of the game’s fanbase suggesting that if you never played the game, you couldn’t ever get it. I don’t get the DTV sequel, I’ll give them that. But once upon I time…well, here is my first reaction to that film on a site I used to contribute to — Choking On Popcorn

    What interested me in the film was that not only do I like horror films, but was blown away by Christophe Gans prior film to this ‘Le Pact Des Loups’ (Brotherhood Of The Wolf) although when I caught up to ‘Crying Freeman’ I was disappointed in that a little bit. But I’m still surprised why Gans hasn’t become a major director. It baffles me.

    • Cecil:

      Excellent! Always glad to hear other fans of this movie and I’m happy you liked the video.

      Unfortunately as with a lot of things “fans” will often ruin it for everyone else. I consider myself a huge fan of the games and understood you didn’t need to have played the games to understand the movie. Now, you will appreciate more of the things in the movie, much like if you read the X-men comics and then saw the film.

      The sequel (which did get a theatrical run, at least in the US) wasn’t all bad. I thought they did a good job despite having a fraction of the budget and more producer meddling. (they wanted the film to be more mainstream since the original wasn’t) They got the look and pacing down but it just didn’t have the magic of the original.

      Gans is an outstanding director. It saddens me every time I see a Marcus Nispel or John Moore getting these big budget gigs when guys like Gans aren’t getting much of anything.

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