Being an avid lover of both film and video games, I feel the need to confess something: I believe the Silent Hill movie is the best video game adaptation ever filmed.
While there were a few minor changes (and one major deviation) made in the original adaptation, the first film nailed the mood, sound and story of the original game perfectly. It also helped that Silent Hill had a great director, Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf)– who felt it a necessity to treat the source material with respect.
Another important part of the first film’s success: The use of the original game soundtrack by composer Akira Yamaoka. Like the other game elements, the movie benefited greatly from Gans realizing Silent Hill’s music was every bit as important as its visuals. To not include the game scores would’ve been like ripping out the heart and soul of the original games. Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3 are among the most rarefied few of video game series– where all of the creative components are virtually inseparable. They are all necessary to making these games some of the best ever created.
For those of you not familiar with the original 3 SH games, the third was a sequel to the first… Both story and character-wise. Silent Hill 2 was its own thing. The only element all 3 games shared was their main setting: The town of Silent Hill. And while fans of Silent Hill 2 really wanted to see the game adapted for the big screen next, it really makes sense to use Silent Hill 3 as the basis for the next film in the franchise.
Upon hearing a few years ago that Silent Hill’s original director and screenwriter would not be involved in any sequel, I worried how the project would fare. Thankfully, watching the Silent Hill: Revelation trailer went a long way to putting my initial worries to rest.
I have played the game so many times, I pretty much have it memorized. Visually, everything in this trailer is from Silent Hill 3. The characters, the setting, the story, the look… It’s all there. Unfortunately there IS something– or rather, someone– who doesn’t belong (but I’ll get to that in a bit). So you can see just how much the filmmakers pushed for a similar look, here’s an image comparison of the video game’s main protagonist Heather Mason and Adelaide Clemens– the actor who plays the character in the upcoming film:
The cast also includes Sean Bean, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell and Martin Donovan. By their appearances alone, I can tell which character each actor is playing. This is how close the film comes to echoing the source material.
The opening and closing music in the trailer are Yamaoka compositions that first appeared in the Silent Hill 2 video game. I really, truly hope the finished film continues to use music primarily from the games. Is this a make or break point for me? As a film lover, No… But as a gamer? Yes. It would be bothersome– if not very annoying. But hey, I’m a difficult person to please. I’ll try not to hold anything against the film if it’s missing the video game music from the score… Let’s all just hope it doesn’t come to that.
Well, this column has been rather positive… Hasn’t it? But did you really think I could get through an entire post without complaining about anything? For those who just shook their heads and said, “No”… You win.
See that guy to the left there? That’s Pyramid Head. His inclusion in the first Silent Hill movie was my biggest gripe. And by the looks of the new SH Revelation trailer, he’ll be in this one too. So, what’s my problem with PH? He doesn’t belong in either adaptation. At all.
Without getting too detailed, Pyramid Head is character specific to Silent Hill 2. He is the embodiment of the anger and sexual frustration felt by that game’s protagonist, James Sunderland. But, hey, he looks cool and scary– not to mention he’s the most recognizable antagonist of all of the games– so let’s put him in all the movies. (I’m sure less demanding fans will love it.)
I know my Pyramid Head bias is a massive nerd nitpick– but still. They should’ve just saved him for a possible SH2 adaptation– should it ever get made. And, yes, that game also deserves to be made in a movie.
Below I’ve included the Revelation clip first screened at SDCC a couple of weeks ago. I would have posted it sooner, but I was waiting for the main trailer so I could put them together.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D will be released on October 26th… And seriously, FUCK 3D. Can the movie industry just move on already?