Movie Reviews

Silent Hilll (2006): Movie Review

Silent Hill (2006) DVD Cover

The Silent Hill movie is based on a video game and, from what I have read in other reviews, the movie is more likely to be appreciated by people who are already familiar with the game. I am not a gamer though, and so spent a lot of time wondering what was happening, why it was happening, and if I even cared it was happening.

One of the movie’s redeeming features has got to be the special effects. They are very good. Unfortunately, the story itself is not so special and a lot of the Silent Hill movie script seems to be just ideas that have been thrown together—with very little thought—as a means of getting the characters into the scenarios that the producers needed them to be in.

The movie starts with Rose and Christopher (Sean Bean & Radha Mitchell) rushing out of their house in the middle of the night to look for their adopted daughter, Sharon, who is a sleepwalker. Sharon, who we learn has an ongoing problem when it comes to taking unscheduled hikes in the middle of the night, has either managed to traverse an extremely dangerous and busy road, without either causing an accident or killing herself in the process, or she has managed to follow the same route underneath the road that the river takes, before it dives over a cliff and becomes a waterfall. Obviously having some form of nocturnal death-wish, that is foiled only by her unnatural levels of good luck, the still-sleeping Sharon is now standing at the edge of the cliff. Rose reaches her and pulls her to safety just as Sharon is going over the edge. Sharon, still asleep, mentions Silent Hill and we are lead to believe that this is not the first time that the name has come up.

Both parents are very worried about Sharon, and Rose decides to take her daughter to Silent Hill. Christopher seems to have very little say in the matter. I suppose he might have had a little more say if he had been given any warning, but Rose is a decisive woman. She has made a unilateral decision and by God she stands by it. By the time her husband finds out what is happening his family is gone. Would a wife and mother behave like this? I doubt it, but this is the storyline that takes Rose and Sharon to the town of Silent Hill.

Silent Hill, we learn, is a ghost town. The town was destroyed in a fire, a few years prior to the present story, and apparently the fire is still raging underground. En-route to Silent Hill, Rose arouses the suspicions of a lady police officer who gives chase on her motorcycle. What Rose has done to warrant the officer’s unwanted attention is a mystery. There is no evident reason for the pursuit, but at least it gets the police woman to Silent Hill as well.

The road up to Silent Hill has been barred by double gates and, still trying to outrun the cop, Rose keeps her foot down and rams her way through. Then things—other than Rose’s behaviour—start to get weird. First the radio goes haywire and then an apparition appears in the road, causing Rose to swerve. The car crashes and she is knocked unconscious.

When Rose awakes there is no sign of the motorcycle cop, or of Sharon. It also seems to be snowing, but the snow turns out to be ash and this is where the real story begins.

Rose walks the rest of the way to the town and searches for her daughter. There are no people in Silent Hill, but there are other creatures and everything starts to get rather confusing.

  • If the town was burnt down why is so much of it intact?
  • Why do the monsters come out when the siren sounds?
  • Why does reality seem to twist and take on a new shape when the siren sounds?
  • Who sounds the siren?
  • What is the siren and has Rose slipped into another dimension?

A reason for all of these things is given later on in the movie but, once again, it seems to have just been tossed into the mix as an afterthought.

The cop shows up again later on and proves to be one of the best characters in the movie, and no, I’m not just saying that because she is wearing leather. She actually has to loose her jacket after an encounter with a tar-spitting monster, and she looks all the better without it.

I didn’t like the way Silent Hill ended, it made everything that had already happened in the movie seem pointless and stupid.

Scariest monster? The guy with a pyramid on his head, a big sword in his hand, and a chip on his shoulder. He (it?) was like a killing machine wearing novelty headgear.

Silent Hill is rated certificate 15. It has 5:1 surround sound and runtime of around 2 hours. English is the only choice of subtitles and special features included with the DVD include interviews with cast and crew, trailers, and a photo gallery.