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Silent Hill (R)

Release Date: April 21st, 2006 by TriStar Pictures.
The Cast: Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, Jodelle Ferland.
Directed by Christophe Gans.

BASIC PREMISE: Rose (Mitchell) searches for her young daughter, Sharon (Ferland), in the ghost town of Silent Hill.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Silent Hill excels the most when it comes to visual effects and set design. The plot wastes no time as, in the very first scene, Sharon acts possessed with nightmares and repeatedly utters the words “Silent Hill” until her mother find out it’s a real town and takes her there instead of to a mental institution. Just like in many horror films, their car crashes right before all the terror begins. When Rose wakes up for the crash, Sharon is missing and, for the rest of the film, she tries to find her through the seemingly deserted, creepy town. A motorcycle cop (Holden) shows up to help her with the search, which soon turns into battles with strange-looking, vicious creatures. Meanwhile, Rose’s husband (Bean) searches for her. Unfortunately, any suspense becomes diminished during the tedious second act as Rose gets closer and closer to the dark secrets of Silent Hill—you can forget about any subtleties. Deborah Kara Unger plays a strange Silent Hill inhabitant who longs to reunite with her daughter, who happens to look like Sharon. How will Rose get out of Silent Hill? Will she finally reunite with her daughter? What’s the connection between Sharon and Silent Hill? All of these questions get answered too quickly during the third act without leaving much for the imagination. On a positive note, the visual effects are quite impressive along with the intricately-designed town of Silent Hill which gives an effectively creepy atmosphere. At least the R-rating includes some decent gore to please horror fans, but too bad that everyone else will have to suffer from awkward dialogue, a contrived subplot, and no surprises.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.


IN A NUTSHELL: Visually stylish and creepy, but often tedious, awkward and unsurprising.


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