Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) has a problem: Not only is her husband an ineffectual buffoon, but her young adopted daughter has a tendency to sleepwalk into very precarious conditions and awake with the words “Silent Hill” on her lips.
Arbitrarily reaching the conclusion that Silent Hill is the name of a town, Rose effectively proves that she has indeed married her soulmate and decides to ferry her daughter off to the town of Silent Hill to see what the hubbub is.
Seriously bad move. Seems that Silent Hill is a West Virginia town with some serious effin’ issues. Abandoned and quarantined after an underground coal lode caught fire and continued to burn interminably, Silent Hill is a town nobody goes to anymore.
By the way, that info about the coal fire? Holds about as much water as Dubya’s weapons of mass destruction offense. Cue to the Japanese video game used as source material. Like the video game, the characters spend the majority of the time running … so get used to it.
Personally, I liked the movie. It went for baroque and delivered. Sort of like if Italian mind-game maestro Dario Argento had possessed Clive Barker, scared him straight and sucked the color out of him while indulging in J-horror tropes—and getting it right. Here we have a chorus line of faceless dead chicks in fetishistic nurse outfits going for the jazz hands with sharp objects, cruising on to include the sexiest motorcycle cop to ever power across the earth (Laurie Holden). How ’bout zombies with cleavage and serious booty? Silent Hill delivers in that regard. You want your borderline hentai, explicit anime? Come on in.
On the downside, Silent Hill is about two hours of watching Rose-without-the-Jack wandering around using a Zippo as a flashlight without firing up a single ciggie as mind-bending shit pours down around her.
Fortunately, director Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf) has a decided inability to develop any empathy for his characters. As it is, it treads the fine line between over-the-top and camp, while still maintaining a seriously disturbing vibe.
But aside from the fact that I have a screw loose, I also have to step back and wonder … how in the hell this got an R. Aside from showing some dude’s schlong or some variety of unacceptable sexual behavior, what does a filmmaker need to do to get an NC-17 anymore?