Review: Silent Hill's only Revelation is that it's terrible
The first Silent Hill film straddled the not-so-fine line between horror cult classic and an abortion of filmmaking. It took the imagery of the Silent Hill games, the hell world, and its psychological horror creatures to the big screen in fine form. Then, in an attempt to bring a coherent plot into the equation, the film devolved into a series of info dumps delivered through wooden, pitiful dialogue. It's something that could still be amazing if an editor went in and removed half the dialogue.
That near-miss of brilliance gave me hope that Silent Hill: Revelation would right the wrongs of the original. After all, it wouldn't take much more than tossing out the script and letting the atmosphere speak for itself. Unfortunately, the creators of Silent Hill: Revelations didn't take fan opinion to heart. Instead, they repeated the same mistakes again with half the adherence to what makes Silent Hill special and twice as much wooden exposition.
The revelation here may be the bit of revisionist history that allows Sharon, the girl from the first film, to return to her father Christopher (Sean Bean). Years later, the two are on the run from cultists. They regularly move to new towns and change their names, giving Revelations an opportunity to name drop characters from Silent Hill 3 (the game). Now known as Heather and Harry, the pair can't outrun the cultists, eventually finding their way back to Silent Hill.
Along for the ride is Jon Snow...er, Vincent (played by Game of Thrones star Kit Harington), a boy from school who offers to help Heather return to Silent Hill. Of course he wouldn't be there without some secrets of his own, and his particular revelation is pretty much the turning point for any hope that this film will be any good.
Once again Silent Hill: Revelation is thick with explanations for all the madness that doesn't need explaining. And once again, the delivery of all this unnecessary info is as stilted as ever. The actors, almost all born outside of the United States, can't even be bothered to keep their accents in check. Sean Bean in particular dips into his native accent off and on throughout his scenes. As the revelations keep coming in the form of actors who seem too good for this film (Malcolm McDowell and Carrie-Anne Moss), it becomes clear that the terrible acting wasn't anyone's fault but those behind the camera.
At it's best, Silent Hill: Revelation is all about the creatures, but even then it falls pitifully short. Pyramid Head makes his return of course, but this time he's less terrifying and more fan service, pitted against another creature in an idiotic battle resembled Voldo and Nightmare duking it out in Soul Calibur. The creepy/sexy nurses also make a return, once again showing the creators' utter failure to understand what Silent Hill was about. After all, the nurses in Silent Hill 2 (the game) were manifestations of the main character's repressed sexual desires (yep), and in Revelations they're kinda just there.
Well before the end you'll probably find yourself fed up with the story and desensitized to the horror elements. That the central conflict of Revelations is solved with little more than an incredibly dramatic hug is just icing on a terrible cake. What I was left with was a very different nightmare than I hoped for: that I was looking at the next game-turned-movie-series to follow in the footsteps of Resident Evil. Now that's some scary stuff.