Film Corner: Silent Hill 1

Silent Hill 1

Kissmate: I just read an upsettingly poorly written e-mail from my father-in-law, so I'd like to prove a better writer with a #Kissmatewatches! Today's watch will be Silent Hill (2006, dir Cristophe Gans) and Silent Hill: Revelation (2012, dir M. J. Basset). I've seen Silent Hill before, but not Revelations. Since my first viewing was on a night when I was more worried about my husband's health, I figured the second viewing would hold my attention more. Also, I have played some of the games, so Nerd Cred!

We start with parents (Christopher and Rose) looking for their daughter Sharon. Rose finds her by a waterfall/cliff, swaying in her sleepwalking haze. We see the pool below fade into another world of fire, rust, and iron. There's a glimpse of another girl below. Just as Sharon is about to fall into the pit, Rose football tackles her to the side, saving her life. Sharon then starts screaming "SILENT HILL" over and over, clearly not well. As the family takes a huge breath of relief, a lit-up cross shines in the distance.

Next we see Sharon coloring animals and being a cute kid. Rose tells her about the trip to Silent Hill they're taking because of the sleep walking. Sharon seems a little confused since she doesn't remember her dreams. We then see a sign quoting Corinthians. Turns out Rose is going behind her husband's back and taking Sharon to Silent Hill without his knowledge or consent. Don't know how to feel about this.

Sharon has been making some drawings with dark creepy people and some runic-looking crosses. I'm noticing a motif of Christian iconography here that I hadn't before. That wasn't really brought up in the games, so I'm wondering if it's a change so the cult seems more American, or something. Or maybe the symbols are to mean that "this is safety and you are leaving it" instead. We'll find out! I'd also like to add that the music is VERY reminiscent of the OST of the games and I'm VERY excited about that!

Turns out Sharon didn't like her pictures changed. She doesn't remember! A cop walks toward Rose's car. She tries to talk to Sharon, but she rolls up the window with a "Don't talk to strangers" muttered. Good girl! When Rose tries to pay for gas, the cards are declined. When Rose calls Chris to tell him off, he says that Sharon needs doctors and medications, not trips to ghost towns. Rose disagrees, saying she's taking their adopted daughter to her home town for answers.

This conversation is a good example of a realistic and difficult situation. Their daughter is clearly not well and needs attention of some kind. When science "fails" to work, Rose looks to a more supernatural means. This is a very common reaction for parents. Instead of Rose going to a Faith Healer or a New Age Healer, she goes to the place that her daughter screams out every night in her sleep. It's her only lead. And you can't blame her for trying. Rose sees the cop circling her car. The cop offers assistance of any kind, but Rose quickly and firmly brushes her off. We see the cop write down the plates. Rose travels on with that good sweet music playi- DAMN IT, COP!

Rose thinks the same thing and stops just long enough to get the cop off her bike, then drives off to the Silent Hill exit. (I like the little nod they give to Brahams there!) Rose bursts through some gates blocking off the road. There's nothing stopping her now!

The radio. Something's wrong with her radio. It screeches and causes Sharon to cover her ears and scream. Rose then has to swerve not to hit a girl that looks very similar to the one we saw in the pit earlier. The car crashes, causing Rose to get knocked out. This whole scene is a nice recreation of the intro to the first game while still being a wonderful piece of film. The action, the editing, the camerawork. Not a thing out of place here. *chef kiss*

Rose slowly comes to, with Sharon missing. Heavy fog obscures most vision and ash falls from the sky. This feels and looks like the first game! Rose think she sees Sharon and rushes after her into an alleyway. Then the sirens begin. Darkness takes the screen until the sirens fade. Rose opens a lighter and continues on, needing to be with her child. The walls and fences are covered in wet rust now, and rain seems to be falling instead of ash. (The camera angles are like the first game!)

A gurney is just there, but before we can look at it, Sharon runs away. Rose chases her, but is stopped by a ghastly visage of a disemboweled person tied to the fence with barbed wire, guts everywhere. They're not dead though! As Rose turns around, a small child made of darkness and fire screeches at her, calling more of its brethren. She tries to get away with little success as they claw and grab at her. Only by the changing of the worlds is she saved. They burn away, and she faints.

Those little shadow children were exactly what I'd think a film-version of the monsters would be like! This movie is getting it! Also, that was horrifying to watch! Thousands of faceless monster children trying to smother you with their numbers is TERRIFYING. Rose wakes up suddenly to "Ring of Fire" playing in a bowling alley. Rose runs through the streets, finally coming to a dead end. It's like a huge knife cut through the town, and she sits on the edge.

A woman tells her only the "Dark One" opens the way to Silent Hill. When Rose mentions she lost her daughter, the woman goes on. "We've all lost our children... They deceived me. Their evil. Their hate. They hurt my child... Alessa." Wait... DAHLIA? So in this movie, Dahlia is NOT the mastermind behind the cult like in the game. IMO she's one of the biggest differences. We'll get into it more later when her story is revealed, but for now know that there is Movie!Dahlia and Game!Dahlia.

Rose shows Dahlia the picture of Sharon and starts exclaiming that she's her daughter. There's a tussle and Rose breaks out into a run, leaving Dahlia behind. "Into the fire, she swallowed their hate," Dahlia says. We see Chris in Brahams, asking about his wife. When that doesn't get him answers, he asks about Silent Hill with a bit of money to grease the tongue.

Back to Rose, who went back to her car. There's a drawing there Sharon made of a school, giving her a clue. She tries to start the car and make a phone call to Chris. The car stalls while she apologizes to the answering machine. Then the cop rolls in. CYBIL! Oh, shit, Cybil. They made her a bit of a bitch. She arrests Rose, handcuffs and all, and gets Rose to start walking back to Brahams with her. Rose tells her off a bit, but it means nothing to Cybil. I don't recall game!Cybil being this mean...

Chris gets the voicemail, but it's all static and broken phrases. He gets to the gate and sees that something blew through it. The police mention that her Jeep is there, but empty. Chris joins with them in hopes to find his wife quickly.  Little Easter Egg here I heard about: Detective Thomas Gucci (policeman on the bridge) is a name taken from a document Harry finds in the game. Not the same person, since Gucci died before the game via "mysterious circumstances", but still a nice little thing.

Cybil goes on about how she saw a boy get killed here once and she doesn't want it to happen again. Rose tries to tell her off again but Cybil blows it off. "How do I know she even is your daughter?" Would I have some random child's photo around my neck??? Think! They come across another knife cut in the road and Cybil is in disbelief. Even after Rose is proven right, Cybil still insists on getting to a radio with a handcuffed Rose. "Fuck you, you stupid cop." MOOD.

They see a silhouette in the distance and Cybil calls out to it. Then the radio starts emitting static. That can only mean one thing: that ain't human. The Armless Man from SH2 stumbles in and attacks Cybil, who then shoots it to death. The best part here is Cybil loses the helmet and jacket making her not only look better, but adds the transition of "no longer an asshole"(iirc). Rose runs away still cuffed, though gets her arms to her front. She uses the bus stops as a map to get to the school she thinks Sharon's at. (The school is also the one from the game!)

The doors have the same symbol Sharon drew when she slept: a strange crucifix. There's even a Bible verse above the doors! I get this is in West Virginia, so Bible Belt, but Texas didn't have verses everywhere in a public school setting. There's definitely something going on here. Rose heads to the main office and starts looking around for... I guess a heavy flashlight, cause she takes one and starts looking around.

Cut to Chris and Gucci going through the town. Gucci mentions his family died here in the '74 fire. Interesting. Rose goes through the school, but encounters some masked weapon-wielding people. Scared they could be monsters, she runs through the courtyard. (The hopscotch Heaven/Hell thing is amusing to me. Pause it and look, it's kinda funny.) Rose makes it to a classroom where she finds a desk with the dust disturbed. The name is Alessa Gillespie. Then we see Sharon or that girl (Alessa) run away, with Rose following her into the upstairs bathrom.

Rose tries to comfort the crying girl from the other side of the door, but opens it to find a body twisted up in barbed wire instead. There's something in his mouth and writing on the wall "daring, daring, doubling daring" her to take it. Oh no... After a tense scene and her nearly puking, she takes a blue item. She runs out to the hallway, where Rose is found by those people again! She locks the door, grabs a necklace (locket or cross?) and starts begging for help. It comes in the form of the Otherworld.

The people book it right before the siren goes off, leaving her alone in the Darkness. The Janitor crawls out of the stall, no longer a body. Rot seems to surround him, spreading on the walls from his touch. To put it lightly, he reminds me of a pervert monster. [TW: CSA] He molested Alessa when she came here to cry in the past. Now he's forced in a position so he has to drag his genitals on the floor to move around. His tongue waggles out of his mouth. He's blinded, so goes by hearing. This monster is super fucked.

Rose manages to get out, passing mutilated bodies in the hallway. She finds the people from before, now screaming as they're covered with foot-long bugs. Possibly little biters. She screams in horror either way. [TW: Insects] Oh yeah, they're biters. We see the bugs strip the flesh off the people in seconds. Their bodies are then covered by the swarms. Rose rushes to a room, hoping for an escape. Alessa scribbles away in the same room. Then Rose falls out of a window.

We get a glimpse of our world, where Chris and Gucci walk through the untouched school. And back to Rose, who is still inside the school (what are physics?) catching her breath. From behind her comes Pyramid Head himself, surrounded/untouched by the insects. Rose books it! Chris calls for his wife, who's so close, but dimensions away. Rose breaks down crying as Gucci leads Chris away. As the swarm closes in, Cybil drags Rose behind a door and barricades it. Then the cuffs come off. Yay!!

The peace doesn't last long as Pyramid Head thrusts his giant sword in past their defenses in hopes to stab deep inside them. Insects swarm in as he forces their backs to the wall. If I make that sound sexual and gross, it's because the director wanted it to be. Just as it looks like they're done for, the bugs start dying and Pyramid Head walks away. The world comes back, likes ashes falling into place. Peace returns, for now.

Chris is escorted out of the town and told to let the police handle it. He doesn't believe them, so starts making calls. Cybil and Rose makes their way to the hotel that the blue object eluded to. There, they find two women having a tousle. Anna is throwing rocks at Dahlia, calling her a sinner. Rose and Cybil stop her from attacking further as Dahlia escapes. Here, we get some answers about this town. There are more people here and they live at the church with Cristabella in charge. The symbol we've been seeing is on all the old buildings. It's "a symbol of our unity and faith" to Anna.

There's a drawing of a burning scene in the mail slot of room 111. Chris breaks into Braham's archives. Everything from Silent Hill is here, though it looks very burnt. He finds a file made by Gucci about Alessa, which includes the orphanage she was sent to. But not the one he got her from? Cybil and Rose takes Anna with them to Room 111. Turns out this town had witch hunts "to keep us pure". Rose takes this as a hint to rip open the painting of the witch burning to find room 111. There, the room leads to another building that looks burnt badly.

Rose goes through the building and sees Alessa crying in the corner. She crosses a bottomless pit and rocky footing to try to comfort her. Alessa gets up and bursts into flame with a giggle. But it was merely an illusion! No burning here anymore! As Rose gets back, Anna screams that the Darkness is coming. They run tot he church, which Sharon drew before. It doesn't look comforting. Dahlia tries to warn them not to go inside and Rose tries to talk about Alessa.
Then it goes black.

Behind Anna, who's ready to attack Dahlia again, Pyramid Head materializes. He grabs her, skins her alive, then throws the bloodied skin on the door just as it's closing behind Cybil and Rose. So what I'm seeing is don't fuck Dahlia, or Alessa gonna get ya. The church inside seems fine and 30+ people seem safe here. They call out against Rose and Cybil, calling them witches. Cybil calms them with a warning shot. Christabella calls them all to pray, after which the Darkness recedes.

Chris goes to the orphanage to ask about Alessa, but the Sister shuts down any questions. Gucci comes in to arrest Chris. Doesn't stop him from spilling what he does know about it, though still limited. These people did terrible things to Alessa, and she didn't make it after the fire in Silent Hill. Gucci shows he has burned hands from something and tells Chris to leave "this town and it's last 30 years" to him. Rose asks about finding Sharon to Chrsitabella. She tells them to go to the demon, though no one's lived to tell about it. Christabella pockets Rose's locket, but doesn't open it yet. That's an uh-oh waiting to happen.

Christabells them how to get there, but sees that Sharon looks like Alessa right before they go in. They try to stop Rose, but Cybil tells her to "find her" before blocking the way with Rose all alone. See, I believe game!Cybil would do this for Harry! Cybil gets the shit beaten out of her, but her fate is still up in the air. Rose walks out of the elevator and makes her way to the room she was shown. Unfortunately, there's a small platoon of sexy, faceless nurses twitching towards her!

Rose turns off the light, causing them to freeze. Rose squeezes past them, but one spots her! They struggle to hit her, but keep hitting each other instead. Rose bursts through a door and into safety! And a bright light, it seems. I noticed a lot of the monsters are from Silent Hill 2, even though the story is based on Silent Hill 1. I get why; SH2 has the more cinematic creatures while SH1 was more generic "flying demon" and "undead dog" creatures. It's just something worth noting to me.

Alessa congratulates Rose with the truth. Alessa was fatherless. That was enough to turn the town against her. Dahlia, in weakness, gave her to be purified. The town burned her to kill the evil, but it caused a HUGE fire. Gucci was the one to save Alessa. Alessa lived on for a long time, scared, alone, in pain, and full of hate. Alessa asks Alessa if she wants to make them hurt too. (Maybe a demon, or something?) That's what caused these worlds to be created and hurt those who hurt her. So, you know, stuff from the game, really.

Rose walks in to see a nurse in red (Lisa?). Alessa still lives, though barely. The Dark Part of Alessa tells Rose that Sharon is the only goodness left of Alessa. "It is time for the end of days." But Alessa can't enter the church alone. So now Rose has a job! Christabella raids Dahlia's home and finds both her and Sharon! Chris is taken to his car with a warning to not let it happen again. We then get a look into Cybil as she stayed with a boy for three days until he could be rescued. How was this supposed to comfort?

Cult is making a bonfire indoors. Smoky the Bear has a few words to you. They plan on burning Alessa, Dahlia, and Cybil. Cybil screams that they're fucked, right before she dies. Rose comes back and isn't happy with their bullshit. Rose screams how wrong they are. Christabella stabs her. The black blood is what causes Alessa to enter the church. So much for "telling them the truth", eh? Either way, Darkness Falls.

Rose starts bleeding profusely, opening a hole to Alessa. But all the blood was just Alessa, so Rose heals up real quick after. Bed and Alessa rises up on a column of barbed wire, ready to rain revenge on these assholes! Christabella is the most gruesome death. Barbed wire lifts her in the air, then shoots up her robes. Next we see those wires shoot out of her body in various places until she's split in half. Dark Alessa dances in the blood like it's rain. More wire comes out, killing the cult. Rose saves Sharon and tells her to shut her eyes. When Sharon faints, we fade to black.

Dahlia was spared, because she was Alessa's mother. They drive back home (sans Dahlia) with ash still falling. Chris gets a call from Rose, but it's all static. Rose and Sharon gets home, but it's all foggy still. They're in the wrong world. But... they're home.


This movie showed me how an adaption can be different from the source material but still be an amazing piece on it's own merits. I really do recommend this movie for those who can watch it. The gore is the only thing that prevents me from watching it non-stop. All-in-all, this movie tied its hair back, pulled up its sleeves, and gave us a hell of a run! 9/10, keep your radios close and your survival skills closer!

Break time before I subject myself to the sequel!


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