Film Corner: Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2

: Time for the next movie! Silent Hill: Revelations (2012). I have heard that this is not high art, and should be afraid. I say to that: "well, it can't be worse than Valerian, right?" Before we even get to the movie, already I notice a particular kiss of death: The studios are not the same. Tristar/Sony published the first movie. Universal published this one. I am in for shit, aren't I?

Heather runs through a carnival, being chased by a leather cult. Pyramid Head runs the merry-go-round as she tries to hide on it. Dark Heather appears before her and sets everything ablaze with one warning: "Do not go to Silent Hill." Heather wakes up screaming. Chris rushes in to calm her down and tell her that Silent Hill , but then gets stabbed by a monster! But it's all okay, but it was just another dream! Oh good, we're using this cheap cliched tactic.

Turns out Heather isn't her real name, which is close enough to Silent Hill 3. But wait, Chris is now Harry? Wait... Why are we making him Harry now? I thought this was supposed to be not-quite Harry, like she's not-quite Cheryl. This feels like fans complained. Harry gets her an early-birthday present of the signature vest. Then he sends her off to school. Sean Bean's accent is really slipping in this movie. It kind of was last movie, but it's more obvious here somehow. I guess cause he's speaking more?

Harry goes looking in her journal and hides the page of "SILENT HILL" in a box with the save symbol on it. Rose tells Chris through the mirror that she can't be in this film, so take Sharon and keep her safe. Then Sharon is just on the couch with a brass symbol. So dude finds his daughter with a weird symbol-covered disc and thinks "yeah, I'll make a box covered on that". …..I think Harry would NOT do that. That seems more like a Henry thing to me.

Heather sees a homeless man, but catches a flash of him faceless. This spooks her already, but then a creepy man starts pushing some "do I know you" bit on her, making her more freaked. Can this girl not catch a break? Heather's homeroom forces her to share something about herself. She gives a verbal middle finger to the whole class and sits down. Good for her! But she's not the only new student. Now we meet... Vincent. A leather-wearing bad-boy. Oh no.

As Heather goes to her next class, she starts getting visions of Alessa being bullied in class and how she's next. Then the Otherworld flickers in around her. An Armless Man wanders in, prepared to charge her. Just as she's about to run, Vincent grabs her. Oh fuck, we're going to be forced into a romance with this, aren't we? He follows her, asking about coffee. She says no. He gives puppy eyes. And now the creepy guy from before is following her. She calls Harry, and it looks like someone found him at home.

At least this feels like we're setting up for some of the SH3 plot. Heather waits in the mall next to a birthday party. The cake and balloons say "Happy Birthday Heather". Alright, there's a lot of Heathers out th- OH MY GOD NOW IT SAYS ALESSA. THE CHILDREN EAT CARNAGE. THE GUARD IS FACELESS. NOW CREEPY GUY FOUND HER. RUN!!! [TW: Cannibalism] In the staff only area, she sees a man getting carved alive by a butcher, then the flesh being cooked next to the dead bodies. The FDA is going to have a field day in this mall!

Heather runs off with creepy guy in pursuit. He keeps calling her Sharon. Finally she grabs a pipe and tries to intimidate him. He says he's a detective hired by The Order of Valtiel and.... Wait a god-birthing minute... This is Douglas? Creepy skinny guy is the gumshoe detective from SH3? And what's that about The Order? I thought they were more of a Christian/Puritan cult thing. Is the movie backpedaling to be more "faithful" to the source material? Oh, it's gonna regret that.

Either way, Douglas gives her information that her father might not be upfront with her. After he gives the name Silent Hill, a monster appears and kills him, leaving Heather to run and hide in the basement of the mall. The monster we've seen is called the Missionary, and is supposed to be Harry's killer, not Douglas'. Also, is supposed to be male, not female, but... Eh, they still look interesting. Honestly, they're hard to make out in the game, so this is a nice clean concept!

Heather heads back through the mall and makes it outside where there's 911 responders present. Someone found Douglas' body and reported it. Was there a time jump she went through? I felt she wasn't in there long... Otherworld, man... Heather walks away to rush home, but Vincent starts to follow her to talk. She's not in the headspace for letting people in, but he tries to be a decent guy and offer his jacket. She sees the leather cult again, but Vincent doesn't. It seems she's hallucinating.

Quick aside about Vincent. That ain't Father Vincent. This is a classy, leather-wearing, chip-on-his-shoulder, heart-of-gold sweetheart. Father Vincent is a chaos agent who jokes about serious topics and brings jokes into serious discussions. Why the name??? On the way home, Heather mentions dreams and reality. Vincent talks about his grandfather mentioning worlds on top of worlds. His grandfather is committed, so he doesn't talk about it. (Oh my god, Vincent sounded like Vincent in that scene.)

They walk her to her street with some chemistry naturally(!) blossoming between them. She's still not ready to let people in, but there's a chance that he'd be an exception. He may not be Game!Vincent, but he's a good man! May this charming character not die... Heather walks in, expecting her father. A message in red tells her to "Come to Silent Hill" with a red symbol next to it (Halo of the Sun). Then Vincent knocks, asking if she's ok. "I heard you screaming." She lets him in, asking for help. He's the exception!

Vincent watches as she pulls stuff out of a box with the Halo on it that Harry kept. His job is to ask questions so the audience has answers. Then the police bust in, because she must have been the one who killed Douglas! Vincent drives them away, trusting her. At least the cops in this movie act realistic. Bust down the door of a house they suspect is correct, assume the murderer is a high-school girl rather than do any actual thinking, guns drawn because someone didn't open the door right away at midnight. Realistic! So Vincent is getting her to Silent Hill rather than Douglas. Ok.

Chris/Harry wrote a note, telling her that she isn't to go back to Silent Hill and that he lied to her to "protect" her. Wouldn't telling her the truth eventually actually help you protect her? Harry's notebook is really detailed and cool-looking? How did he find those monsters? Anyway, they mention that Silent Hill was built on sacred Native American lands (which is from game's Mouth of God, though doesn't make it less racist).

Heather reads the plot (cult trying to birth God for their apocalypse) while he keeps driving. After a while, they stop at an inn for the night. Then he says that Heather shouldn't go to Silent Hill because something might happen to her. This is seen as touching? Oh shit, he's sent to bring Heather back! He's a child of The Order! (If his mom is Claudia, I'm shitting bricks.) He shows a massive wound in the shape of the Halo, which the only way he can move between the worlds. The cult member Harry killed had a mark like that.

Vincent says that Harry's dead if The Order has what they want (Heather), and that she has to go of her own free will. In order to save Harry for good, she has to find the other half of the brass plate. Looks like we're in for a Silent Hill scavenger hunt! In her rage against him, the Darkness peels away around them. As she tries to ask questions, Vincent is captured, and Heather knocked out. She wakes in the ash world with a gun, ready to take on Silent Hill.

She walks into town with no trouble, but people watch from the building windows. Down an alley, she's at a church. Past some bodies, and we run into Dahlia! She joins in the "stay away from Silent Hill" club. Here, we get a quick version of the previous movie's history about Alessa. The Darkness takes over, interrupting their conversation. Heather runs into a building where a birthday table is in the hallway. Something spooks her to run into another room.

A room full of mannequins. Oh god no. She wanders through the shelves, creepy mannequins looking back at her. One is even breathing! She comes across a woman being slowly turned into a mannequin! Holy shit! THE MONSTER IS HORRIFYING!!! Heather manages to save a woman from the monster and get her out of there. Oops! Spoke too soon. She dead. Vincent is now being interrogated by the Leader of the Cult, and his mother. She calls him weak for not doing his job and sends him to the asylum.

Heather makes it to the asylum herself, looking for Leonard. But she's not alone. A faceless man tries to kill her, but the bullet takes him out quick! She makes her way to S12, where Leonard is just tethered to the floor. (Not a monster, but is Malcom McDowell.) Leonard tells her not much, but when he's given the Seal, he names it and thrusts it inside himself as he had the other half. Now he can see and fight! NOW he's a monster! He carries her away, but then she steals the Seal, killing him. Heather then finds herself surrounded by grabby "inmates" and can't get free. She cries for help, which comes in the form of Pyramid Head slicing arms like salami! It's enough for her to hide and slip away.

She hides again and sees Vincent being wheeled away. Looks like she's going to save him. Cut to a room full of faceless nurses. They remain still, until they sense movement. Vincent is soon the only one alive. Heather rescues him, barely, and they book it. I noticed something odd about these Nurses. Light isn't what draws them anymore, and they make these very sexy gasps and moans with every movement. IMO, the gasping kind of makes them less scary and more silly? Just my opinion...

We learn that the Darkness has been on the whole time, which... is a choice. I thought it was cool to go back and forth. Yet, here we are with no transition back after we talked to Dahlia. Huh.... So now we're at the carnival! Vincent goes back to "get out of Dodge" talk and I'm super peeved. Why did they make me hate him? She's here already! She can't just GO BACK! How about you go back to being that cute boy at the beginning?! I liked you then!

The Carnival springs to life around them and fills the air with annoying (sry, scary) noises. Some Order soldiers (The Brethren) are searching for them. Vincent "sacrifices" himself to distract them. Then Heather realizes this is just like her dream. Heather gets caught by a Brethren, but is stopped when she rips his mask off. See, they believe that the air of the Darkness corrupts them. Turns out to be right as he starts turning black and coughing up black fluid! Weird!

Heather runs for the Pyramid Head merry-go-round, and the dream repeats itself. She and Dark Heather have a talk. Then hug it out in a battle of wills. Heather accepts the Darkness in her, now whole. I think they're whole? Heather awakens in the sanctuary and walks through like she owns the place. She finds Harry, but is stopped by- did we get a name for her yet? White One. She says that Harry will feed the god and Heather will birth it, so all of the world will pay for its sins.

Heather gives White One the Seal so we can see her turn into the Missionary. Awesome, awesome! AND NOW PYRAMID HEAD AND MISSIONARY FIGHT! YES! It's... an ok fight. She's gonna win, I feel. But it's long enough for Heather and Vincent to save Harry! Nevermind! She gets some good hits in, but then he cuts her head off like butter! Fade to white as Pyramid Head walks away, and now we're in the ash world. Though, the ash has stopped. There's some talk that things will be different, though maybe not over...

Harry/Chris says he can't go with Heather as he needs to finds Rose and she can't go with him because it's his task and not hers. I think Sean Bean just wanted out without having to die. He walks off, taken by the fog. Heather and Vincent find a way out of the ash world and walk along the highway. They get picked up by a trucker named TRAVIS GRADY! IT'S THE RETCON MAN HIMSELF. As they drive off, we see police traveling along the road in a similar scene to Downpour.

The End...?

Look, if you want to make a movie adaptation that's LIKE the game, but not exactly like it, the first movie is a good way to go about it. The second one, I feel, isn't. There were several references made in the first film to be a good adaptation, but also enough creative differences here and there to persuade me to believe that it was a nice little AU of the first game.

The second film didn't quite hit that sweet spot for me. Maybe it was the sudden renaming of the main characters back to the original ones. Maybe it was the almost retelling of the plot of SH3. Maybe it was something else. I don't know. But it just quite didn't. But, it's not SH3 made for film, it's a movie sequel. So as a movie, how does it fare? Actually, not terrible. It's not AMAZING in the slightest, but it's not god-awful either.

6/10, better than Valerian! I knew it! Also, that WAS Claudia as Vincent's mother!!! I figured it out! Silent Hill's references were subtle and acted like a bit of Easter egg candy for the fans. Revelation's references were like someone winking at the camera going "see what we did there?".


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