Experience had taught us to be wary of sequels, especially if the original film left a lot to live up to. In all honesty I can't remember very much of the first Silent Hill movie as I last watched it about 6 years ago - though there are certain elements of it which always stuck in my mind; the hazy smoky town with flakes of ash falling silently from the sky and settling on the eerily empty streets, the wonderfully stylized metamorphosis into the stained world of darkness and some extremely grimy characters - my favorites being the twisted, light activated nurses whose fantastically jerky movements really gave a whole new dimension to the word creepy. Stylized horror is still something I can enjoy - it's the particularly grim torture-gore that Saw and Hostel seem to have given rise to that I've learned to veer well clear from - and has resulted in me shying away from a lot of modern horror movies, they're just too damn nasty!
Fortunately Silent Hill: Revelation doesn't fall into the torture-gore trap and like its predecessor is has some wonderfully dark styling in it though I did find it just about mediocre in terms of plot, which is a shame as as far as I can remember the first film was actually rather good and its cast contains a few actors who've previously proved their worth. Adelaide Clemens who will soon be very well known for her upcoming role in Baz Luhrman's Great Gatsby is our young blonde protagonist, fathered by a rather strained Sean Bean and accompanied through much of the film by Kit Harington who'll you'll know as Jon Snow from Game of Thrones. Stylistically however the art, makeup and CGI teams have succeeded in once again delivering us a heavily stylized world of darkness with some wonderfully twisted visual elements despite having less than half the budget of the first film. Patrick Tatopoulos - who gave us the Red Pyramid, Grey Children, Nurses and Bugs in the original - and Paul Jones reunited and have conjured some rather wicked creations with the support of a much smaller makeup team - many of whom also worked on the most recent addition to the Resident Evil movie franchise.
Now for some spoilers!
It will be no secret to any of you who know me even a fraction that I adore creepy circus imagery so I was delighted at the opening sequence of this film which is set in a seriously macarbe abandoned fairground, populated with abandoned rides scattered amongst the bare skeletons of trees. I especially love that freaky grimy clown faced entrance, would LOVE to make something like that one day!
The freaky nurses return in full force and this time we're able to see a lot more of them as it's sound which brings them to life rather than light. I know I've mentioned it already but I just love their choreography: the poses they hold inbetween motion and the movements themselves are so inhuman and fantastically eerie especially in combination with the cracking sounds of their bodies and the soft lustful girly moans....though where the latter come from is a bit of a mystery as none of them seem to have mouths....
One new creature that really stood out was a weird clackety mannequin spider monster - a great design which again was bought to life with the clever use of sound and movement. This sequence also contained a nice piece of metamorphosis as a girl is transformed into a mannequin - albeit all a little heavy on the ol' CGI. Though I'm coming to terms with the fact that in some cases CGI is a really great option I still pine heavily for wonderful magic of stop motion and would have loved to have seen some integrated here.
If you're looking for a night in with a cunning horror film full of unexpected twists turns and revelations....this isn't it. However if it's the creepy dark visual side that you're interested in Silent Hill: Revelations might just have something for you. I'll leave you with the trailer and a few more images from the movie xxx