Monday, May 01, 2006

The game is better than the movie...but... 

So, last night I saw Silent Hill with a few friends and it actually lived up to my expectations. The art direction mirrored the game true, and story line was actually pretty close. I still like the original gmae better, for a couple of reasons. First, when it came out, there was never anything like it on the market. Resident Evil was about as close as you could get, but even it had more of a focus on shooting the zombies with an increasing amount of firepower. The sheer weirdness of the Silent Hill game was unparalleled, and for that reason, not a whole lot of folks played it. In the beginning of the game, they give you hints and shadows of what is out there, what is going on. This is one of the places where the film fell down; they showed, through some amazing CG, the things that were around. When you show a film audience the source of fear, it takes away a great deal of the fear, and for an audience primarily composed of folks who hadn't played the game, can probably look downright silly. You've got to build that sense of fear and then towards the end, only show a split second of what it is, just long enough for both the fear to remain and for the viewer to say, "What the hell was that?!" The real beauty of the Silent Hill game was its alienness, both in what was going on and the fact that it was a new idea to gamers. Some of the terror (not a lot, but some) was gone by the time the sequel game came out, because to a certain extent, you already knew the script and knew what to expect. (Not that anyone expected Pyramid Head, but when we saw him, we appreciated his alienness without being blown out of the water because we knew the creators of Silent Hill would do something like that.)

The movie also did not make enough use of the sounds of Silent Hill, though a chill went down my spine when the opening music played. The scraping of the huge cleaver could have been used more effectively as well as a host of sounds off in the distance for which there is no clear discernable source, even as they come closer and then move away. The sense of desparatenees of the game was somewhat eliminated by the fact that the main character's husband was often shown in the outside world, giving viewers a connection to "reality" that the game totally abandons. There were also too many people. I think in the first game there were 4 other people with whom the main character interacted in the town of Silent Hill. That also adds to the desparateness and was lacking in the film. The film concentrated too much on the gore level of fear and not on the psychological level. But, it was some great, horrific, truly terrifying, gut-wrenching gore. And, here is where I really hand it to them, they did the gore stuff in the alien style of the game just right. And the nurses were spot on!

All that said, I enjoyed the movie, was scared at a few points, but overall was not terrified as I had expected to be. The acting was lame and some of the dialogue was cheesy, but you had to expect that. I think with just a few tweaks, they could have turned this from a decent horror flick into one of the greatest all time; the hard work was done for them by the game's creators, they just needed to translate that a bit better onto the screen.



I will say this - I have never been to a movie where people RAN from the theater before. I had parts I liked, and Hudd, if you're reading this, I almost broke down crying at one part, so I'm very content to have spent six bucks and two hours watching it.

ZAX out,

By Blogger BrotherBeal, at 12:50 PM  

But Beal...crying (or at least whimpering) in horror movies isn't that unknown for you. At least, not when reality and the movie have a startling symmetry.

Speaking of the Ring and scary video games, F.E.A.R. is an FPS that came out last year...extremely good (well, other than that terrible acronym). Obviously more action-focused than the Silent Hill games, but it's definitely one of the creepiest games I've ever played. It creeped Rebecca out, and she just caught occasional glimpses over my shoulder.

And, on a completely different note, to answer Ryan's question about the science of last weeks Bones episode...not likely to happen. Depends on the type of cancer, and the type of transplant, but stuff like that should have been screened before surgery. 'Course, black-market type operations are a different story, but still unlikely to have caused the kindsa problems you were describing. Does make for a good TV premise, though.

By Blogger Hudd, at 11:32 PM  

Whoa - yeah, Hudd, you're right about FEAR. I borrowed it from someone I know, and the first cutscene (when the soldiers get eaten by whatever the heck that cloud ghost thing is) definitely made me check over my shoulder for an hour or so...

ZAX ou... what was that?

By Blogger BrotherBeal, at 11:18 PM  

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