It’s Not Shit: Silent Hill: Revelation
Sometimes I’ll say a movie’s not shit because I’m an unabashed fan of the series or genre.
Sometimes it’s because I’m pleasantly surprised at the not-shitness of something I assumed would be, well, shit.
Silent Hill: Revelation is a delicious combination.
Like hot chips in a strawberry thickshake.
Seriously, try it.
TL;DR Kept down only by empty characters and rampant CGI bullshit, Silent Hill: Revelation is fast-paced, satisfyingly connected to its predecessor, and most importantly, creepy as fuck. 4 out of 5 stars.
Was probs gonna give it a 3. But dat Sean Bean.
The plot picks up several years after the events of the first movie. Sharon is now all grown up and played by budget Carey Mulligan (Adelaide Clemens) as an 18 year old. She was able to escape the fog world due to a sacrifice by her mum, but now Sharon and her dad are on the run from Silent Hill’s cult’s operatives in the real world. They capture Bean, forcing Sharon to return to the eerie mountain town. Blah blah blah turns out she’s the other half of Alessa (the big bad monster) and once they’re reunited she is able to take down the cult (led by Carrie-Anne “I was in The Matrix. Does anybody care about that anymore?” Moss) for good.
Kit “Game of Thrones” Harington shows up as the shallowest love interest ever, and a defector from the cult.
I’d heard some pretty meh reviews, and 3D horror sequels are a hard bet to take (though I didn’t watch it in 3D). But this movie does exactly what it needs to and should have done: be a creepy-ass bitch and show us weird shit.
The first movie had more memorable set pieces (bitch gettin’ her skin ripped off. Top that. What’s that? You can’t), but Revelation is more insistent with its craziness. Fewer lulls, more severed arms and homicidal, blind nurses.
And Malcolm McDowell mutating into a hell beast by shoving a medallion into his chest. Inspired.
Why I DON’T hate this movie:
Malcolm McDowell also gets to shake off the averageness of Rob Zombie’s cruelly misfired Halloween II. Thank god.
Budget Carey Mulligan is an acceptable lead. She’s cute and innocent looking, but not a battered waif. She doesn’t look like she’s trying too hard when she’s fighting back against everything that’s thrown at her. A main character you can care about, pretty much.
Sean Bean actually came back? Sean Bean has survived 2 (fucking 2!) movies? And in a horror series? Holy miracle, Ned Stark.
Radha Mitchell makes a brief cameo to explain the “Sharon got out of the fog world somehow” plot inconvenience. Gotta give the movie points for getting the original actress back. Isn’t that right, Return to House on Haunted Hill? And the ending sees Bean choosing to stay in Silent Hill to search for the missing Radha. Sequel, plz.
Carrie-Anne Moss gets very little screentime as head cultist Claudia, but she manages to bring a different kind of evil to the role of the previous film’s villain’s sister. Where Christabella was zealous and batshit insane, Claudia is more considered and deliberate. She also has that “platinum blonde hair, pale face, no eyebrows” thing going for her. Creeptastic.
And Debra Kara Unger makes a cameo as Alessa’s mother, too. Original cast represent.
There’s a procession of clichéd “creepy” nightmare locations: ironworks (very Nightmare on Elm Street), mental hospital, abandoned amusement park. Luckily, the movie whips by each one so fast that you don’t get time to let their unoriginality sink in. Revelation gets its fucking shit done. No fuss, no mess.
It is also fortunate to avoid the temptation of explaining every little thing. We get the bare bones exposition about Alessa being responsible for the darkness due to a failed ritual the cult performed on her, but we don’t wallow in her back story. Likewise, the cult gets a basic “doin’ it for the evulz/resurrection of some random god” motivation. It’s all you need. You can’t complain about shallowness in a 3D horror sequel. Don’t even bother.
The iconic Pyramid Head returns as a (sort of) ally this time. His purpose for existing is to protect Alessa, so by extension, he also protects Sharon. He’s definitely someone you want on your team.
Oh, and Claudia’s reaction to Kit’s betrayal is to send him to the seriously fucked up asylum. That’s some parenting I can approve of.
Reasons to hate:
The only big issue is the laughably unsubstantiated romance between Sharon and Kit. They’ve known each other for literally less than a day and he’s already declaring his love for her and shit. Later, she risks death by murder-nurse to save him, and he almost sacrifices himself to distract some armed guards. Slow it down, kids.
Kit’s accent bleeds constantly, as well. Not quite Rebel Wilson levels, but not far off. Stick to HBO, honey.
Evilessa grown up is just Sharon with black lipstick and bad hair. It’s very jarring to have so much excellent creepy shit going on, and then reveal the major villain to be an Emo. Couple with a forced “scary” voice, and you’ve got a disappointing “monster.”
The only original cast member they neglected to bring back was Jodelle Ferland, who was child Alessa. Grown up Evilessa only had 1 scene. An original actor cameo would have been way cooler than that hokey make-up job. Come on, guys. If you could drag Radha back, you could have convinced Jodelle.
The CGI does occasionally fail. The worst instance is the mannequin monster, which is too fake looking to be taken seriously. That scene also loses power by having the 2 random girls (who ended up in Silent Hill by way of bad luck) be killed off with no reaction from Sharon. She should have tried harder to save them. What kind of protagonist are you?
Sharon gets worst line (a coveted prize here on I Just Hate Everything) after seeing a PI get killed by the darkness. She has a question for Kit: “Do you think there is a difference between dreams and reality?” At this point in the movie she doesn’t know Kit’s in the cult and the PI attack is one of the first times where her “dreams” have seemed real. What a question to ask that boy you just met today.
Oh, and the monster that Claudia turns into is some bondage freak. I didn’t really see the correlation. She was defeated annoyingly easily by Pyramid Head, too.
As far as horror sequels go (and a video game adaptation, as well. Tough), you could do a lot worse. The 3D pandering is limited, the pace is perfect, and even Game of Thrones die-hards have something to look at. Also, our same-actor characters get closer to kissing than Elena and Katherine on TVD ever have. It’s not shit. 4 out of 5 stars.