Much like Punisher: War Zone turned out to be 90 minutes of ‘be careful what you wish for’ fan servicing, so too is Silent Hill: Revelation perhaps the best videogame movie of all time in terms of sheer bone-headed fidelity.
You get brief ‘look at this! ARE YOU LOOKING?’ cameos from Silent Hill: Origins truck driver Travis Grady while a prison convoy carrying Silent Hill: Downpour‘s Murphy Pendleton buzzes past, needlessly intravenous appearances from the pink bunny who is seldom off screen, pixel-perfect costumes, and you can even peer down the tops of faceless murder nurses to your heart’s content.
No, it’s fine; we all know you did.
Silent Hill: Revelation is basically everything gamers have been asking for since Resident Evil had the temerity to shift the focus onto its all new, spin-kicking Mary Sue and not give Mike the helicopter guy the six films he so clearly deserves.
There’s even loyalty to the worst aspects of the medium – particularly the dreadful voice acting as the frowny one from Parade’s End (Adelaide Clemens), the gormless one from Game Of Thrones (Kit Harrington), and the Sean Beany one from Sean Bean (Sean Bean) put on their most vague and indeterminate American accents. There’s the lumpen dialogue that ushers the plot numbly across the road of meaning like a suicidal lollipop man, and the inevitable trudge from shit-the-bed QuickTime event set piece to shit-the-bed QuickTime event set piece.
No expense is spared with the detail – supporting characters are introduced just to be immediately slaughtered, and Heather at one point picks up a gun which then completely vanishes despite her figure-hugging attire, only to reappear from her Denim Skirt Of Holding when required, all exactly like playing a videogame. You almost expect to see a clipping error cause someone to become fused with a door, but given the general vibe of MTV’s Hellraiser the whole movie exudes, that wouldn’t seem as risibly out of place as it sounds.
With the surprisingly subdued Christophe Gans out, and Deathwatch‘s Michael J Bassett in, the tone shifts from atmospherically mediocre to bombastically mediocre. A sort of gold standard in noisy, entertaining mush that spotwelds the mythology of the Silent Hill 2 directly onto the smoking carcass of Gans’ first movie with a quick blurt of handwaving to keep you from focusing too hard on where the join fails to meet.
While horror fans might take some joy from Silent Hill: Revelation – particularly those missing the endless parade of direct-to-DVD Hellraiser sequels, being there’s plenty of melting walls, leather straps, and surgical scars on display – it’s ideal audience should be vast stadiums full of paralysed videogamers, all forced to watch it on an endless, booming loop until finally they understand why it’s best to just let filmmakers make films.
‘Faithful’, as we should all know by now, is often worlds away from ‘good’.