Review: Silent Hill Revelation 3D

Silent Hill Revelation 3D is a sequel to 2006’s Silent Hill. Directed by Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane, Deathwatch), Revelation takes on the dual role of being both a sequel to the original and an adaption of the Silent Hill 3 videogame.

Six years have passed since Christoph Gans released his Silent Hill adaptation, one which I was actually quite fond of. Yes, its plot deviated from Silent Hill 1, the game which it was based on, but it was overall a well put together film with beautiful cinematography. The Silent Hill film, to me, was what videogame films should strive to be. It was flawed, yes, but still something worth watching. Now I’m faced with Silent Hill Revelation 3D, a sequel to that flawed but promising film that was Silent Hill. Does it also transcend what has become to be expected from videogame films? Sadly, it does not. It revels in it.

Silent Hill Revelations 3D follows the story of Sharon DeSilva (Adalaide Clemens) and father Christopher DeSilva (Sean Bean) several years after the first film. Taking on new names to avoid being found by the forces of Silent Hill and the police, Sharon becomes Heather and Christopher becomes Harry. The film opens much like the game: Heather dreams of being in the Otherworld and awakes upon her death. A premonition of the places she will soon be drawn to.

In order to connect the first film to Revelation, a plot device is born: The Seal of Metatron. At the end of Silent Hill, Rose (Radha Mitchell) and Sharon are stuck within the fog world, with Christopher only somewhat aware of their presence. In a flashback scene featuring Radha’s brief screentime, Rose tell Christopher that she has found a way to send Sharon back to the real world. I think that this connection works, despite no mention of splitting Sharon from Alessa once more.

Along with what I feel was a shallow explanation, the scene also did not work because both Sean Bean and Radha Mitchel somehow didn’t perform to the best of their ability. The scene feels incredibly forced, over dramatic, and just wrong. Both of these actors are good at their craft, but somehow their performance seems unreal, and not in the good way. Sadly, this is not the only instance of such poor performance from those who I have seen perform better in other films.

Once again, Alessa (Erin Pitt) is the source of the town’s nightmarish form. Heather is told to never go there, regardless of what happens, but she does anyway. For her to destroy Alessa would be allowing The Order of Valtiel to summon their god…Valtiel. The issue with this is that once Heather actually deals with Alessa (which happens incredibly quick although a cool scene pulled straight from the game), the antagonist role goes back to The Order but is quickly quelled as the film is about to finish. It felt incredibly anticlimactic.

I want to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but the end of Silent Hill Revelation 3D marks one of the biggest disappointments I had in the film. It was almost insulting and confirms every fear that I have regarding videogame films. A Freddy V.S. Jason-esque battle occurs at the climax of the film. To put it bluntly, it was horrible.

Silent Hill Revelation 3D suffers immensely from rushed pacing and melodramatic dialogue. It’s hard to pinpoint which is the true culprit, because the film does not succeed at creating a believable sense of genre to the viewer. I knew that what the characters were saying was important and critical to the plot, but the way things were delivered came off as almost satirical. There were numerous scenes that were supposed to be big, dramatic “revelations” but simply came across as funny. On several occasions quite a few people in the theater awkwardly laughed at something said in the film. For example, there is one scene where one character confesses a truth that we all could see coming. I did not have to have played the game to realize that this character was hiding something. It was blatantly obvious due to the character’s transparent actions and dialogue.

Would the actor’s performances have more believability if the movie didn’t rush from scene to scene? I think so. The film moves from one location to the other without ever establishing the scene enough that I felt like I was taking in the environment just as Heather was. Heather finds a room, something happens, she moves to the next. Rinse and repeat. Even the fog world, the streets of Silent Hill, are given mere minutes of screentime when she arrives to the town of Silent Hill. The film felt more like a videogame, in the sense of “levels”, than the actual game does. Perhaps, it’s the realm of disbelief not being appropriately placed on the viewer, or at least me when I watched the film.

Environments that we do have some time to look at, have an appropriate level of detail. The film interestingly brings the Otherworld to places that we’ve never seen before. Taking a creative liberty to have aspects of the Otherworld leak into Heather’s own perception of her non-Silent Hill surroundings, we’re given different although, interesting interpretation of the Otherworld. During scenes like this, people and things slightly change but only to Heather. Some of it is goofy and a little too Cliver Barker-much like one of the film’s monsters—but I enjoyed it enough. 3D gave some nice depth to school scene, shown in the trailers, and was surprisingly tame—not too many things flying out of the screen.

Bringing back characters from the first film is commendable, but not when their presence feels incredibly unimportant. Even the antagonist, Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss) gets about 2 solid minutes of screentime. Claudia, Dahlia (Deborah Kara Unger), Leonard (Malcolm McDowell), and Douglas (Martin Donovan) hardly get the screentime they deserve for the audience to even care about them. Much like their amount of time on screen, everything about the film seems rushed. It’s a series of locations with hardly any substance gluing them together.

Heather, as a character, is one of my favorites in the series. Starting as someone terrified by the nightmare around her, Heather slowly gains more courage and strength as time goes on. There are just mere glimpses of this in her film portrayal. Adelaide Clemens looks and sounds the part, but the pacing of the film, the way it puts its scenes together, doesn’t allow for her character to show any meaningful character growth. One minute she may be terrified and the next she’s putting a gun in someone’s face. There’s no build up. There’s no development. There’s just one scene after the next. The film goes by too fast for any development from the characters. Vincent, played by Kit Harington, needed time for his character to be expressed naturally. Instead, his and Adelaide’s scenes together become laughable; there’s just a general lack of pathos.

After watching Deathwatch, I had so much faith in Michael J. Bassett as a director of a slow paced, psychological horror film with a limited budget. Deathwatch itself is very Silent Hill. But there is none of that tension in Revelation. It feels tainted by the most recent Resident Evil movies and their emphasis on flash over substance. But Silent Hill doesn’t translate into a flashy film like Resident Evil does; it’s meant to be slow and filled with building tension and emotion. Revelation ends up being a slightly better movie adaptation of a Silent Hill game but worse of a film, than 2006’s Silent Hill. My views of the film were lifted due to it being more true to the source material, but that wasn’t enough.

This is a film that shares too much with its high budget, action-oriented cousin, the Resident Evil films. It expects the same results but with a clearly limited budget; a small budget that was not utilized to enhance all of the other facets of the film. Deathwatch did utilize its limited budget in the way that I expected this film to.

I want to like Silent Hill Revelation, I really do. I’m an optimist when it comes to the Silent Hill series. I’ve enjoyed the newer games for the most part and I’ve always taken a stance of “wait and see” when it comes to the series’ newest entries. As a fan, I hope for the best. But my optimism was not met with satisfaction once the credits rolled.

Much unlike the first film, Silent Hill Revelation tries to cater to an audience that doesn’t care for good pacing. An audience that doesn’t want to see characters that have depth. An audience that needs two monsters fighting to the death instead of something that the they can relate to on an emotional level. I expect to feel something from a Silent Hill story, whether it be sadness, empathy for the situation, or contempt for a character. The only feeling that Revelation left me with was disappointment.


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  • Ross Ingram

    Haven’t read the details of review fully. Don’t want to spoil watching it on Wednesday 31st. Wow you really don’t like it, but Whitney did. I expect a tense discussion on the next episode of Whispers in the Dark.

    • I was pretty careful about outright spoilers. Just mention a scenario or two.

      I’m fine with people liking it. It’s just that this film does a lot of what many modern films do that I can’t stand, and that’s having a rushed sense of pacing. The first film didn’t give me that feeling. This one did. :/

      • Koulamatata

        The first one did seem to take it’s sweet time getting anything done.
        But so did the games, so it really worked.

        I’m cautiously optimistic on this one. I’m really hoping I end up disagreeing with you here. I’ll be seeing it saturday.

  • Jam6i

    I wasn’t overly optimistic, considering how much I disliked the first film. It just seems like the peopls involved have no real clue what the games are even about. I knew from the get-go that I would be passing this in theatre: not worth my money. I’ll redbox it one day and lament over the loss of my $1.10. Reviews i have read are not good, just like those of Microsoft Surface/windows 8

  • Bassett’s said before that he really thinks that a truer-to-the-games adaptation film (that is, something with tone and plot much closer to it) is yet to be made. I think that as an adaptation it did VERY well, but your criticisms are definitely valid.

  • awaiken

    “Revelation takes on the dual role of being both a sequel to the original and an adaption of the Silent Hill 3 videogame.” Kind of redundant since SH3 was a sequel to SH1. You only need to say it’s an adaptation of SH3.

    • The first film was not Silent Hill 1. It deviated quite a bit. Gotta write things comprehendable for all audiences, not just the fans.

      • awaiken

        It was certainly SH1. Just because they made the mother the protagonist doesn’t mean it wasn’t based on SH1. They got a lot of things right.

        I am fine with a director taking artistic liberties to make sure the film works. I didn’t throw a tantrum when Peter Jackson diverted from the LOTR books.

        My only complaint was the inclusion of Pyramid Head but that’s it. It was 20x better than revelation that’s for sure.

        • A lot better.

        • I disagree only because of the end, the way Rose was trapped in the Otherworld with the Reaper (since, IMHO, it’s pretty clear Rose failed to rescue Sharon), which is VERY different from SH1’s ending.

  • Well the next podcast should be interesting considering I enjoyed the film XD

  • Silent Evil

    Maybe Bassett will release a director’s cut. A lot of films are edited to fit theatrical run times, so maybe that’s why the film appears rushed. Of course, that doesn’t solve the problems of characterisation and poor acting.

    Whatever. I’ve only enjoyed three game to movie adaptations: RE Damnation, Silent Hill (for what it was), and Professor Layton & the Eternal Diva. Wow, what a terrible batting record.

    • ariessiren

      yeah i was thinking the same thing, a directors cut would help it seemed cut down and heavily rushed

  • crapwolf

    It was just a movie, it has everything that makes a movie, every aspect of movies are in this movie, everythin…. what what the hell am i saying. It was alright, not good not great not poor not bad but alright. but you think that’s scary, try seeing it in the hood. scarier than the movie!

  • Smiley

    Out of all the Silent Hill characters they had, they took a fairly respectable actor and made him one of the most bland cameos to ever waste his time on screen.

    But if you thought the final fight scene was cool then I have a movie recommendation for you: Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

    • Koulamatata

      RE:A was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Haha.

  • Zorkiy

    So 8/10 for Book Of Memories and 4/10 for this amazing movie? Man, that’s ridiculous.

    • ariessiren

      these 2 have nothing to do with each other dude. BOM is actually really good. the film is not

  • This film was very fantasy and some of the lines were quite difficult to take seriously but I enjoyed the playfulness that most horror movies are lacking today. It reminded me of the dream world from Nightmare on Elm Street with a little fantasy cheese that you’d typically see from a 1980’s Hellrasier movie. I did enjoy it for what it was but the pacing and character development from the first film was definitely better. The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are a little harsh, just as they were for the first Silent Hill.

  • ariessiren

    it really seemed the actors did NOT want to be there. man the acting was bad. people walked out of the movie in my town. this should have went straight to DVD. it was disappointing. the director allowed them to perform some really bad scenes and horrible dialogue and didnt yell cut. it was quite bad considering sean bean is a trained actor. the scene between him and rose was cringe worthy. very underdeveloped characters, rushed script and just really a missed opportunity. the 1st film was really good. you can totally tell roger avery and cristopher gans get silent hill and this new director just couldnt get it. so obvious the original people involved were not there anymore. huge dip in quality. very sad. great effects and the town looked incredible, just the actors were bad and the director was too inexperienced to really take on silent hill. it plays like a video game vs a film

  • Koulamatata

    Well, I just saw it.

    3 is my all time favourite game. Heather is my all time favourite character. I’m surprised I felt like they really did both justice. Fantastic movie.

    The only issue I had with it was it felt rushed. They tried to tie in and explain the entire first movie, plus create a new story in just an hour and a half. It’s a shame this movie was a sequel. Because of that, it had to play by the first movie’s rules, even though Bassett, from what I saw, clearly wanted it to follow the game’s rules instead.

    I’m 100% down for him doing his own separate story for a next SH movie. He handled this one quite well despite certain constraints he had to deal with.

    But that’s just my opinion on it.

    Like you said though, pacing was definitely an issue.

  • I just thought it was fun. Not bad, not good, just fun.

  • ariessiren

    the music score was the best thing about the movie.


    Don’t listen to the Bad Reviews what counts is Your Review upon viewing.

    Just watched Silent Hill Revelation an hour ago & it was a perfect video game adaptation, felt like Silent Hill 3 with a mix of the first movie to fix what was broke from the get go.

    This movie had all the Silent Hill Story & Source Material that fans wanted with a little change in the story but hey it had to happen to tell a story.

    So if you read this go watch Silent Hill
    Revelation In 3D because it’s worth it & stay for the final end
    credits like all the end credits 😀

    Only SPOILER the Alessa story is Finally put to end & a new Silent Hill Is Ready For The Works HINT: SHD.

  • I agree with most of what you’re saying, but you never mentioned the fact that most of the monsters in this (and the original Silent Hill) movie don’t belong. They are taken from Silent Hill 2 and belong in James’ psyche, not Heather’s or Rose’s. Pyramid Head, the nurses, the patient demon… All were misplaced, and in turn affected the overall feel of the films. The end battle between Pyramid Head and Claudia should never have happened. Furthermore, this movie ended with me cheering on Pyramid Head and hoping he lives, rather than fear him as he should be. I wanted to be frightened as I left the theater, but the film lacked any content that would evoke this emotion.

    • Because that didn’t matter in the context of film quality. The first was a well made film, the second was not.

      • I wasn’t disagreeing with your statement that the second film was bad, but I do consider story accuracy to be a major contributing factor in film quality and emotional appeal. The improper placement of characters and further altering of their purpose only causes additional discrepancies with the movie.

  • Haravikk

    Silent Hill Revelation had a few cool set-pieces, but for the most part they just tried to cram far too much into far too little time, then added more. End result was that none of the scenes had any real impact, and none of the characters were ever fully developed.

    Personally I would have much rather they’d taken the idea of the otherworld encroaching on reality and made a bigger deal of it. Had Heather questioning her sanity as the horrific visions (with real consequences) lead her to Leonard’s asylum, only for her to discover she’s now trapped in Silent Hill. Maybe add the confrontation with Leonard as a finale, setting things up for a sequel to expand on it further. It would have cut out loads, but it could have been much slicker.

    Instead we got a disjointed film that spent most of its time lurching around. While the visuals were impressive, I couldn’t help but feel that many of the sequences were aimed more at 3d gimmickry and less about story or character development. Heather in particular became very annoying as she screams loudly at cheap scares one moment, then acts in something closer to true horror or dread a moment later.


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