Silent Hill: Revelation
Poorly-handled horror sequel inspired by the spooky video game
It's become cliché to point out that video games don't translate well to film but here's yet another example to ram the point home. After pilfering imagery and plot from the Silent Hill 3 game, Deathwatch director Michael J Bassett brings nothing new to the screen in this weak retread of the first film.
Harry (Sean Bean) lives a nomadic life with daughter Heather (Adelaide Clemens), moving from town to town to evade the Silent Hill cult who want to reclaim her as their own. When the cult finally catch up with her father and imprison him in the town, Heather decides to return to Silent Hill in order to rescue him, aided by her new friend Vincent (Kit Harington).
Clemens bears an uncanny resemblance to Heather's mother from the first film (here again played by Radha Mitchell), retracing her steps through Silent Hill. The feeling of deja vu is compounded as scenes are lifted wholesale from the first film with few original ideas thrown into the mix. There are frequent nods to Hellraiser, various Japanese horrors and enough clown motifs to send coulrophobics running for the exit. However, the clunky script does the cast no favours, particularly a grandstanding classroom speech which pushes the film close to farce.
There's some interesting creature design, particularly a spider made from disembodied mannequin parts. Sadly, an over-reliance on CGI neuters the spectacle. Shock scares are employed with turgid frequency, and the few scenes with potential for tension are disarmed by poor handling. Bassett's script pays totemic reverence to props from the game (Heather's body warmer, the Metatron) to help placate fans of the series, although the final battle features a betrayal of its core iconography just for the spectacle. Making no attempt to top the first film's Grand Guignol ending, the whole thing peters out with an anticlimactic whimper. After such an underwhelming conclusion the only solace is that there is no direct threat of a sequel.
General release from Wed 31 Oct.