Saturday, April 07, 2007

Silent Hill

I finally just saw the movie Silent Hill, and I must say... it's about time they got a video game movie right.

Not only did this movie do the game a fair amount of justice, it was the first videogame movie that, well, felt like a movie. In the early days, movies like Super Mario, Stret Fighter, and Double Dragon felt like movies trapped in their core content, and had to stretch shit out to fill the time requirement for a film, like the film makers had no ideas. Then Mortal Kombat came along, and I really liked it... until I saw it again last year and realized how cheesy bad it is, and how much (the start of a Paul Anderson tradition in every movie he made up to this day) of a horrible rip off it was of a much much supirior film called Enter The Dragon starring the legend, Bruce Lee.

Paul Anderson went on to make Event Horizon (a concept that is ripped from the novel A Wrinkle In Time) and Soldier (one word describes that, "ugh") before he snatched the job of zombie genre creator George Romero to make a film adaptation of probably the most significant game franchise of the 32 bit era (rivaled only by Final Fantasy), Resident Evil. By this time, he fancied himself an artist, and wanted to see his own, "unique vision" of Resident Evil brought to the big screen, versus George Romero's true-to-game script. This "unique vision" was nothing more than a combination of two OTHER far supirior films, 2001: A Space Oddessey and Aliens. The acting was horrendous (it got rediculous how much each actor emphasized "FUCK" like it was a trophy or something), the cinematography ridiculous (THE MATRIX MOVE IN A ZOMBIE FLICK!?!?!), and any sence of horror was reduced to absolute boredem. The only redeeming factor was Marylin Manson's musical score, which was probably the best peice of music he's ever gonna write.

How this man got the privlege to make his, once again, "own unique vision" of Aliens vs. Predator over James Cameron and Riddley Scott's (the director of the first two Alien films) proposed Alien 5 is beyond me, but that's a rant for another day. Thank GOD AvP2 is being headed up by the people involved with 300.

We're not even gonna talk about rat bastard Uwe Boll's mocheries of House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and Bloodrayne.

But, after over 15 years of horrendous game to movie adaptations, Christophe Gans (director of Le Pacte des Loups: Brotherhood of the Wolf), finally produced a true cinematic expirience based on a game. This man lobied for 5 years to get the rights to this film. This man REALLY wanted to make this film, and it shows. As I said before, this is the first game-movie that really feels like a movie. What I mean by this is, the casual movie audience can watch this and never ever know it was based on a game. Yet, the film incorporates every element from the game perfectly. The enemies, the way they move, the atmosphere, the sounds, even the fucking colors are dead on. While the film wasn't as scary as the game to me, it had a very interesting plot that kept me guessing through out the movie, and an ending that has been the subject of heated debate and interpretation. Not to mention the fact that Silent Hill 2 main villan, Pyramid Head, somehow manages to steal the show despite only having a cameo.

Oh, and guilty pleasure moment, but I knew i was gonna love this movie when it became the first videogame movie to feature Johnny Cash.

Speaking of music, one thing that really hit home for me is how the entire soundtrack, with the exception of Johnny Cash, is entirely music from the game, composed by someone you've all heard me rave about recently, Akira Yamaoka.

I loved this film to death, and couldn't recommend it more. Not only does it fully embrace its source material, but doesn't bastardize it for a "unique vision". There was no cheese in this film. It is filled with the same disturbing, perverse imagry that makes the game so sadistic and memorable. I only wish the next crop of game movies that includes Dead or Alive, Postal, Far Cry, and the third Resident Evil film, showed as much promise as this film did. I guess the next good one is going to be the recently announced Silent Hill 2, headed once again by Chris Gans.

Ya know, after I finish Sailor Moon, I should try to steal the Castlevania franchise out from under Paul Anderson's nose.



Anonymous Hannah said...

I still don't believe you. [LOVE!]

11:11 AM, April 07, 2007  
Anonymous Roxanne said...

Kudos for writing a review that is so insightful and well thought-out!

6:25 PM, April 07, 2007  

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