Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
21 January 2006
Silent Hill Movie: Got atmosphere, is it deeper than that?
Silent Hill is reasonably complex by videogame standards. Judging by the trailer, the movie based on the game has nailed the distinctive atmosphere, but I'm concerned that it may find it difficult to convey the full effect of the game.

First, some background to explain the first Silent Hill game. Skip to the next paragraph if you want no spoilers.

[SPOILERS AHOY!] A cult conceives a girl in an attempt to bring the dark god, Samael, into material form. When only half of Samael's power is manifested within the girl she is burned alive, yet cannot be killed because of the power she contains. The cult keeps her in the care of a nurse, and then conceive a second girl, intending to use the two children to bring Samael's full power into our world. The second child is mysteriously abducted and later adopted by the main character in Silent Hill. The game itself covers the conflict between this adoptive parent and the cult of Samael, in the mysterious town known as Silent Hill, where bizarre creatures attack from the shadows and two similar worlds, one dark and one light, appear to exist in parallel. Ultimately, the cult is defeated and the spirits of the two girls are freed of their evil burdens. [END SPOILERS]

Check out the full-length trailer for the Silent Hill movie at this site. Many familiar images are shown: ashen fog, a wrecked Jeep, a little girl's doppleganger, rusty chain-link fences, and malformed humanoid shapes. If you skip to the end, you'll even hear the opening theme to the original Silent Hill, haunting as ever. The usual cheery Silent Hill stuff.

Which is to say, the movie appears to capture the atmosphere of Silent Hill quite well. Very little is explained about the plot, however. I hope that's a good sign, that they didn't want to give away the whole thing in the trailer or they didn't think they could make it appropriate for just a short trailer. The folks run around and scream enough that I am concerned it could just be a by-the-numbers spooky movie with cheap scares.

If this movie does well, then I hope they'll consider tackling the second game as material for a second movie. Don't consider it a sequel, but let the town be the motif that ties the movies together, as the games have done. If made in a manner similar to Jacob's Ladder, to which the games owe many ideas, it would make an interesting movie-to-game-to-movie cycle.

Note: The current movie says that the little girl is sick. Perhaps they've already ransacked the second game for ideas?
--Matt Matthews at 15:27
Comment [ 6 ]

Comments on this post:

If you listen closely to the beginning, you'll hear another song from the series. Specifically, "Promise (Reprise)" from Silent Hill 2. I wonder if those songs'll be in the actual movie? I know they got Yamaoka, but I wonder if they'll be recycling some of the game's music in it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22 January, 2006 15:37  

I totally missed that. I didn't hear the main SH2 theme, so I'm going to guess that Promise is a different piece. I'll listen again to be sure.

For what it's worth, I think the main theme (opening theme) from SH2 is right up there with SH1's theme for most memorable game music.

By Blogger jvm, at 22 January, 2006 17:19  

"Theme of Laura" is the Silent Hill 2 theme song. "Promise (Reprise)" is a piano-version of another song from Silent Hill 2. "Promise" is probably the best song on the OST.

I liked the Silent Hill 1 theme song because it starts out kind of creepy -- especially if you're watching the start-up movie with the old-style pictures and such. I never could watch the opening movie because of the creepy guitar that starts out the song, and never did hear the song all the way through until I got the OST.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22 January, 2006 22:54  

I think the movie may be based on all four silent hill games already. Personally i hope not, i love the first two but, as far as the others go i didnt like them. That may just be me though.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 March, 2006 21:53  

The main plot of the Silent Hill movie revolves around the first Silent Hill, so no worries.

By Anonymous Raziel, at 22 April, 2006 16:05  

hiya,

ive never played the silent hill games,but i have seen the film. i will say that although there is some screaming and running, it isnt a run-of-the-mill cheap scare movie. my friend and i jumped at several times, adn considered leaving the cinema we got that freaked. it was a good film tho, made very well, and i wasnt disappointed at how scary it was! lol

Becki

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 July, 2006 09:47  

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