It’s never a good sign when a sequel to a horror film comes out a whopping six years after the original installment. It’s especially not good if the sequel is dumped onto another studio, completely recast and tacks on the gimmicky 3D for the hope of better ticket sales. Michael J. Bassett‘s Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is an unpleasant experience that will make you wish you were in hell long before the film reaches an end. It fails as a horror movie, a video game adaptation and a film worth the three dimensions. Stay far away from this shoddily made junk.
Heather (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) are on the run. They’re not running from an actual person, but a past life which involves an alternate reality known as Silent Hill. Heather and her mom slipped into this hellish ghost town ages ago and now her dad is protecting her from ever experiencing it again.
Time eventually runs out and Heather is forced to venture back into Silent Hill to find her father and to figure out once and for all how she fits into Silent Hill.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D picks up years after the first film, with Sean Bean reprising his role as the father and Adelaide Clemens playing a grown-up version of the daughter. Michael J. Bassett‘s sequel borrows the dense fog and creepy siren from the first film, but other than those two things he mostly creates a film that follows on a new set of rules that are never established.
The film almost goes into a Nightmare on Elm Street sort of trance, with Heather’s reality blending into Silent Hill’s without a rhyme or reason. One moment she’s in school and the next she’s in some remotely dark location getting stalked by a giant creature with a disfigured face. There’s no real explanation as to how or why this is happening, but it just does.
Eventually Heather embarks on the journey into Silent Hill. Now, the monsters start to make more sense, because she’s actually in this alternate reality. How does she get there? Simple, she goes to bed in a motel and wakes up in hell. It’s dumb and poorly explained, but that’s not even a troubling problem compared to some of the film’s other messy disasters.
The acting has taken a strong decline in quality, with Sean Bean being the only saving grace of the film and he’s mostly just a cameo appearance that drives the story, but doesn’t actually help it. Adelaide Clemens plays the lead without a clue or sense of what is actually happening. She almost best represents the audience watching the film, scratching her head at just about every corner. Clemens has no screen presence at all. She doesn’t hurt the film when compared to some of the other middling performances, but she does nothing to make her mark.
Special effects are also kind of crappy this time around. Bassett uses lots of filtering and camera tricks to try and hide the budget of the film and it hurts the horror and ruins what little suspense is featured in the film. There’s a small amount of on-screen gore and violence, with most of the money flowing into the set design and monster concept. That’s great and all, but none of the rooms-of-horror are ever given any time to breathe. Characters wonder from room to room, never allowing anything to stick for more than a minute or two.
The monsters/creatures/demons or whatever the hell you’d call them look great and are trademark Silent Hill creepy, but again, there’s no material. Heather simply runs into a monster, runs the other way and it eventually stops chasing her. There’s never an end result.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D can best be described as a horribly constructed haunted house. You spend short amounts of time walking around and looking at blood-soaked walls and mutilated bodies, but you never actually get to see what led to this point or why you’re being shown these specific events. Director Michael J. Bassett moves Heather through a handful of darkly lit hallways and Saw-styled trap rooms, but everything feels like it’s being watched from a distance and not once is the film’s story given definition or purpose.
I’m not sure why they even bothered making this film, because chances are it won’t make a lot or money or even enough to consider a theatrical release. The first Silent Hill was an attempt at cashing in on the popular video game series. The film proved to be a poor one and was mostly considered a forgettable experience. The sequel is much worse, because it constantly brings up the question of why they even bothered spending money on a film that is crippled by a director without a pulse and a cast without direction. Even the 3D is forgettable and mostly non-existent.
I wouldn’t spend a single dollar on Silent Hill: Revelation 3D if I had to. It’s not worthy of a rental or a bargain bin purchase or even a 3D viewing. Everything about the film is undefined and never-lasting.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – 3/10