Dave's Rating:


Next time try more silence.

The characters who pop up throughout Silent Hill: Revelation at regular intervals -- exposition checkpoints played with a collective shrug-n-yawn by respectable, clock-punching folks like Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan and Deborah Kara Unger -- sure do talk a lot. They talk so much you begin to question what information is important (not much) and what's not (most of it). Heather, who is also known as Alessa and sometimes Sharon (Australian actress Adelaide Clemens, whose genetic structure seems to have been built by hijacked strands from Carey Mulligan and Michelle Williams -- somebody cast these three in the Del Rubio Triplets biopic right now) listens dutifully to every person trying to point her away from or toward harm and then moves on toward monsters who want to destroy her. That's pretty much all that happens.

See, Heather is the girl from the first Silent Hill, the one her mom (Radha Mitchell) kept looking for after she was enveloped in the town's nonstop fog and ash. And now she's the one on the hunt for her own father (Sean Bean) and, presumably, the secret of her own identity as it relates to the freaky religious cult that inhabits the town.

Except not. Because she's already been on the run since the last film, and because at the very beginning of this one she offers up a very funny everybody-stay-away-from-me-because-I'm-bad-news speech to her new school's homeroom class, she seems to know very well who she is and, more importantly, seems to lack not one ounce of determination or fortitude on her spooky mission into the most stylized depths of the pointless occult, only trading it in for helpless fear when the script arbitrarily decides she must.

I've never played the Konami games on which this series is based, but they certainly must be more lovingly produced than this cheap thing (its crispy, bright, digital presentation makes the first film look like a voluptuous cradle of generous budgeting and production design). All the money is in the monsters, with a truly freaky mannequin-spider-thing with an exo-skull that opens up to reveal another miniature guts-head from which juts a mangle-ready 3D mouth-snout getting the sexiest amount of screen time.

And on the subject of those creatures, I would begin praying to the story's returning metal-triangle-face creatures three times daily if it meant that we could be spared the boredom and lack of care that will surely accompany a third feature-length installment. There is no fright, no concern, no urgency, nothing to keep you watching unless you're already fan of the games and want to point out (to yourself?) insider details that whoosh past without explanation. Because cool game or no, this kind of thing has to stand on its own two -- or six or eight or whatever -- legs, it has to do its horror job, not sit on the couch all day playing with itself.


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