Horror review: Silent Hill–Revelation 3D

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 26, 2012

When I walked into the Vancouver media screening of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D the other day, there was a handful of movie critics sitting around looking like they’d rather be anywhere else. One of the writers, when asked how she was doing, sarcastically replied: “Well, I’m at a horror film.”

Horror flicks don’t get much respect from the mainstream media, it seems, but there’s good horror and bad horror, just like anything else. Unfortunately, there’s also horror like Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which is so numbingly awful that you can’t blame anyone for holding a grudge against the genre after seeing it.

Just how terrible is SH3D? Well, at one point, writer-director Michael J. Bassett actually tries to scare you with a Kellogg’s Frosted Pop-Tart. No kidding. There’s a scene early on where the sugary snack springs up loudly in a toaster, with intent to startle.

That’s actually one of the high points of the film.

From there, the movie–which is based on a series of survival-horror video games–follows the nightmarish existence of Heather (Adelaide Clemens), a rebellious teen who has just moved to a depressed inner-city neighbourhood with her on-the-run father (Sean Bean). Though she is a dedicated loner, she is soon befriended at school by the other new kid in town (Kit Harington from TV’s Game of Thrones). She can use all the support she can get, as she’s constantly under siege from an array of wildly mutated, Clive Barker-inspired demon creatures.

Or maybe she’s just imagining that.

In 2006’s similarly crappy Silent Hill, Heather’s mother (Radha Mitchell) vanished into the eerie West Virginia ghost town of the same name, and in this sequel, her dad winds up there as well. He always warned Heather never to go to Silent Hill, but there’s a message scrawled in blood on their living-room wall that reads “Come to Silent Hill”, so, obviously, she takes the wall’s advice.

Once she gets there, things really get nutty. Faceless demon nurses in miniskirts and high heels cavort with knives whenever they hear a noise, and perennial weirdo Malcolm McDowell shows up to spout gibberish in a metal dog collar and freaky mesh top. The dialogue becomes increasingly asinine and the gory violence more numbing until the whole ugly mess finally shudders to a merciful end.

The haters of horror are gonna love this one.

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