A run-of-the-mill plot, weak characters, cheap horror elements and an embarrassing use of stereoscopic 3D, make Revelation easy to hate and hard to recommend.
The Silent Hill film adaptation was an admirable effort at trying to make a survival horror game into a film. It wasn’t without some missteps, but what the movie achieved in terms of atmosphere and surreal elements was remarkable. Silent Hill: Revelation is another entry in what could become another horror franchise and while it may lack the mass appeal of Resident Evil this series at least caters to a niche audience. Sadly, a run-of-the-mill plot, weak characters, cheap horror elements and an embarrassing use of stereoscopic 3D, make Revelation easy to hate and hard to recommend.
As soon as its starts, Revelation makes its intentions quite clear: this is a horror movie with a strong emphasis on surrealism, shocking imagery and dreamlike qualities. Fans of the video game will be glad to hear that the best qualities of the games are represented here, but this rarely translates into something terrifying. There are several references to the games, including the characters, creatures, and the visual aspect definitely evokes the survival horror titles, so if you come to see some fan service, Revelation has that in spades.
Strangely enough, Silent Hill: Revelation is intended both as a sequel and as a fresh start. The film follows Sharon Da Silva (who’s hiding behind the Heather Mason alias,) an 18-year old girl who has vivid nightmares involving fire and horrifying creatures. Little by little, those dreams become more and more real and everything seems to lead to the same place: a ghost town called Silent Hill. So she and a friend from school go the former prison colony to find her missing father and end those nightmares once and for all.
If you’ve played any of the games, you know that Silent Hill has always toyed with the idea that, at any moment, your surroundings can change and become your worst nightmare. The film maintains that and, for what is worth, it makes a terrific job. It’s worth mentioning that while most of the special effects look fine, this is one of the first horror movies to use stereoscopic 3D, so you’ll see a lot of limbs thrown at your face over and over which adds nothing to the experience and looks unoriginal and lazy.
Apart from constantly switching between reality and dreams, there’s nothing quite unique about Silent Hill: Revelation. In fact, if you’re a fan of horror films, you’ve seen everything Revelation has to offer: there are signs written in blood, road trips to a ghost town, members of a cult hunting down teenagers, scary vagrants talking a bunch of nonsense and other cliches proper of the genre.
In the end, Silent Hill: Revelation is a cheesy and cheap horror movie that’s hard to recommend to fans of the Silent Hill franchise, fans of the horror movies and fans of films in general. There are definitely instances where this movie is so bad, it’s good. But for the most part, it’s just plain bad.