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(Review originally written at 26 November 2006)

Not that the movie is very bad but it's just that the movie, with its atmosphere and premise, had so much more potential than the eventual end result.

The movie suffers from numerous things. One is the build up and story flow. In all honesty this movie has an incredible bad build, which ruins the tension and mystery of the movie. Things happen in the movie too fast, without a proper build up. This way we never really get involved- and feel with any of the characters. It's a distant movie with distant characters and because of that neither the tension or mystery of the movie works out to the maximum. Non of the characters seems to be truly scared or surprised will all the unusual and scary things going on in the movie. It also sort of makes the movie ridicules to watch at moments.

This movie had all the potential in it to become a tense atmosphere horror movie. After all, The Silent Hill games are probably the most atmospheric, tense, mysterious and scary games around at the moment. But as a die hard horror fan I can assure you; this movie is not an horror. The movie really doesn't have any scares in it and although there is some gore, there is very little else to enjoy for the horror. So perhaps it's possible that a non-horror fan will like this picture more than I in the end did. The only thing horror about this movie is its atmosphere. Yes, the movie is great looking and because of that has a great visual look and atmosphere over it but the not so great story, characters, dialog and acting make sure that this movie never becomes tense or scary despite its fantastic atmosphere.

But yes, the movie is definitely still watchable, mainly because of the reason I just mentioned; the visual look. The movie uses some great camera positions (copied directly from the game I presume), good looking sets, make-up and visual effects. The movie also has some great highly imaginative sequences, that perhaps can also be described as art. You could say that this movie is a case of style over substance.

The story begins simple but as the plot thickens the movie becomes more and more difficult to follow. We're introduced to a totally new world and environment but the movie doesn't give us the time to adapt and get used to this strange 'alternative' world. The story also tends to make the movie unnecessary hard and difficult to follow, especially toward the ending, that even comes over as strange and not in every way completely understandable. No wonder, since the story is written by Roger Avary. The man behind the early Quentin Tarantino movies "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction". He always tends to write stories with several layers, multiple story lines and other complex writing techniques but in this case it's not for the best of it. The movie suffers from its 'over-done-written' script. A simple understandable for everyone script would had sufficed for a genre movie like this one.

Sorry to say but Radha Mitchell will not grow into becoming a big movie star. This goes for about all of the actors in the movie. Sean Bean also somehow got involved in this movie but to be frank, I don't know why he ever agreed to appear in this movie. He feels out of place and on top of that he also gets very little interesting to do. The only interesting actress in this movie seems to be Alice Krige but her character is unfortunately introduced too late in to the story. Non of the characters are really handled well in the movie and the dialog also isn't always the best, or most realistic thinkable, so that also isn't exactly helping them.

The movie is still good enough to consider it a watchable one but considering the potential this movie in its core had; a disappointing movie, especially from the viewpoint of an horror-genre fan.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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