Films based on games are usually incredibly poor - Mario Bros, Street Fighter and Resident Evil, to name a few, were all dire films that didn't have the feel of the games in question. Resident Evil was the biggest atrocity for me, not because it's the worst of the three films I mention, but simply because the games could have made excellent films but were ruined as the director tried to make a "cool" action sci-fi film with horror twist. It simply didn't work. So when another big horror game franchise was turned into a film, namely Silent Hill, I wasn't expecting much.
But for once, this is a film that sticks quite closely to the games. I was actually surprised by this so held out some hope that it could deliver in other areas. There are recognisable locations, monsters and even sounds (including music that is very reminiscent of the games). The film also has that same suffocating and invasive feel of the games - very dark and morbid and not for the squeamish. Please note - the movie is very gory in places and a lot more graphic than I thought it would be.
Despite staying faithful to the games it's still a bit of an opportunity missed. There are numerous faults with the film - the dialogue isn't too good with little character development, there are no real shocks or surprises and the plot is too wayward. The ending wasn't particularly satisfying for me either. Without wanting to spoil anything I will just say it was an anti-climax; certainly a gory ending but there was a complete lack of suspense or tension with simply no edge-of-your-seat, nail biting moments.
To sum up, this is one for the fans of the games. It should be applauded for trying to stick so closely to the feel of the games but unfortunately loses its way a bit. It has a similar claustrophobic feels as in the games but lacks in tension or surprises. It's all a bit disjointed and lacks any real emotion or conviction. If you're a fan of the games then certainly give this a try. By game-to-film standards this is good but compared to other horror films it doesn't really stand up too well. It has its moments but is distinctly average.
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