For all intents and purposes Silent Hill is a triumph of style over substance. That doesn’t change the fact, though, that this is a rather uninteresting and mildly boring film adaption that is nowhere near as terrifying as the astounding source material. This is just like the Resident Evil films only a little more faithful to the games it is based off.
The story follows our protagonist, Rose, who goes to the titular Silent Hill in search of answers to her daughter’s strange behaviour. After a car crash, Rose wakes up and finds that her daughter has gone missing and must find her. The plot has some similarities to the first Silent Hill and yet it takes the liberty of changing some of the essentials, like the fact that the main character in the game was a guy. The ugly climax is also completely different from the game and unfortunately pales by comparison because it is nothing, but a load of people being killed and lacks any kind of final battle. Why go to the trouble of being true to the game if you are just going to change the ending?
The visuals are actually the best thing about this film. All of the creatures that you see, minus the weird cockroaches, are actors in suits who have had some CGI added to them in post-production. Problem is this leads to a few occasions where they don’t look very convincing and could probably have passed as 100% lame computer generation. While they really butchered the character, give them some credit for getting someone to actually be the famous Pyramid Head who serves no other purpose than to look vaguely intimidating. When you look past all of the computer generated rubbish you can see that having actors was a much more preferable choice.
The acting is okay for the most part, but there are a few moments where the actors sound a little shaky. Radha Mitchell, who would go on to star in The Crazies, does her best as the protagonist Rose and more than lives up to her counterpart from the first Silent Hill game. Cybil, another character from the game, is played well enough by actress Laurie Holden who I bet you anything was cast simply because the director thought the audience needed something to distract them from all the half-baked horrors that inhabit the film. When did this turn into soft porno? This is a Silent Hill character not some way of pleasing warped sexual desires. That is Lara Croft’s job. Sean Bean is pretty good, but honestly he doesn’t contribute much and he is made useless by Rose who is the one that does everything.
While the visuals do their best to impress you the rest of the film is really just a bit of a mess that doesn’t match the source material. However it is of a better quality than the live action Resident Evil films because the acting is good and the sets do recreate the feel of the first Silent Hill game.