Welcome, to the cinematic rape of the Silent Hill franchise. After the first film, it is understandable to have low expectations, but I personally thought this could make up for it. What I really didn’t expect was for this to sink underneath an underwhelming plot, lousy performances and overdone effects.
In a bit of a surprise it takes roughly 40 minutes for the main characters to reach the titular Silent Hill. This time is instead spent focusing on protagonist, Heather, as she and her Dad try to settle into a new home while on the run from a mysterious cult. As a result a lot of potential is wasted and prevents the film from telling a good story. The last fifteen or so moments are okay, concluding with a surprisingly cool final confrontation, and there are some other legitimately good moments, but all of this barely registers as the film attempts to fit in a lot of story that either contradicts the first film’s plot or simply loses focus because of the short running time.
The effects are not anything special and don’t do the games any justice. There seems to a decided lack of scares which is made worse by how the effects appear to suffer by comparison to the first film. This fact comes into sharp focus in one particular sequence where an entirely computer generated monster appears and is so obviously fake that you almost wonder why they even bothered with the thing. The main antagonist, known as The Missionary, is both impressive and stupid. Its general appearance is a little creepy, but that is all it is, a little creepy, not hands down terrifying. The film’s visual appeal is diminished because of the use and quality of the effects which in the end just don’t cut it.
The acting is barely worth mentioning. Adelaide Clemens was actually recommended by fans to portray the protagonist, Heather Mason. Why she was chosen is just incomprehensible because she is beyond unconvincing. Kit Harington portrays Vincent, and is on the same level as Clemens which is sad in a lot of ways. Hey, remember how Carrie-Ann Moss was really good as Trinity in The Matrix? Yeah, me neither. That’s because her acting here is so terrible it’s hard to believe that was really her. What hurts the most is this make her look like not just a bad actress, but a bad person full stop. Her character, Claudia Wolf, has barely any screen time and doesn’t convey any sense of threat because she has almost zero depth or backstory. Malcolm McDowell has a similar problem as his character, Leonard Wolf, whose characterization is crippled by a lack of screen time.
The main problem here is the running time. Because of the short run time there is little space for the characters, monsters and effects to breathe. This also renders the story incoherent, as it attempts to cram in too much information in too little time. Had it been longer, then maybe the story could have worked, but as it is Revelations is shallow and disappointing.