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By Emily Booth, Friday 17th November 2017
I am genuinely so excited about the network premiere I'm about to talk about. It's a film that the critics enjoyed panning, but the fans loved. My recent Twitter-bate confirmed there's a lot of underground love for this strange, dark film. It started out as a grimy, pixelated survival horror game by Konami on the PS1 back in 1999, and it was revolutionary for being the first computer game experience that was genuinely psychological. It had the ability to be truly unnerving and unsettling, and I for one could not stop playing it. It's time for reality to literally crumble as we enter the world of Silent Hill.
Touted by many horror fans as the best ever game-to-film adaptation (a notoriously tricky route), Silent Hill was realised as a film in 2006 by director Christophe Gans and remains largely true to the amazing source material but injecting the film with a fierce force of female power which I think really builds upon the original themes and ideas. Instead of a father searching for his missing daughter, we have Rose - played by Radha Mitchell - who decides to take her adopted daughter Sharon to the ominous ghost town of Silent Hill in order to help Sharon deal with her mysterious nightmares. However, following a car crash, Rose finds herself trapped in the town with Sharon missing. Rose soon discovers a horrifying world riddled with nightmare creatures, superstitious God-fearing locals, and a sinister religious cult led by a tyrannical woman. Trapped in time and ruled by a demonic 'darkness', Silent Hill is forever cursed and plagued by underground fires following a horrific religious ritual and it all leads to Sharon and her true identity.
OK, the plot here is bizarre to say the least, the narrative illogical, and for film critics who never played the game it's probably a step too far from conventional storytelling to be seen as good filmmaking; but herein lies its strengths in my opinion. The film feels more like a nightmare than a traditional horror, fuelled by images of the grotesque, the illogical, and the irrational, and it all adds up to a gruesome climax and indeed poignant ending.
Many of you on Twitter have voiced why you LOVE Silent Hill, and here are some of my favourite responses. Thank you to everyone who got in touch!
ChristopherHenderson? @ChendersHorror It taught me that horror happens when the rules change, when the world you understand is ripped away and ignorance leaves you vulnerable.
Vyxxen Trash? It will always get slammed simply because it's a horror movie based on a videogame. The amount of love and... effort that went into it were phenomenal. The director made his own short film to pitch to Konami and begged them to let him make it. Even getting series composer Akira Yamaoka to make a new score for the movie...
Jason Marsiglia? ...it's orchestrated LIKE a living nightmare w/ intense visuals, an otherworldly sense of time/space, & delivers horror in a very real &... almost Clive Barker-esque, way. You believe that Silent Hill is HELL. Fetishism, pain & gore rule this place. It's a horrifying film!
So you've heard it from the fans; Silent Hill is an absolute must-see horror experience, and will be getting its network premiere on Horror Channel this Friday 17th November at 9pm.
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