A decent offering for the mainstream crowd.
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Mainstream movies get a bad rap from the fan community. It isn’t because we’re uptight snobs, no matter what everyone else thinks. The whole point of mainstream is to attract a larger audience which means having to really balance enough elements for the non-horror crowd and a few bones thrown out for the fans. Writer Roger Avery and director Christophe Gans had also include something for the gamer demographic. They had a tough assignment and they managed to satisfy almost everyone.
Rose Da Silva (Radha Mitchell) decides that rather than getting her daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) traditional medical help, she would rather travel to an unknown place she finds on the internet because her Sharon talks about it when she sleepwalks. Of course they get in a car accident and she has to spend the rest of the film trying to find Sharon. Because how else are we going to find out the secrets that lie in the town of Silent Hill?
Having never played the video game this is based on (I’m more of a Final Fantasy girl myself), I can only come at this from the uninformed audience angle. The story was decently intriguing, but more than anything the cinematography is gorgeous. For an older film that uses CG for a majority of the effects, one would expect it to be lackluster and dated. But really if you give it a pass for the technology aspect it still looks a hell of a lot better than more recent films using CG. Combine that with the outstanding score and you’ve got a really great movie on the surface.
Except the same ills populate this movie like a plague. The constant reminders to the audience that assumes we are brain dead and can’t possibly remember something from 15 minutes ago is insulting and pointless. Radha Mitchell’s Rose is the stereotypical hysterical woman who you just want to slap into unconsciousness, if only to get a break from her screeching. At least Jodelle Ferland is amazing and really makes up for having to sit through Mitchell. Sean Bean is great as Rose’s husband Christopher (would anyone speak ill of Boromir?) although his character only served to point out to the audience how stupid they are, which is a shame. He was a set piece that never really got to be used to his full potential.
Besides the typical flaws that populate a movie like this, the pacing was horrendous. It is a fairly long movie to begin with, but with wonky pacing it made it seem far worse. We swing from stuff happening to nothing happening at a maddeningly irregular beat. While I enjoyed it and don’t actually regret seeing this, it isn’t good enough for me to ever watch it again.Have You Read...?