I was kind of enthralled by the first Silent Hill movie, but somehow completely missed all the ones that came after it. Until now.
This one is somewhat less video game like, but nonetheless has a largely nonsensical plot. I still think that it's at its most frightening when it gives you flashbacks of playing the game, except now it's in 3D. Which you know what? Is pretty effing scary. I tend to freak out a little when things jump out at me in movies anyhow, but when they're actually JUMPING OUT at me, it's much, much worse. Silent Hill: Revelation works this angle pretty well, at least in the first three quarters or so. The ending deteriorates into utter absurdity (amusingly, somewhat reminiscent of Harry Potter), which thankfully neutralizes the fear factor some (though I still turned all the lights on as soon as I got home). I will say this for it though, they've definitely got creepy imagery pretty solidly figured out. Stuff is just scary looking. I found myself wondering if ten years from now, the movie will register as cheesy rather than frightening in the same way that old horror flicks do, and what it means for an aesthetic of fear to be culturally shaped in such time-specific ways, but yeah. It's scary looking. Deformed bodies and jerky movements and a nice little bit of gore on top.
Also, what the what? Why is Malcolm McDowell in this movie? Carrie-Ann Moss? Seriously? The main actress is a poor man's Michelle Williams, but those two are the real deal!
My friend Daniel made the really interesting point that, watching this movie here, one wonders how it clicks with a Turkish audience, given the bizarrely Christian undertones of it all. Recently, I've found that a lot of my students have a rather morbid take on Christianity, as of an extremely cruel and cold religion. Kind of intriguing. Movies like this, with all the witch burning and ambiguously parented gods and Spanish Inquisition imagery probably don't help.
Overall: a satisfyingly trashy bit of weeknight entertainment. Just the right amount of scary, but silly enough to (hopefully) not give you nightmares.