Wish it had stayed silent

Saw Silent Hill last night. The entire audience was nearly pulled into the screen. Luckily, the theater we went to often shows bad movies, and has had seatbelts installed as a safety precaution.

The row behind us was filled with gamers, a couple of them laughing at what I thought at first were inappropriate points. Poignant? Scary? “Hehehehe.” After a while, I relaxed and realized they were right. Giant knives? Funny. Disturbing childhood drawings? Heh.

While there were a couple of lovely visuals, Silent Hill plays exactly like what it is: a movie based on a game. There aren’t plot points so much as unexplained monsters to be defeated. In movie logic, a clue is something you can connect to what you’ve already learned, and it makes sense to follow it. In game logic, you look around everywhere for something you can pick up, or something that seems out of place, and it leads you to the next challenge. Game logic doesn’t work very well on the big screen.

It’s sad, because I think the concept of Silent Hill could have made a lovely movie. The basic story could have inspired a decent script. Instead, the writers followed gameplay too closely (“you have found a knife!” one of the gamers behind us giggled), and ended up with a surreal mush.

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