Review Rating: 7
Sharon is about to turn eighteen and when her father is kidnapped, returns to Silent Hill to confront the nightmares of her childhood!
I admit, that’s a bit of a muddled opening line for the movie, but then the plot had a tendency to get a little muddled, for no good reason I could see. Explanations from key characters are often delivered in a breathless manner, not just from fleeing the monsters either, as the plot hurries itself along to get to the confrontations. It seems as though a lot of iconic things and characters from the video game were stuffed into the movie with no explanation whatsoever, which frankly is rather unfortunate, and not nearly as much of a problem for the first movie. However, since one of the major selling points of the movie was supposed to be that it was 3D and highly visual, perhaps one can attempt to ignore the plot-holes and plow on.
So Sharon (Adelaide Clemmens) is back with her father in the real world, after her adoptive mother Rose managed to get her out, explained in a memory sequence where Christopher (Sean Bean) talks to Rose in a mirror and young girl Sharon is delivered clutching an amulet. Now it’s years later and Sharon and her father have gone through a series of new names and cities, trying to avoid those crazed cult folk from Silent Hill, that Sharon’s father never actually told her about – she thinks they need to avoid the cops because some years ago her father killed someone. A few days before her eighteenth birthday, Sharon, now sporting her father’s mother’s name of Heather, begins getting plagued by nightmares of Silent Hill that intrude in her waking moments.
I want to interject a question here: what’s with these Horror flicks lately and Protag chars about to, or just having, attained the age of legal adulthood of eighteen? The Cult from the first movie were perfectly willing to sacrifice Alessa when she was a girl, never-mind legalities. On with the show then.
Sharon, now Heather, goes to school at a new high school, where she gives a grand speech about being left alone, makes a newcomer friend called Vincent (Kit Harrington), and is thoroughly scared by Douglas Cartland, a PI hired by the cult to find her, when he keeps insisting on calling her Sharon. Calling her dad for help, Heather goes to meet him at the mall, where of course he doesn’t show and Cartland does, to his great sorrow, for he’s carted off by a Silent Hill creature that looks like a Cenobite. Heather hurries home, aided by Vincent, to find her father gone and a message scrawled in blood inviting her to, what else, come to Silent Hill. After going through the box with mystical symbols, full of Silent Hill study and the explanation letter her father left for her, Heather and Vincent head to Silent Hill determined to get Christopher back. Of course, they stop for rest at a motel on the way and while there, Vincent has to breathlessly confess that he’s actually the son of the Cult leader, Claudia Wolf, sent out into the real world via rituals of pain and sacrifice, to find Sharon and bring her back.
Interjection #2: I’m failing to understand why the Cult who caused the sundering and evil of Alessa in Silent Hill in the first place, want to bring the loving half of her soul, housed in Sharon, back there. If they try to meld Alessa’s evil and Sharon’s love, Silent Hill might just well implode.
Vincent’s been taken, Sharon’s back in Silent Hill, and the one bit of wisdom he left her with was to find his grandfather, who is of course in the Asylum. Sharon has a nice unhelpful confrontation with Alessas’ mother Dahlia (Deborah Kara Unger), who at least warns her to get inside as the dark ash that changes the town is coming. Sharon takes a run through a mannequin (?!) factory, being chased by the completely CGI Mannequin Spider Monster, who, while looking fairly nifty, clearly fails to inspire fear or even creepiness. Vincent’s been denounced by his mother and taken to the Asylum for “cleansing”, and of course that’s where Sharon heads. Where…she meets Vincent’s grandfather Leonard Wolf (Malcolm McDowell) and after mistakenly giving him the Amulet of Metatron, which he immediately stuffs into his chest to reunite with its other half, he turns into a Silent Hill monster and is intent on dragging Sharon…somewhere unpleasant. Sharon manages to defeat him, extract the now-whole amulet, and escape into the Asylum bowels. The crazy faceless nurses, made famous from the first film, are in evidence in the Asylum and preparing to chop Vincent into gobby bits, when he’s rescued by Sharon and they manage to escape to the amusement park for the semi-final showdown between Sharon and Alessa.
Intermission three: this is one of the few times Alessa is in the film at all. I’m not disputing her abrupt change from young girl to Sharon’s age, that’s totally understandable. And, at least they went to town with the makeup for Alessa, instead of CGI-ing up her face to hell and back. But on a burning merry go around, there are a few moments of heartfelt black conversation between Evil and Good, and then apparently Evil is defeated and swallowed by Good. That is, Sharon-now-Heather absorbs Alessa. Really? Even aided by the whole Amulet of Metatron, it was that easy?
Next it’s on to confront the Cult responsible for all this mess in the first place, with Vincent and Harry and Christopher in tow. Claudia Wolf (Carrie-Anne Moss), who frankly to me looks like she stepped from the Morlocks cavern in The Time Machine 2002, gives some sort of explanation about destroying Alessa and using Heather’s body as an incubator for their new God’s birth, who will cleanse the earth of sin as soon as they all escape Silent Hill. Heather has Claudia touch the Amulet of Metatron, which turns her into the Cenobite-style monster that killed Cartland in the mall, and there’s a final showdown fight between her and Pyramid-head. Annnd with the cult defeated and Alessa taken care of, ash stops falling on Silent Hill, and Vincent and Heather get picked up by trucker Travis Grady (Peter Outerbridge), a character from Silent Hill: Origins, even though the movie didn’t explain that bit at all. And Christopher just has to stay behind to look for Rose. All of which leaves things open for another movie, but frankly I don’t know that that’s a good idea.