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Silent Hill: Revelation(2012)
When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that holds answers to the horrific nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.
For more about Silent Hill: Revelation and the Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray release, see Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on February 11, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell
Director: Michael J. Bassett
» See full cast & crew
Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray Review
Horrifying for all the wrong reasons...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, February 11, 2013
Silent Hill: Revelation has a creepy cover (fleshy mouths *shiver*), a lead actress who's a dead ringer for Michelle Williams, and a limited bit of genre cred fueled by Silent Hill's small but fervent fanbase. (For the record: terribly flawed flick, decent visuals.) Oh, and of course Sean Bean, an otherwise talented actor who's inadvertently built a career around dying on screen. And... yep, that's about it. Revelation is terrible. Just terrible. Every time Maxime Alexandre's cinematography and the sequel's rusty boiler room atmosphere delivers, every time writer/director Michael J. Bassett (Deathwatch, Solomon Kane) transplants a still-beating heart from the Silent Hill videogame series that's genuinely chilling, the film descends into direct-to-video mediocrity, plumbs new depths of awful, and then plunges even deeper, to circles of cinema hell lesser horror sequels wouldn't send their most hated enemies.
After quickly explaining away the time gap between Silent Hill and Silent Hill: Revelation, the critically impaled sequel clumsily introduces a now-teenage Sharon Da Silva (Adelaide Clemens, The Great Gatsby), supernaturally freed from Silent Hill by her mother (Radha Mitchell, The Crazies) and living on the run from a sinister cult with her adoptive father Chris (Sean Bean, Black Death, The Lord of the Rings). Sharon, renamed Heather Mason by her dear ol' paranoid dad, moves from town to town, school to school, suffering from nightmares and growing angstier and angstier by the day. But when the cult finally closes in and Chris disappears, Heather and boy toy Vincent (Game of Thrones' Kit Harington) head to Silent Hill, which promptly dispenses with reality and spirals into a bad black metal music video complete with an evil albino priestess (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix), a bound and blind old man (Malcolm McDowell), a ghost girl (Erin Pitt) and her tormented mother (Deborah Kara Unger).
From there, Revelation bounces between thinly veiled videogame clichés -- Collect pieces of a secret amulet! Search out helpful NPCs! Boss fights! -- and poor man's Lovecraftian hackery -- Plans for gestating dark gods! Monstrous transformations! Horrors beyond description! (But not really!) -- and struggles to frighten, or even function, on most every level. All it's missing is a few loading screens and, well, a good videogame. Worse, in spite of sticking to various story elements from Konami and Team Silent's first three entries in the Silent Hill game series, Bassett struggles to understand and re-purpose elements that made the original PS2 games the survival horror classics they remain. It all leads to its share of twists too, although the only real twist that would have surprised me is if Revelation turned out to be as serviceable a loose videogame adaptation as its predecessor.
Clemens actually pulls off something of a respectable performance made even more respectable as Bean trips over his accent, Harington rolls out an embarrassing Johnny Depp impression (circa 1988), McDowell pops up in his 186th ill-advised cameo, and Moss, slumming for a paycheck, exchanges waifish gravitas for dark camp villainy in her yearly check-in. Not that it matters. The monsters are the star of the Silent Hill show, and Revelation has... stuffed bunnies, mannequin spiders and leather-belt cultists. Thankfully, it also has shambling bodies. Hellraiser-esque castaways. Cleaver wielding corpse-nurses. Plus, fan-favorite beastie of the psyche Pyramid Head, an asset despite being utilized as a glorified get-out-of-jail-free card. Alas, the beasties' implementation isn't as welcome as their appearances. Bassett grasps for gasps and screams but comes up with unintentional laughs instead, neglecting storytelling and performance refinement in favor of coagulated visuals, and reveling in cartoonish CG-generated gore. (To say nothing of the film's gimmick-laced 3D kill shots, which are an even bigger distraction in 2D.) Is there refuge hidden somewhere in the latest Silent Hill? Not really. Fans of the videogame will lament the botched sequel and missed opportunities even more than genre junkies will lament the lack of an effective horror pic.
Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray, Video Quality
Revelation scares up a solid 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer that, if nothing else, looks the part. It isn't flawless, or even close to ideal -- noise spikes rather violently here and there, skintones are occasionally a bit over-saturated, slight ringing and banding creep in at inopportune times, contrast is inconsistent, shadows are often muddy or muted, and crush wreaks a small but manageable bit of havoc -- but the presentation soldiers on, and sometimes even impresses. Colors show strength in spite of varying levels of bleakness and grunginess, primaries have visceral pop, reds are particularly pulpy and black levels are appropriately dark and malevolent. Detail is quite good on the whole too (despite an inherent unevenness), with generally clean razor-wire edges and gritty yet revealing textures. Fortunately, significant macroblocking, aliasing and other abominations don't make an appearance, meaning many of the presentation's aforementioned faults trace back to the film's original photography and visual effects.
Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Universal's vicious DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is loud and grisly, just as it should be. Revelation's sound design is as subtle as its visuals, and yet there's a finesse to its jolting directional effects, aggressive rear speaker activity and eerie cross-channel pans. Low-end output sinks its teeth in as well, throwing the full weight of the LFE channel's wares behind whatever bloody supernatural bedlam Bassett unleashes on screen. All the while, dynamics are excellent, dialogue is well- prioritized and firmly grounded in the nightmarish plane of Silent Hill, and the soundfield is surprisingly immersive, dropping the listener into the midst of the horrors Heather encounters. Ultimately, Revelation's lossless mix is the highlight of the release and the one thing just about everyone will agree is up to snuff.
Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Silent Hill's supplemental package is as slim as they come, with little more than a short "Look Inside" promo (HD, 3 minutes) and a theatrical trailer (HD, 3 minutes).
Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Brace yourselves for a sequel so bad, so dysfunctional that the scariest thing about it is the prospect of watching it in its entirety. If I didn't have a review to write, I don't know that I would have subjected myself to the full 95-minutes of Revelation. That said, if I had cut my viewing short, this would probably be a slightly more positive review. (Slightly.) So it goes. Universal's Blu-ray release is better, thanks to a solid video presentation and a terrific DTS-HD Master Audio track, even though the disc's 6-minute supplemental package is a disappointment no matter how you feel about the film itself. Definitely rent Silent Hill: Revelation before considering a purchase.
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Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Silent Hill: Revelation Blu-ray - December 12, 2012
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced the 2D and 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack releases of Silent Hill: Revelation, due on February 12, 2013. Based off the popular cult favorite video game series Silent Hill, action-packed horror sequel Revelation stars Sean ...
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