Entertainment 9 Reasons Why The Silent Hill Movies Are Underrated

07:30  19 august  2022
07:30  19 august  2022 Source:   screenrant.com

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With rumors of a new game circulating on the internet, fans of the Silent Hill franchise have something to look forward to after years of dormancy. At the height of its popularity, the franchise was everywhere, even producing a pair of movies that failed to live up to expectations.

  9 Reasons Why The Silent Hill Movies Are Underrated © Provided by ScreenRant

Even though they were panned upon release, some fans believe that the Silent Hill movies actually got a few things right. While they may not be certified horror classics, viewer opinion has begun to change as of late, and there are quite a few reasons to believe that the films are better than their bad reviews.

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Sean Bean

Video game movies have rarely been taken seriously, and because of this, the cast is usually made up of B-list actors at best. However, Silent Hill managed to buck that trend and cast a seasoned performer in one of its principal roles.

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Sean Bean not only appears in the first film in a supporting capacity, but he returns once again to anchor the sequel film and reprises his role as De Silva. By having an established star like Bean in the films, the movie is automatically lent more gravitas, and he gives his usually sound performance. Interestingly, the first Silent Hill film goes against the grain and is one of the few films in which Bean's character doesn't die.

Real Monsters

The video games are known for featuring some truly scary monsters, and the films had a wealth of great options to choose from when telling their story. Made in the mid-'00s, it would have been very easy for the films to opt for CGI monsters, and they could have gone over-the-top with it. However, they instead chose to go the more subtle route and cast actual performers instead.

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With ghouls like Pyramid Head brought to life by various professional dancers and physical performers, the movie is given a more realistic edge that makes it all the more creepy. Full CGI would most likely have been a detriment to the final product, and seeing the heroes interact with creatures in the real world was downright chilling.

The Score

Horror movies can sometimes be made or broken by the quality of their scores, and Silent Hill didn't pull any punches in that category. Drawing directly from the music in the games, the score elevated Akira Yamaoka's creepy soundscapes and made them cinematic through re-orchestrations and beefing up the overall sound.

Though it is now being recognized as one of the most underrated horror scores, fans at the time were simply drawn in by its discordant ambiance and the overall feeling of dread that the music imparted. When picking elements of the games to import to the big screen, Yamaoka's music was perhaps the wisest choice.

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Horror Movie First, Video Game Movie Second

Tone is something that video game movies struggle with the most. They get caught in the trap of being too tongue-in-cheek because they feel the need to constantly wink and nod to the fact that they are adapting a game. Silent Hill had no such qualms and did what it needed to do to succeed as a horror movie, and it put everything else second.

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Some viewers have criticized the film for what it chose to import from the games, and they often cite Pyramid Head's involvement as a bastardization of the character's original intent. While it may not be true to the source material, the filmmakers knew that such characters were perfect horror antagonists and worked them into the film because it would be scarier. It was obvious from the outset that the intent was to be frightening, and not necessarily be a word-for-word adaptation.

They Did Their Best

Big Hollywood movies should never get a pass when they lack quality, but it is obvious that the Silent Hill movies were up against the wall when attempting to bring a video game to life. While the games are celebrated for changing video games forever with their rich and complicated stories, they haven't always made the most sense.

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Films aren't given the same allowances as video games when it comes to storytelling, and the convoluted nature of the Silent Hill mythos isn't something that is easy to untangle. Despite that, the films did an excellent job of boiling the games down to their barest essence and finding a synthesis between game and movie storytelling.

Captured The Atmosphere

If Silent Hill as a gaming franchise is anything, it is overwhelmingly atmospheric. The chilling and eerie nature of the games is something entirely unique, and bringing it to life in a film wasn't an easy thing to do. However, the movies have atmosphere in spades, and actually do an excellent job of creating the cinematic equivalent of many of the game's creepiest vibes.

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Seeing the fog-draped city of Silent Hill loom up before the heroes as they enter the town is the stuff of nightmares, and the dreamlike logic of the games was painstakingly recreated through visuals alone. Though horror is made up of so much more than atmosphere, a chilling aura can go a long way to keeping the viewer on edge and ripe for the perfect scare.

Accessible For Non-Gamers

Though video games are a huge industry, individual titles usually represent a niche audience that isn't always easy to reach. Because of this, video game movies have a hard time finding the right viewers because they try too hard to cater to fans of the games as opposed to an audience at large.

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The beauty of the Silent Hill duology is that the films can stand on their own merits and don't require an intimate knowledge of the games. Taking it one step further, the movies reinterpret the Silent Hill lore and put their own spin on it, which allows it to live on as its own thing.

Legitimately Scary

It is no secret that the Silent Hill franchise has produced some of the best horror games of all time, and if the movies could contain even a fraction of the fright, they would be effective horror flicks. In many ways, the movies do just that, and there are moments in the films that are not only as scary as the games but sometimes even scarier.

Few viewers were left un-spooked when the first blasts of the siren echoed through the town in Silent Hill, and it is moments like that which lent themselves so perfectly to cinema. What the movies excel at is punctuating their more subtle moments with instances of intense fright, much in the same way that the games would come out of left field with a pulse-pounding moment.

The Best Video Game Movie

Though the bar is admittedly set pretty low, Silent Hill can make an argument for being the best video game movie of all time. In a world where a wealth of Resident Evil sequels have turned the franchise into a walking joke, the much more subtle horror films seems to win the day.

While it may not be a terrific film, Silent Hill is still a prime example of a strong video game movie. It is instantly recognizable by fans of the game, while also introducing new ideas that are entirely original to the film. The games were highly inspired by works of cinema and literature, and it was refreshing to see a video game movie take the time to draw on those same inspirations in a different medium.

NEXT: 10 Best Video Game Movies, According To Ranker

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