Franchises like “Paranormal Activity” are known for their agonizing commitment to patience, with most of the scares coming from simply waiting for something scary to happen. But then there are others, like the “Silent Hill” franchise, that don’t know the meaning of the word patience, with horror constantly shoved and thrown at the audience.
And yet, for many, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” may be the perfect Halloween treat. It delivers what it promises-: monsters, scary images and spooky settings. The movie is the equivalent of a haunted house. Based on the popular video game franchise, the sequel to 2006’s “Silent Hill,” “Silent Hill: Revelation” doesn’t offer anything remotely new and is littered with inconsistencies, but at the very least knows its standards and doesn’t bother trying to aim higher.
Adelaide Clemens stars as Heather, a mopey teenage girl burdened with nightmares she cannot explain. When she comes home one night to find her father missing and a haunting message written on the wall — “Come to Silent Hill” — Heather grabs her mysterious new friend Vincent (Kit Harington from “Game of Thrones”) and sets out looking for answers.
Once she finally makes it to Silent Hill — not so much a place as an alternate dimension of horror — Heather finally gets her answers. But those who see “Revelation” for the penetrating story or psychological layering of the early “Silent Hill” games should prepare to be disappointed because it’s the monsters that are at the heart of this film. For example, a gigantic spider composed entirely of heads, all snatched from its victims, or a group of knife-wielding, faceless nurses that are only capable of moving when they hear a sound and, most significantly, Pyramid Head, the horrific creature that has become the franchise’s most iconic symbol.
It would be foolish to apply any sort of symbolic meaning to this randomly compiled group of monsters. Even if the games merit a metaphorical reading, the movies certainly do not. The monsters exist here for no other reason than to scare the audience — particularly the gigantic spider, whose multiple heads are thrust at the audience in a surprisingly impressive use of 3D. Clemens and Harington are fine in their roles, although the preposterous script deprives their characters of any kind of depth.
“Silent Hill: Revelation” may disappoint fans who were hoping for a more thoughtful sequel to the poorly received “Silent Hill.” But then again, there is nothing profound about walking through a haunted house, and to expect anything else from this film will only yield dismay.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 23 print edition. Jeremy Grossman is film editor. Email him at email@example.com.
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