31 Days of Horror- “Silent Hill”: Monsters, Cults, and Pyramid Head…Oh My!

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SilentHillCoverSilent Hill is a movie based on an extremely popular horror game series, and is my personal favorite horror movie (plus its sequel) ever! I am head over heels in love with the most popular demon/villain and I will never forget the amazing night I spent at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights when they hosted a maze to promote the sequel movie, Silent Hill: Revelation, when I was chased, grabbed at, and trapped by an excellent Pyramid Head (my Horror Husband). Today, there are places where underground fires burn and noxious gases billow from vents and holes in the fragile ground. Inside mine shafts, fires rage uncontrollably, forcing townspeople out of their homes and destroying residential and naturalistic areas, often caused by accident. But in Silent Hill, the fires raging below ground are not as innocent…

Sharon Da Silva is adopted. Although her loving parents Rose and Chris (Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean) tenderly care for her while she is awake, in her sleep she has fits of terrors and sleepwalking. When she wakes, she always screams in fear and pain about a place she can never later remember knowing anything about…Silent Hill. Despite warnings from her husband, Rose takes Sharon and they drive off into the night, headed straight for what Rose thinks may be the root of all of Sharon’s nighttime and emotional troubles.

On a personal note, when I first watched Silent Hill, years ago, I thought to myself that this mother has got to be the dumbest woman alive (although, the cop wasn’t too bright either, as you’ll notice). All those website warnings and the terrifying actions of her daughter should have given her a clue. But alas, it is a horror movie after all, and true to the cliches, she took off into the sunset with her defenseless little girl. Although it is clear, she truly cares for Sharon and wants to help her, she goes about it all wrong. Now Chris, I have to say, his half-hearted attempts to stop his wife were futile and weak. Shutting off credit cards does nothing, and neither does a phone call or five. As the movie moves forward though, you get more of a taste of his dedication and love for these two females.

With family troubles aside, Silent Hill is one of the creepiest places you can imagine going to. Surely, I know plenty who would carve time out of a weekend to go up to Silent Hill with me and fight off monsters, but besides my friends and I, who would be so crazy? The movie portrays the town as bleak and gray, and ash falls like snow over the entire town. Trapped in this hell hole, Rose begins searching for Sharon who has mysteriously disappeared from the car. AlessaAndRoseOn her journey, she encounters the dark side of Alessa Gillespie, the tortured soul that the town turned against, and she pieces together the details of the girl’s miserable life. Rose mistakes the demonic entity as her own daughter, but upon a closer examination, she is shocked to see that the girl “could be her twin,” and upon their second meeting at the end of the film, she learns the truth of Silent Hill and its mysterious fire.

This film really hits the nail on the head for me with horror. There’s the darkness and the eerie sounds (anyone who knows me will tell you that sounds freak me out worse than anything), and then there’s the freaky décor (They need a redecorator in like half of these buildings). The town appears to be frozen in time, with no advancements, and no life seemingly…except for the terrifying creatures like The Nurses, and acid-belching, staggering monsters. Half-dead humans in multiple forms and various stages of torture litter the scenes when the light disappears to the sound of an air-raid horn. Added bonus: there’s the awesome portrayal of a religious cult that likes to burn witches. A little too much like The Crucible for you? It gets better. This religious cult has a huge role in the darkness that has overtaken Silent Hill, and the clues that Rose uncovers will have you on the edge of your seat with suspense.

PyramidHeadMovieIf you dare to venture into Silent Hill with Rose, I will warn you, some scenes are not for the weak of heart or stomach. I won’t give anything away really, but if you’re sensitive to blood, you may not like the scene in which my Horror Husband gets ahold of one of those religious freaks I mentioned. Likewise, if you are sensitive to burnings, when the sexy police officer, Sybil (Laurie Holden, popular from The Walking Dead as Andrea), is captured and “cleansed” by the religious cult, you may want to avert your eyes.

This is, again, my favorite horror film. I hands down give this film a five star rating, and I recommend it to literally anyone I meet and discuss horror with. Fans of the game series have qualms about the liberties taken with the characters and storylines, but overall, there is a deep sense of satisfaction among fans. I encourage you to watch it…and come to Silent Hill.

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