The 2006 film adaptation of Konami's survival horror video game franchise Silent Hill was dismissed by most critics, but scared up enough of an audience to warrant interest in a sequel. After being stuck in limbo for several years, the project is finally moving forward with a new director, a new format, and a new title - Silent Hill 3D: Revelation.
According to Bloody Disgusting, Michael Bassett will write and direct the Silent Hill sequel, which will be produced by Samuel Hadida and Don Carmody. Bassett's previous film was the action-fantasy Solomon Kane,which sadly still hasn't been released here in the states. I've heard predominantly good things about it, though - particularly in regards to its imaginative visuals and moody atmosphere.
While the original Silent Hill borrowed elements from the span of the video game trilogy, the crux of the story was derived from the first game. However, the film also attempted to break some new ground and offer just a bit more closure than the often ambiguous source material.
That said, it seems a bit curious that Silent Hill 3D: Revelation seems to be based heavily on the third game in the series - an entry very closely connected to the first. Given the way the first film ends (and the gender switch of the main character), that connection is pretty impossible. Here's the plot description from BD:
The sequel follows Heather Mason, along with her father, who have been on the run - always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her in Silent Hill forever.
I'm not saying that there needs to be a strong link to the first Silent Hill. The idea of different people all finding their way to this town for their own reasons is actually a lot creepier. Personally, I'm just not that fond of the third game. If they want to make a standalone film that tries to appease fans who were burned by the first movie and also appeals to a larger audience, I think the second game has a much stronger hook and narrative.
I'm probably in the minority here, but even the fourth game seems like it has a better premise for a film adaptation. The inciting incidents in both games are just so much more interesting - at least to me.
I have mixed feelings about the film being shot in 3D, but at least it won't be another example of sloppy post-conversion. I know 3D probably seems like a natural fit for horror films and the box office success of films like Resident Evil: Afterlife and Saw 3D certainly reaffirm that - but Silent Hill is not in the same vein as those series.
Evidently, one of the aims of the sequel is to make it more accessible, which is somewhat discouraging. The fact that the games are more cerebral and less action-oriented is a large part of their success. The first Silent Hill movie didn't fail because of its reverence for the source material - at least not for me.
There's actually a lot I like about Christophe Gans' film, but what ultimately made it such a misfire in my book was the dreadful pacing. It just plodded along for 90 minutes with cool looking creatures popping out here and there, and then tried to cram in all of its exposition in the last 20 or 30 minutes. I hope the filmmakers realize that they don't need a dumbed-down Silent Hill sequel - just an entry that dispenses its plot more efficiently.
I'm also keeping my fingers crossed they change that title. Revelations is a subtitle that gets slapped on when a franchise has completely run out of creativity (*cough* Hellraiser *cough*). I've always greatly preferred the Silent Hill series over stuff like Resident Evil so I'm really hoping this sequel fares better than its predecessor.
If there's anyone who's had the opportunity to check out Solomon Kane, I'd love to hear whether or not you think Michael Bassett is a good choice for Silent Hill 3D: Revelation.
Source: Bloody Disgusting.