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Silent Hill


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Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
Silent Hill (Movies)
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Information about Silent Hill

Silent Hill is a 2006 (14 years ago) horror movie directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary. The story is an adaptation of the Silent Hill series of survival horror games created by Konami. The film, particularly its emotional and aesthetic content as well as its creature design, includes elements from Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 3. The movie also includes some music, such as Wounded Warsong, from the fourth game. A game in the series released after the film, Silent Hill Homecoming, incorporated some elements of the film.

The movie follows a mother, Rose, who takes her troubled adopted daughter, Sharon, to Silent Hill, the town the girl cries out for while sleepwalking. After being knocked unconscious in a car crash outside the town, Rose awakens to find her daughter missing and the town engulfed in an alternate reality of fog and falling ash. While searching for her daughter, she faces surreal reality shifts and monstrous creatures while uncovering her daughter's connections to the town's dark secrets.


Rose (Radha Mitchell) and her husband Christopher Da Silva (Sean Bean) are concerned about their adopted daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) who has been experiencing nightmares and has begun sleepwalking. Their only clue to the girl's condition is her repetition of the name "Silent Hill." Desperate for answers, Rose takes Sharon to the town of Silent Hill, West Virginia, despite Christopher's opposition. On her way there, she attracts the suspicions of police officer Cybil Bennett (Laurie Holden), who believes she is a kidnapper and gives chase on her motorbike. It is in the midst of this chase that Rose and Sharon arrive at Silent Hill: as they enter, Rose sees a mysterious child in the middle of the road and crashes the car in an attempt to avoid her, knocking herself unconscious. When she awakens, Sharon is nowhere to be seen.

Rose searches the empty streets of the town for her missing child. Instead, she encounters a series of monstrous creatures and a ragged woman named Dahlia Gillespie (Deborah Kara Unger) who speaks of terrible things done to her own daughter, Alessa, by the townspeople. She claims that Sharon is actually her own daughter, not Rose's. After Dahlia exits the scene, Rose encounters Cybil, who immediately arrests her and attempts to take Rose to the police station. Upon discovering that the road out of the town has mysteriously disappeared, they are attacked by a deformed creature, and Rose escapes handcuffed. As events unfold, Cybil allows her to go free and the two work side-by-side to survive in the hellish town.

Scenes of their search are interspersed with scenes of Christopher's search of the town, with the reluctant assistance of Officer Thomas Gucci (Kim Coates), who admits to have grown up in Silent Hill: he allows Christopher to partake in an exhaustive search of the town, but appears to be interested in keeping him away from the facts as well. Christopher discovers documents showing the town was abandoned after a terrible fire 30 years ago, along with a photo (wallpaper) of Dahlia's daughter who bears a remarkable resemblance to Sharon. Christopher is arrested by Officer Gucci when he tries to question the nun at the Toluca County Orphanage about Sharon and Alessa, and is told to stop investigating Silent Hill under threat of incarceration. Additionally, Officer Gucci shows Christopher his hideously scarred hands (hidden by leather gloves), which will later connect him to Alessa's story.

Meanwhile, Rose and Cybil find refuge from Silent Hill's many monsters in the town church, where they discover the remaining townspeople, a religious cult, headed by Christabella (Alice Krige). After convincing Christabella that she wants to find "the demon" so feared by the townspeople, Rose (along with Cybil) is taken to a hospital in the town, where they are told the darkness resides. Here, Christabella discovers the likeness between Sharon and Alessa - via the photo (wallpaper) of Sharon in Rose's locket - and condemns Rose and Cybil as witches. An attempt is made to catch them: Cybil, who sacrifices herself to enable Rose to escape, is captured and beaten with pipes by the townspeople while Rose descends into the basement of the hospital. Rose eventually encounters a badly burned figure - Alessa - in a hospital bed and a mysterious little girl who strongly resembles the missing Sharon (Dark Alessa).

In an extended flashback, Rose discovers the truth: Silent Hill has a long history of ritual witch burnings, stemming from the puritan-like fanaticism of the cult, which has a strong presence within the town. Thirty years before the start of the movie, Alessa, whose mother was a member of said cult, was heavily stigmatized as an incarnation of sin for having been born out of wedlock and having been abandoned by her father: her schoolmates bully and humiliate her, with adults doing no apparent effort to protect Alessa (making no move to help even when, after taking refuge from the jeering in a bathroom, locking herself in with an orderly named Colin, who is implied to have raped/hurt her: Dahlia is later shown trying to coax her out, alone). In her desperation, Dahlia agrees to Christabella's suggestions that she allow them to 'restore the innocence' in her daughter. The cult gathers at Silent Hill's Grand Hotel for this purpose. When not allowed to follow her daughter into the ritual, Dahlia guesses at the cult's ill intentions and runs for the police.

In the meantime, Alessa is subjected to a hideous ritual burning: the conditions of her birth are seen by the cult as marks of sin, for which they must burn her or face the Apocalypse. However, in the midst of the ritual, the cage by which she is suspended directly above the red hot coals swings, dumping the coal and setting fire to the hotel, then the city. When Dahlia returns to the still smoldering hotel with the police, Alessa is burnt beyond recognition but still alive. Notably, Alessa's rescue is performed by Officer Gucci (whose burns are revealed to have been caused by grabbing the still hot iron cage in an effort to open it).

Permanently interned in the hospital, alone and in pain, Alessa's hatred unleashes Dark Alessa (who identifies herself to Rose by saying "I have many names. Right now, I'm the dark part of Alessa."), who in turn summons the monsters and the curse that plagues Silent Hill. Rose is also told that Sharon is a manifestation of Alessa's remaining innocence and goodness, sent away to The Orphanage (3 walls), where she was subsequently adopted by Rose and Christopher. After the flashback, Rose is told that she must aid Alessa in her revenge by granting her entry to the church (which she cannot enter due to the 'blind faith' within it): she is also told that Christabella will soon find Sharon and attempt to burn her as well. Rose agrees to help Alessa and Dark Alessa get their long-awaited revenge.

Rose re-enters the church soon after Cybil is burned to death by the townspeople, and Sharon is about to suffer a similar fate. She confronts the townspeople and Christabella with what she knows, attempting to convince the cult that they are in denial of their own fate. Angered at what she believes to be heresy, Christabella stabs Rose. Rose's blood drips onto the church floor, opening the way for Alessa. The adult Alessa and her doppelganger rise out of the pit, and proceed to kill Christabella and the townspeople with huge tangles of barbed wire, leaving Dahlia the sole inhabitant of Silent Hill. As the carnage ensues, Rose rescues Sharon and protects her. Sharon looks up to see Alessa's dark double looking down on her. Before Rose and Sharon/Alessa leave, Dahlia asks why Alessa did not kill her, too. Rose replies with the words that Cybil had told her in the church: "Mother is God in the eyes of a child." Rose and Alessa leave Silent Hill and return home. Nevertheless, although Rose and Alessa are in the same room as Christopher, they cannot see each other - the world inhabited by Rose and Alessa is shrouded in mist.


  • Radha Mitchell as Rose Da Silva, the desperate mother who seeks a cure for her daughter Sharon's nightmarish sleepwalking by taking her to the town of Silent Hill. Director Christophe Gans said that casting the lead for the movie is "a matter of feeling. If you play Silent Hill you know that each character has a very special poetic quality. They are both twisted and sophisticated. We tried to keep that in mind when we did the casting on this film."
  • Sean Bean as Christopher Da Silva, the father of Sharon and husband of Rose who opposes his wife's decision to find answers in Silent Hill. Bean's role in the movie was originally kept to the beginning and the end of the movie, but due to studio pressure for a male lead, his role was expanded into a subplot.
  • Jodelle Ferland as Sharon Da Silva, the adopted, troubled daughter of Rose and Christopher, and Alessa Gillespie, the tormented daughter of Dahlia who was burned alive by the cult of Silent Hill. Though it's not listed in the cast list, Jodelle also plays a third unnamed character (named Dark Alessa on the official movie website). Gans saw Ferland as "the ideal actress" after viewing the TV show Kingdom Hospital and her screen test for Terry Gilliam's movie Tideland.
  • Laurie Holden as Cybil Bennett, the motorcycle cop from the city of Brahams who becomes suspicious of Rose and follows her into Silent Hill. Gans cast Holden after seeing her in The Majestic. Gans states, "in [The Majestic], she was beautifully feminine and I cast her so I could show her other side, make her strong and sleek. Laurie on the screen is, for me, a perfect manga image (wallpaper) brought to life."
  • Deborah Kara Unger as Dahlia Gillespie, the mother of Alessa who walks the foggy dimension of Silent Hill after giving her daughter up for sacrifice.
  • Kim Coates as Officer Thomas Gucci, an essentially kind-hearted police officer jaded and hardened by his experiences at Silent Hill.
  • Alice Krige as Christabella, the leader of the cult of Silent Hill. To prepare for her role, Krige read the book The End of Days by Erna Paris, a book about tyranny during the Spanish Inquisition.


Gans attempted for five years to obtain the movie rights to Silent Hill from Konami. He sent a video interview to them explaining his plans for adapting Silent Hill and how important the games are to him. They were so impressed, he was rewarded with the movie rights. Konami Japan and Team Silent, the development team responsible for the Silent Hill game series, became directly involved with the production of the movie from the pre-production stage all the way to the post-production stage. In 2004 (16 years ago), Gans and Roger Avary began writing the script, which would be the first movie in a series of Silent Hill films.

Writer Roger Avary had said that as a boy, his father, who was a mining engineer, used to tell him stories about the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, United States where coal deposits from the local mine caught fire and released toxic gases into the town, as well as creating sinkholes when the abandoned mineshafts and coal seams began to collapse. This forced the town to evacuate forever. Avary was fascinated since childhood by the idea that fires underneath the town would be burning for such a long time and the story of Centralia was used as the basis for the township of Silent Hill. When the script was finished, a studio memo was sent to Gans and Avary that voiced concerns about the lack of a male presence in the film, since the original story contained a nearly all female cast. Gans and Avary added Christopher's character (named after Gans) and subplot and the script was approved.

The movie was greenlit on sep. 19, 2003 (17 years ago), and was filmed in both Brantford, Ontario and Hamilton, Ontario as well as on sound stages in Toronto, Ontario in 2005 (15 years ago) and on location in Alma College (St. Thomas). The movie is considered a France-Canada-Japan co-production. Later, American studio Sony bought the distribution rights for $14 million for the United States and Latin America to be released under its TriStar genre movie subsidiary.

In order to maintain the feel of the games, Gans had the sound designer of the original Silent Hill, Akira Yamaoka, flown to the set several times. Additionally, Gans had a forty inch TV brought onto the set, to which he attached a PlayStation 2; Gans then played the original Silent Hill on the system so that the actors and cinematographers could see how Gans wanted to emulate various camera angles and movements.

The movie was filmed in the Super 35 movie format, except the scenes with the darkness, which were filmed in high-definition video, because of its ability to cleanly capture light and digitally manipulate it in post production. The movie contains around 107 different sets specifically used to represent the different versions of the town. The bipedal creatures in the movie were played by professional actors or dancers covered in latex and makeup. After filming, over 619 visual effects shots were used in the film, with the most prominent uses being the fog that drenches the town, the transitions to darkness, and the insects that surround Red Pyramid. Some of the creatures were also touched up in post-production, with CGI effects such as the burning on the Grey Children, the changes in the dimensions of the Armless creature's legs, the disease that the Janitor spreads, and the barbed wire during Alessa's revenge. However, most of what is seen on movie existed physically during production.

Budgetary concerns caused a few scenes in the movie to be rewritten. The meeting of Anna in the movie had been envisioned differently. It originally featured Anna being attacked by an injured armless creature, where she is saved by Cybil and Rose. Due to budget concerns, the scene was simplified and rewritten. As well, Gans stated that his original vision of the film's finale revolved around six Red Pyramids appearing inside the church, each carrying a different weapon, and slaughtering the cult members in reference to Dante's Inferno. When budgetary constraints prevented this ending from being filmed, he created the new ending that revolved around the barbed wire slaying of the cult by Alessa, which was inspired by the erotic anime Legend of the Overfiend.

Director Christophe Gans describes the concept of the town's connection to the child Alessa and the cult, "It's a town of people trapped in dark dreams, and she inflicts onto the town what those people did to her body. That is, to me, the meaning of the darkness. The appearance of the town is corrupted in the way that her own flesh was wounded." "It's interesting because the town itself mirrors this fractured psychology—different dimensions, different doubles of the same person."

In speaking about the creatures in Silent Hill, Gans states, "these monsters are [damned], with the poetic direction of the term: they are a little like the Japanese phantoms, i.e. residues of forgotten feelings as strong as hatred or [guilt]." "The monsters in the game are not really monsters, but rather a mockery of human beings. The real monsters are the people, the cultists who tortured Alessa. When I approached the film, I knew that it was impossible to represent the monsters as simply beasts that jump on you."


Advanced screenings of Silent Hill were not given to critics by the distributor, and so no reviews could be printed until after the movie's release. Metacritic's average critic's score is 30 out of 100. Rotten Tomatoes shows a freshness rating of 30 percent (with a zero percent rating from the few 'Cream of the Crop' critic reviews available for Silent Hill),.

James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the movie a mildly positive review, awarding it two and a half stars (out of four). Berardinelli said "the movie is overlong, with too many unnecessary scenes" and that "a lot of the movie seems like pointless running around", but added that the movie "looks great" and that "it packs in a few scary moments and offers a nicely ambiguous conclusion." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the movie one and a half stars (out of four), calling it "an incredibly good-looking film", but said that he "did not understand the story" and criticized how "all through the movie, characters are pausing in order to offer arcane back-stories and historical perspectives and metaphysical insights and occult orientations."

Don R. Lewis of movie Threat praised the film's visuals but said "this entire movie is downright confusing and not in an intriguing way", calling it "the best-looking bad movie I've ever seen." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the movie a score of D+, saying that "a few of the images (wallpaper) are startling" but "Silent Hill is mostly paralyzing in its vagueness."

Dennis Harvey of Variety said that "above-average interest is generated for a time by [the] elaborate visual package", but "in the end, Silent Hill degenerates into an overblown replay of all those Twilight (54 walls) Zone and Stephen King stories in which outsiders stumble upon a time-warped location from which there's no escape." Nathan Lee of the New York Times said, "It begins as a quest, develops into a ghost-town mystery, devolves into a preposterous cautionary tale about witchcraft and religious fundamentalism, and wraps up like the outrageously overwrought fantasy of a movie nerd obsessed with horror who has been given obscene amounts of money to adapt a video game."

The movie opened in 2,932 theaters and earned $20 million domestically on its opening weekend and opened at number one at the US box office. As of Jan. 3, 2007 (13 years ago) the movie has grossed $46 million domestically and $97 million total worldwide..

According to The New York Daily News, the film's poster of a mouthless girl was the subject of some vandalism in New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere, with many malefactors drawing cartoon mouths (smiling, screaming, sporting vampire fangs, etc.) or placing stickers where her mouth would be.

Silent Hill is in the top 10 video game movie adaptations listing on Box Office Mojo (from 1980 (40 years ago) to present). Silent Hill is at #7, behind #6, Resident Evil: Extinction which grossed domestically $50 million.


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