Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

Silent Hill: Revelation picks up 6 years after the events of the first film. The young Sharon is now 18 years old and now known as Heather (Adelaide Clemens). She's been on the run since she was a child with her father Harry (Sean Bean). Heather can't remember what happened to her as a child and suffers with constant dreams of Silent Hill, even though she has no clue as to what these dreams mean.

They have both just moved into a new place and Heather is about to start a new school. But she's not the only one to be the "new kid" in class. Fellow student Vincent (Kit Harington) is also starting his first day and tries to make friends with Heather.

Things are not sitting well with Heather though, as she's being followed by a man she doesn't know. In an attempt to loose the man she heads to a shopping mall and arranges to meet her dad.

But the man catches up to her and reveals himself to be a private detective named Douglas (Martin Donovan) that's been hired to find her. He knows her by the name of Sharon though. He goes on to tell her that the people responsible for hiring her are not to be messed with and warns her to keep running. In the meantime, her Father Harry gets an uninvited guest.

After the ordeal with Douglas she escapes the mall and bumps into Vincent. Heather is now seeing things and fears for her life which is made worse by the fact that she can't get hold of her father. So she heads home with Vincent in toe, only to find that her father is gone and a bloody message with a symbol is left on the wall of the living room. She recognises the symbol and looks for a wooden box the her father kept. The box contains material about Silent Hill.

Heather decides to look for her father with Vincent's help. So they start their journey towards Silent Hill. Stopping at a motel for rest, Vincent has a secret to tell and tries to put off Heather from going to Silent Hill. But the same person who took her father turns up and hours later Heather finds herself waking up in a strange place. It doesn't take her long to realise she's already in Silent Hill! Let the nightmare begin...

Being a fan of the first film I eagerly awaited this sequel. Sadly, that eagerness was met with disappointment. The sequel was rather inept. All of things I liked about the Silent Hill was lacking in it's successor!

OK, it is worth mentioning the SFX work. However, it is the only real redeeming quality the film has. Even though the effects are good and we're introduced to new monsters, some of the creatures we saw in the first film, namely Pyramid Head and the Nurses, don't make the impact that they made in the first movie. They somehow lacked that creep factor. In fact, the movie as a whole lacked that real feel of darkness that is Silent Hill.

The film had some big names in it too. Sean Bean, who returns in the sequel was far below par compared to all his previous work. Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix franchise) and Malcolm McDowell (Halloween, Suck, Silent Night) failed to add any vigour to the project. Even Kit Harington, a relative new comer, was way under the standard of acting he's shown in the astounding Game of Thrones. Radha Mitchell makes a very brief and rather pointless appearance. So on top of all that, Adelaide Clemens has to carry the whole film on her back and unfortunately she wasn't quite strong enough.

The worse thing about the movie was the story itself and the direction. The whole thing felt rushed, like Michael J. Bassett tried to throw as much information, including flash backs, into the film as possible instead of developing the plot. It lacked depth, any twists and turns and frights, which makes me thing that this was only made [in 3D] for the effects. Added to this poor combination was the score, or rather, the constant use of the one particular track (which you can find here) that also appears on the soundtrack of the first movie. By the end, it just got annoying!

If you're a fan of the Silent Hill movie then like me, I think you'll dislike the sequel. If you didn't like Silent Hill, then I guess you'll hate this one!

Silent Hill: Revelation gets 4/10

Check out the trailer below...

Friday, 18 January 2013

Gut (2012)

Tom (Jason Vail) seems to be leading a normal life with wife Lily (Sarah Schoofs) and their daughter Katie. He lives the normal nine to five day in an office with fellow work colleague and best friend Dan (Nicholas Wilder) before heading home to have dinner with his family each week night.

While on a lunch break, Tom and Dan head to a local diner for their usual burger and fries. Dan has also taken a shine to a waitress there, Sally (Angie Bullaro). Dan invites Tom round to his place for a horror movie night and some beers like they use to when they were younger. But Tom makes an excuse saying he has plans to take his daughter to the cinema.

This doesn't deter Dan from inviting his best friend around the very next day as he has a mail order film that he found through the Internet.

Tom now agrees, so straight after work they head to Dan's place and sit down to watch the DVD. Both are in utter silence through the short film. When it's finished Dan asked Tom what he thinks of what they just saw.

Completely disgusted by the film's content's and quite freaked out by it, Tom leaves in a hurry! That night Tom can't sleep. Over the next couple of days his home life starts to suffer due to the disturbing film. While at the diner, Dan reveals he has more of these DVDs to watch, which only starts to put a wedge between their friendship.

Now Dan is left to his own devices, becoming more obsessed with the subject matter of the DVDs. As he sits alone in the diner, he finally plucks up the courage to ask Sally out on a date which works out rather well for him, at first! But when Dan starts to miss a lot of work, Tom becomes worried for his friend. Seeking to help Dan, what Tom hears and sees next is more disturbing than he could imagine. Now worried for the safety of his family, he becomes more paranoid and conscious of how the film they shared together is effecting real life. What happens next will effect his life forever!

My initially thoughts after watching this film were only elaborated by writing this review and thinking more in depth about the message it presents.

I'm sure, as horror fans, we've all seen a film that we found disturbing, that maybe we shouldn't have watched or maybe after watching it, we certainly won't be watching it again! And then there's the impression it leaves upon us, whether it's only for a short time after viewing or days and maybe even months after. The film also looks at how friendships can grow apart as we get older and how maybe our interests change in the process of becoming adults and having our own family.

That said, I think the script was well written by Elias which, along with his direction, made for a more realistic horror movie. OK, so this a what we know as a "slow burn" movie, in fact it's very slow throughout as nothing major happens till about fifty minutes in. I can see a lot of people not liking this. Hell, it wasn't till I sat down to start this review that I thought it was a good film! This is the kind of movie that you need to think about. It's not in your face. It does require you to think about what you are seeing. In the process it makes you think how something like this would effect your own life, thus giving it the realistic feel.

As for the acting, at first it seems a bit mediocre, which didn't help the pace of the film at first, but by the end of the film you feel a certain connection to the main characters, whether it be Tom, Dan or Lily. The pace of the film is helped along by a pretty eerie score and the practical effects add to the realism. It is predictable in parts, but it's worth seeing how the characters react to the situation they are in.

However, as I said before, not everyone will like this, but I would recommend this movie to film enthusiasts that have an eclectic taste in horror and that are not just your average horror fan.

Gut gets 7/10

Check out the trailer below...