Earlier this month, an official photo of actress Adelaide Clemens as Heather Mason in the upcoming Silent Hill: Revelation 3D was released to the public. It was an interesting photo that probably made a lot of fans of Silent Hill very hopefully that this sequel might actually turn out right.
Take a look at the photo, then read the official plot synopsis for the movie:
“For years, Heather Mason and her father 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 terrifying 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.”
Sounds pretty promising doesn't it? I mean, that synopsis is almost the exact same as the third game's synopsis! Could it be, that after the long trend of crappy, half-assed attempts at video game to movie adaptations, that Silent Hill 2 could finally be the first game-based movie to actually be a direct adaptation of the game's plot?! Sure it would be the third game and not the second game, but Silent Hill 3 is a pretty awesome game too! Could Silent Hill (my favorite console gaming franchise) be the franchise that finally gets video game movies right? After all the crappy and/or unfaithful game adaptations that preceeded it, such as Super Mario Bros., Resident Evil, Prince of Persia, and so on, and beating out the rumored Metal Gear Solid movie that Hideo Kojima, himself, is supposed to be actively involved in, could Silent Hill break new ground by being the first direct adaptation of a game's plot since the first Mortal Kombat movie?
The first Silent Hill received some praise for being a faithful adaptation of the game. But for big fans like me, it was a barely passable trip through fan service lane. The inclusion of unknown characters, butchered backstory, a totally different cult group, claiming the fog and snow in the town are smoke and ash, the unnecessary addition of a bastardized Pyramid Head creature that was completely out of place in the movie and ended up inspiring another knock-off cameo by the same monster in Silent Hill: Homecoming? Yeah sure, the first movie maintained the feel and tone of the games (the soundtrack being completely taken from Akira Yamaoka's game scores didn't hurt), but they got all the details wrong!
But the synopsis, and the recently released photo of the star of the movie in what appears to be a faithful outfit sure looks promising for the sequel. Adelaide may not have the freckles or the brown eyes, and it looks like they're replacing the orange turtle neck and white vest with a less awkward-looking reddish-orange hoodie and white jacket. But overall, I'm satisfied with the look. As someone who will admit to having had a crush on Heather when I was playing through Silent Hill 3, I was curious to see how the character would look in the film version. And before you go accusing me of being a pervert, I was 17 when that game was released!
One of the things that always impressed me with the Silent Hill games (particularly 2 and 3) was that Team Silent didn't over-sexify their female characters. Yes, sexual tension and inuendo has been a big part of all the Silent Hill games. Yes, Heather is a cute, petite, blonde, 17-year-old girl. But the developers managed to restrain her physical proportions to a modicum of realistic believability. That, in my opinion, put her at the top tier of “sexy” video game heroines in that she looked and behaved like a real person - strange fashion sense and creepy sense of humor aside. She seems like a real girl that you could see at the mall. I just hope the film's adaptation of her character ins't degraded to a slutty, adolescent sex symbol more appropriate for a Twilight movie than a Silent Hill movie.
But this is still a movie adaptation of a game...
And so its still a likely candidate for disaster. And we have plenty of reason to expect such a disaster. According to sources in the industry, Silent Hill movie alumni Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, and Deborah Kara Unger are signed on to return for the sequel. And what's worse, they are supposedly portraying the same characters (Rose and Christopher Da Silva and Dhalia Gillespie, respectively).
So, this can't possibly be a direct adaptation of the third game's plot! Other reports are even claiming that Rose and Christopher are going to be portraying Heather's parents. What? I thought her name was “Heather Mason” not “Heather Da Silva”. Would that make mean that Heather would now be the grown up version of Sharon from the first movie? Are they going to claim that after the events of the first movie, Rose and Christopher change Sharon's name to Heather and changed their own last names to Mason? I'm really hoping that whoever is claiming that Mitchell and Bean are playing Clemens' character's parents didn't know what they were talking about.
What's more, the movie is going to be in 3-D? Is that really necessary? I hope that doesn't mean that its going to be turned into a sleazy run-n-gun action movie like Resident Evil: Extinction and other such films. The first Silent Hill movie managed to do a good job of respecting the pacing and mood of the games. It'd be a shame for that to all go down the drain in favor of flashy, 3-D effects.
I'm OK with the idea of Dhalia Gillespie returning as an antagonist in the movie, even though the antagonist of Silent Hill 3 was a different character named Claudia. But the idea that Heather Mason is now the child of Rose and Christopher Da Silva is absolutely unacceptable! And the prospect of the movie being in 3-D just makes me even move uncomfortable. I just hope they are actually filming the movie with 3-D cameras (instead of converting it to 3-D in post-production), and will continue to use real people in costumes rather than doing all the creatures as computer generated models. The actors in costumes gave a real physical sense to the creatures in the first movie which CGI creatures in other movies just can't match.
I will be keeping an eye on this movie and continuing to hope that Mitchell and Bean will be making only minor cameo appearances in the new film, and will not be directly involved with the history and life of the Heather Mason character. But this movie is now skating on thin ice in this Silent Hill fan's mind.