Silent Hill: Revelation

I’m a big proponent of not disappointing people. At least in terms of movies. One problem I have with Michale Haeneke (Cache, White Ribbon) movies is that, unless you know Haeneke, you can easily think you’re going to see a mystery, or a thriller, when you’re going to see the opposite.

One thing that may explain our relative movie-going happiness—especially The Boy’s—is that the movies lately are delivering pretty much exactly what you’d expect. And doing so pretty well. We haven’t seen many masterpieces, to be sure, but it was only a year or ago where every film we saw seemed to substitute basic storytelling skills for some weak attempt at a twist.

I’m taking the scenic route to tell you we saw the sequel to the murky, illogical 2006 flick, Silent Hill, called Revelation (or sometimes Revelation 3D) aaand, yes, actually liked it. It’s not that it’s good, exactly, but it is basically what you’d expect, only (perhaps) a little better (unless you’re fanatical about the first film as, shockingly, some are).

The story is that single dad “Harry"—not his real name—is struggling to raise future cult figurehead "Heather"—not her real name, fleeing from city to city ‘cause, I guess, the cult members keep tracking them down. Immediately on arrival at their latest dump, Harry sends Heather to school (because possible demons being pursued by crazy cultists need a good education, and what could be more secure than a public school?) where she’s shadowed by strange figures and bitchy teenage girls.

OK, maybe I’m biased but I would think homeschooling would be easier than trying to fake IDs. It’s not like you’re going to have your transcripts forwarded. (Crazy cultists dominate public school administration offices!)

Anyway, weird stuff happens, and they end up back in Silent Hill itself, a town which attracts no particular attention despite being shrouded in a constant mist, and swallowing up anyone who happens to accidentally stumble into it.

I’m snarking, but the atmosphere is good. There are some good surprises and some very good imagery (the first excelled in imagery) along with some dubious CGI and gratuitous Malcolm McDowell.

The acting is reasonable. The eminently decapitatable Sean Bean reprises his role from the original, as does Deborah Kara Unger and even Radha Mitchell in a short cameo. Inexplicably replacing Jodelle Ferland (Case 39) is Adelaide Clemens. Carrie-Anne "Will Never Be Known For Anything But The Matrix” Moss, plays a witch, sorta. Sean Bean’s son-from-another-show Kit Harrington plays the, uh, love interest.

Roberto Campanella is back as Pyramid-Head Dude. Though I think he’s had a change of heart from the first flick.

Obviously, we’re not talking about a masterpiece here. But it’s surprisingly watchable, takes itself seriously enough without bogging down, and is over quickly.

Hey, I didn’t say our standards were always high. But it’s surprising how long they go without being met.

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